Ian McKellen marked the thirtieth anniversary of his coming out yesterday with a celebratory tweet: “I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I’m celebrating!”
I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I’m celebrating!
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) January 27, 2018
RELATED: Ian McKellen Offers a Haunting Glimpse of His Youth as a Closeted Gay Man in New Short Film: WATCH
The actor and activist has been a longtime advocate of coming out.
Earlier this year he collaborated on a powerful short film directed by Joe Stephenson for Tate Britain’s new Queer British Art exhibit which provided a haunting glimpse of his childhood growing up in Britain.
Said McKellen in the film: “Part of the reason I proselytize, talk about being gay, is because I don’t want today’s children not to enjoy their sexuality, be aware of it, think about it, puzzle about it, discuss it, have it out in the open, because of course it’s central to what you are.”
McKellen has also said he believes gay men are more masculine than straight men: “I’ve probably played even more military men than Patrick. Gandalf is a soldier, Magneto is a soldier, Richard III, Coriolanus, Macbeth. And I think the reason is because I want my revenge on them all…The people who start wars, perpetuate them and glory in them. ‘God save our gracious Queen, send her victorious?’ I’m sorry. What does that mean?… If that’s what masculinity is then I don’t want any part of it at all…I think gay men are more masculine than straight men. Because, guess what? They love other men!…So when bully boys say: ‘Faggot!’ you say, ‘That’s right, I’m with the boys.’”
He has also said he wishes he had been able to come out earlier: “I wish I’d felt able to come out earlier. Everything in society was against people of my generation coming out, because it was against the law to make love. So if every time you have sex you remind yourself you’re a criminal, that’s not something you necessarily want to talk about unless you’re a really, really strong and brave person which I wasn’t, so I got on very comfortable with my life as an openly gay man without ever talking about it. And most people don’t have to but if you’re in the public eye there comes a time when it’s appropriate.”
Congrats Sir Ian McKelln, and thank you for your advocacy.