British actor Sir Ian McKellen is
speaking out about his life and sexuality in an effort to help
prevent schoolyard anti-gay bullying.
In visits to UK schools arranged
through gay rights group Stonewall's Education Champions Programme,
the star of The Lord of the Rings and X-Men is reaching
out to troubled gay teens.
“Until I visited secondary schools
recently, I hadn't realized how much anti-gay bullying goes on,
throughout the education system,” the
actor told the BBC.
The 71-year-old McKellen is speaking to
teens about his own decision to come out gay and the challenges faced
by young people struggling with their sexuality.
“By talking frankly about my own life
as a gay man and listening to the concerns of staff and students,
parents and governors, I hope the visits arranged by Stonewall may
make a difference in the classroom and the playground.”
“I also hope it will give confidence
to gay students about their lives in the future,” he added.
has previously argued that being openly gay is a matter of happiness.