Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 1 February 2015

Ian McKellen talks sexuality

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen has claimed he became an actor to "meet queers".

The well-known gay activist has opened up about his reasons for coming out of the closet at a late stage in his life.

The 73-year-old actor confessed it was a challenge to admit his sexuality to those closest to him, which is why he waited until he was 49 to do so.

"It's probably one of the reasons I became an actor. I'd heard you could meet queers," Ian revealed to Vanity Fair. "So it proved. I was never closeted with friends and colleagues in the professional theatre, but I wasn't out to my closest blood relatives."

The British star has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for AIDS hospices since he revealed his sexuality. Looking back, he regrets waiting so long to be honest with the world about his sexual orientation.

"Yes [I regret it]. Because the minute I came out, I felt immediately better in every way. I felt relieved that I wasn't lying. You know, when I was growing up in 1950s England, there were no gay clubs I knew about. There were no bars. Homosexuals were shamed publicly and imprisoned," Ian continued. "You were on your own, looking over your shoulder all the time, hoping in the handshake of a stranger that he might be somebody gay."

© Cover Media

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News


Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant


Trust your instincts regarding moneymaking offers. If a job seems too good to be true, it probably is. Working as part of a campaigning team will suit you down to the ground. You're more motivated to help people than turn big profits. Some friends will discourage you from entering such a field, fearing it won't be lucrative. Don't worry. You'll make a very good salary by doing what you love. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be miserable to earn a good living.More