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Sir Ian McKellen Reflects On Growing Up In The Closet, And Admits His Biggest Regret

Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage for Pride In London

Ian McKellen recently sat down with fellow British actor David Tennant for his podcast David Tennant Does a Podcast With. McKellen came out publicly as gay in 1988, nearly a decade before Ellen Degeneres' "People Magazine" cover made waves.

While speaking with Tennant, McKellen reflected on how the gay rights movement has changed over the last sixty years.

He explained...

"I go to schools quite a bit to talk about being gay, and talk about what it was like to be gay before they were born. Their jaws drop open. They cannot believe what they're hearing, that you could go to prison if someone found out you'd been making love to another man."

He went on...

"That's all in the past now, for me, but a lot of people still have a bad time… even in this country, where a lot of homeless young people are gay and have been thrown out by their families, it's horrible."

He went on to decry laws in other countries that still discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, noting that in too many countries, being queer still means prison or death.

He also explained his one regret in his personal journey with his sexuality.

When speaking of his parents, he said...

"It's the greatest regret of my life that I didn't tell them. My mother died when I was 12, and my father when I was 24, so I didn't talk to either of them about it."

People were here for the interview.

And, as always, people were grateful for Sir Ian McKellen.

Thank you Ian McKellen, for your artistry and activism.