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