Sir Ian McKellen, who is both Magneto and Gandalf, walked among the 20,000+ revelers at the Pride Parade in London this weekend. McKellen was there to introduce Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst to the crowd.
"Show business has always led the way when it comes to the freedom to be yourself," said Sir Ian.
"So, Conchita is following in the footsteps of our predecessors. There is a long tradition of outrageousness and confidence that performers embody, and that has an enormous impact. It clears the way for others to dare to be themselves. She has done just that."
Riffing on the theme of "the freedom to be yourself" is apropos for McKellen. The 75-year-old actor came out when he was 49, on a BBC radio program.
Sometimes I just want to tell sir @IanMcKellen to stop being so awesome. then I think 'but then he wouldn't be so awesome, & I'd be sad.'
— taylor (@m_t_baltimore) June 29, 2014
McKellen had also recently said that he never met a public figure who had come out and regretted it.
“Anyone in public life who comes out, comes out primarily for themselves, and their life is immediately improved. That’s what happened to me.”
“I feel sorry for anyone who feels the need to lie about themselves. That’s not good for you. It doesn’t lead to a happy life. And I’ve never met a gay person who came out and who regretted it. Never.
“So, my advice to anyone in the closet — it doesn’t matter whether they’re a teacher, or a politician, or a priest, or an actor — come out. Join the human race.”
Yes, Yes, Sir Ian McKellen Is Gay, But More To The Point, He’s *Old*
— BizCardGems (@BizCardGems) June 30, 2014
McKellen talked about his first Pride Parade that he attended 25 years ago. McKellen said he will "never forget the feeling of being able to walk along all ages and experiences, and to finally be cheered for being ourselves."
"Today I have seen people in wheelchairs, all ages, teenagers, from all countries, and they are all proud of who we are. There are teenagers who have travelled from their own home countries to London for this, and when I see that I can say that in all honesty the world must have changed for the better. For that, I am grateful to all the old timers who pioneered the gay rights movement."
Image via YouTube