British actor Sir Ian McKellen on
Saturday led the 25th annual Manchester Gay Pride parade.
McKellen, who is best known for playing
Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies
and Magneto in the X-Men films, publicly announced he's gay in
1988. He currently shares the role of Sherlock Holmes with Nicholas
Rowe in the film Mr. Holmes.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, the
76-year-old McKellen warned that the fight for equality was “not
“We can now get married, gay people
in this country, but not in Northern Ireland. So, as we celebrate we
think, the fight's not quite over,” McKellen said.
When asked how things had changed,
McKellen answered: “When I was growing up in Bolton it was illegal
to be gay. You could not have sex with somebody of the same gender
or you might be put in prison, and I had friends who were!”
“So, we're now in a situation where
gay people can marry the person they love. It's been a huge
improvement, but it's taken a lot of work.”
“One thing I've taken great pride in
with the gay rights movement is there hasn't been any violence. And
that's almost unique in the civil rights movement,” he added.