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Sir Ian McKellen: I’d never been to a gay bar until I was 50

July 5, 2017

Sir Ian McKellen has opened up about his life in the closet.

In a new interview, the Gandalf actor revealed he had never visited a gay bar until he was 50-years-old.

Despite being a high-profile LGBT rights advocate in recent years, McKellen said he remained publicly closeted until he was 49.

The comments come in a new video for Pride in London – alongside Union J singer Jaymi Hensley and YouTube star Riyadh Khalaf.

Sir Ian McKellen at Pride in London

YouTuber Riyadh asked: “What did you find when you came here [London]?

“Were there gay bars, were there places you could go and find guys and have fun?”

The 78-year-old replied: “I don’t think I went into a gay bar until I was 50-years-old.

“No sooner was I in London than I was hitched up with a friend and lived in a monogamous marriage, really.”

He added: “I didn’t see why we needed gay rights, why we needed gay bars.

“If I went out in the evening I went round to somebody’s house, you know.

“I was living the life of a straight man who was gay, actually.”

Sir Ian McKellen with Jaymi Hensley

McKellen later went on to found UK LGBT rights charity Stonewall in the mid-1980s, which he says was in a bid to help “me when I was a boy”.

He also revealed that he was 49-years-old when he came out to close relatives.

And it turned out, despite decades hiding his sexuality, they really weren’t so surprised.

Watch the full video here:

More: bisexual, Gay, lesbian, LGBT, London, Pride, Pride in London, sir ian mckellen, Trans

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