For Day 5, we head into the fabulous world of stage and film and celebrate Sir Ian McKellen CH, CBE (1939 – ). As well as being an accomplished out-and-proud actor on stage and screen, he co-founded Stonewall in 1988 and continues to act as a prominent advocate for LGBT rights.
Sir Ian publicly declared himself to be gay during the national debate over the enactment of S28 Local Government Act 1988, commonly referred to simply as ‘Section 28’. This was a piece of legislation banning the ‘promotion of homosexuality’, particularly in schools. The discussion programme – called ‘Third Ear’ – is still held available in archive at the BBC here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/gay_rights/12012.shtml. It requires Flash to play.
“Since coming out… I’ve been asked, almost expected, to speak and write about gay issues. And I’ve been very happy to do so in London, Washington DC, Cape Town and on any number of Gay Pride Days everywhere.”