British actor Sir Ian McKellen says he
was late in coming around to believing in the gay rights movement.
The 72-year-old Academy Award-nominated
McKellen is the subject of one of four Gay Times covers
celebrating the 400th issue of the magazine.
McKellen, who was knighted in 1991 for
services for the performing arts, is best know for playing Gandalf in
the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Magneto in the X-Men
In 1988, McKellen announced he was gay
in the pages of Gay Times and went to work advocating against
Section 28, the UK legislation that banned any positive discussion of
homosexuality in schools. It was not fully repealed until 2003.
His visibility made a difference, but
McKellen says he came late to gay rights.
“I was a late convert to the idea
that something could be done. What needed to be done was pretty
obvious, in that there were far too many laws on the stature books
that put gay people at a disadvantage. I'd grown up with them being
there. Although they'd been tinkered with a little bit, so one
sensed that the world could change,” he said.