WATCH: Ian McKellen on why he waited to come out


Ian McKellen speaks about his decision to wait until he was 49 before publicly coming out as gay

The oscar-nominee came out in 1988 when he spoke against a controversial bill that would have prohibited local authorities from “promoting” homosexuality.

Speaking on The Charlie Rose Show in the US, he said: “A law was being passed that I didn’t approve of, which disadvantaged gay people, and that’s when I came out. It was just the right time for me, because at 49, I was confident as an actor, as a person.”

Charlie Rose then asked McKellen if he wishes that he had come out earlier. McKellen replied:

“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. If every time you have sex you remind yourself you’re a criminal, that’s not something you really want to talk about. Unless you’re a really, really strong and brave person, which I wasn’t. So I got on very comfortably with my life as an openly gay man without ever talking about it. Most people don’t have to, but if you’re in the public eye, there comes a time when it’s appropriate.”

Watch the interview here:

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