SIR IAN McKELLEN (born 1939)

Cultural icon, Sir Ian McKellen is as famous for his LGBTQ+ advocacy as he is his commanding performances on stage and screen. He came out in 1988, partly in protest at Section 28 which sought to prohibit the 'promotion' of homosexuality, and is a co-founder of Stonewall, the UK organisation that lobbies for equality for gay people stating that most urgent concern [is]; legal and social equality for gay people worldwide.

He is also a patron of several other LGBT groups, including London and Oxford Prides, LGBT History Month, GAY-GLOS, and FFLAG (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).  

While in the eyes of UK law there is parity between LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ people, McKellen’s campaigning reminds us that this is not the case across the world.  In some countries, same-sex relations remain a capital offense.