Part 2: Our Hall of Fame

Any celebration of the The Advocate's founding in 1967 must honor the LGBT rights heroes that we've covered for 45 years. With one honoree named per year, the list will be announced in segments and culminate in an event in Los Angeles this month.

BY Advocate.com Editors

March 19 2012 2:00 AM ET

HEROES 1983 SHERYL LEE RALPH X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

Sir Ian McKellen came out as gay at age 49, in 1988, while debating on a radio show. McKellen and other, were fighting to stop legislation called Section 28 from becoming law in the United Kingdom. It prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” through gay-themed books, films, and artwork in libraries and schools. It passed in Parliament but was repealed in 2003.

McKellen went on to help found the British LGBT rights group Stonewall UK. He regularly visits schools when asked to advise on how to handle antigay bullying. And he sometimes talks to students during the visits and reflects on his years as an actor and activist. If he tells the story of coming out, McKellen might describe it as he did once in a newspaper op-ed about Section 28. "A bit late in the day, but it remains the best thing I ever did," he wrote.
—Josh Hinkle

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