The always-incredible Sir Ian McKellen did a reddit AMA
earlier this week, largely to discuss his latest movie, Mr. Holmes
, in which he plays the titular detective. He also answered a few LGBT-related questions – we’ve cherry-picked them and listed his answers below.
Q: How was your experience of losing your [New York] pride virginity last month?
A: You confuse me with [fellow English actor] Derek Jacobi He was the virgin. I have been on many pride marches and parades. And next month will be in Manchester as Grand Martial. I had a wonderful day, as did everybody else because of the SCOTUS ruling.
Q: How do you feel about the recent groundswell of acceptance in the United States for the LGBT community, especially as one who has seen it change over the years?
A: Social change usually happens slowly. The Supreme Court decision comes at the end of the process of argument, and confirms the change that has already happened. I'm just sorry that there are still people in the USA that are not yet ready to accept that the law should treat everybody the same. But they too will change. :)
Q: Now that strides have been taken in many countries for equality, including the recent US Supreme Court decision, what do you think is the "next step" towards increasing rights?
A: Changing the law is easy, it’s just the matter of making the case. It’s the matter of changing people’s minds and that will take time. If you choose to be generous, you should look to the plight of LGBT people in countries where the laws are stacked against them. Be careful where you go for your vacation. Always check on the local laws if you want to be safe.
Q: What advice do you have for LGBT millennials?
A: My advice to you is to keep your jeans dry. And for the rest, be out and be honest and change the world.
Q: Is there a character that you’d like to play before you retire from acting?
A: Perhaps Antonio, in The Merchant of Venice, because he is one of the very few obviously gay characters in Shakespeare.