John spoke at his annual Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit Monday night and honored the memory of AIDS activist Ryan White. The teen died of AIDS 20 years ago and helped combat prejudice and ignorance associated with the disease at the time.
John said White is the reason why he started his foundation and he's "saddened and disturbed" that the same issues exist today. He added there needs to be frank talk about race and sexuality in discussions about AIDS.
John also said White was an "amazing boy who had no prejudice, no bitterness ... God do we need that kind of thing in America at this moment."