Ian McKellen talks about his sexuality, coming out and activism throughout his life in ‘It Got Better’ video
In a video for ‘It Got Better’ Ian McKellen talks about coming to terms with his sexuality in his teens, homosexuality’s legalisation and his public coming out in the eighties.
On the subject of when Ian McKellen knew he was gay he explains that it was when he was in his teens in the 1950s.
However, at this time in the UK homosexuality was illegal and it wouldn’t be decriminalised until 1967.
“It was a desert for a gay person,” Ian explains.
Ian was able to express an element of his individuality through acting in school plays until he went to college where he met other LGBT people.
“I started relationships and lived with other men quite openly. And then I fell in love, and I had sex, and sort of understood myself for the first time”
After publicly coming out on the radio in 1988, Ian become an advocate for LGBT rights.
“You just simply have to change people’s minds one by one, and that can be done and was done” McKellen says about getting the subject discussed and out in the open.
“After the misery of Section 28 in which schools were not allowed to talk about homosexuality in a positive way, it is now the law of this country that they must.”
“You may not discriminate on grounds of sexuality in this country in a school.”
Everything Is Better
“I am terribly optimistic about the situation in this country […] if you’re starting on the journey of coming out you don’t have to worry. Most people will think ‘Ah, he is a brave person. He is an honest person.'”
“It will all be positive. It was for me, and my life changed totally for the better.”
“Everything is better,” after coming out, says Ian McKellen.
It Got Better is a series of videos which shows public figures who have come out and the hope for a brighter future for those who are struggling with accepting their sexuality.
Watch the video below here:
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