Elton John: “Giving someone a drag name was my way of telling them I loved them”

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A recent Rolling Stone article features an excerpt from the book “The Queer Bible”, in which Elton John reveals the drag nicknames he stuck to some of his famous friends.

“When I came out as gay and met John Reid, he had so many gay friends and employees it felt natural to give each other drag names. In a way, designating someone with a drag name was my way of telling them I loved them: drag is a communal sport – I like to get everyone involved. Tony became ‘Joy’ and I became ‘Sharon’, because I was so common. Rod Stewart was always ‘Phyllis’. Freddie Mercury became ‘Melina’ after Melina Mercouri, the Greek actress and singer. He was a real Melina, I can assure you. John Lennon became ‘Carol Dakota’ after his New York building, the Dakota. If you can’t think of the correct name, you go to the surname first and work it out from there. Not everyone gets a drag name. But all of my dearest friends are bequeathed with one”.