Sir Ian Mckellen celebrated his 30th anniversary of publicly coming out as gay this Saturday by posting an inspiring tweet. “I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out — including myself,” he wrote, “Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest.”
I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I’m celebrating!— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) January 27, 2018
The actor then referred to the BBC radio discussion in the tweet, in which he first told the listening public that he was gay. It aired on BBC Radio 3 back in 1988 and came about as a debate on a piece of legislation that would ban the promotion of homosexuality in British schools. The bill was promoted as a way to "protect children."
During an interview with ET on 2016 McKellen recalled his reaction to the proposed law. "I was so appalled by this when I heard of it, I joined in groups vocally explaining why this was an unjust law," he said, "and in a debate on BBC radio, I came out and said I was gay."
Since coming out Ian McKellen has become one of the most prominent LGBT activists in the world, he co-founded Stonewall, an LGBT rights charity group in the United Kingdom, he has also used his celebrity platform to speak out on LGBT issues and has even led protests.
Coming out has also benefited his personal and professional career. “What happened immediately, according to friends, is I became not just a happier person, but a better actor,” he told the Huffington Post on 2015. “I think up to that point, I had been using acting as a disguise — somewhere where I could express my emotions, and draw attention to myself in a way that I didn’t particularly want to do in real life. Acting became not about disguise, but about telling the truth.”
Happy Anniversary, Sir Ian McKellen!