Coming Out in Print

Award-winning actors, iconic rock stars, champion athletes, and controversial political figures — all have shared their coming-out stories with The Advocate.



Sir Ian McKellen
Issue 500, June 7, 1988
The esteemed British stage actor spoke to The Advocate to protest England’s discriminatory Clause 28. After coming out, McKellen, who had already headlined the gay-themed play Bent, continued to star in classic works by Chekhov and Shakespeare and became the first openly gay man to be knighted. After receiving an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor for portraying tortured gay filmmaker James Whale in the 1998 biopic Gods and Monsters, McKellen would host Saturday Night Live, appear as himself on an episode of The Simpsons, and eventually become one of the world’s most recognizable movie stars with roles in franchises such as the Lord of the Rings and X-Men films.

“My self-esteem has never been higher than the day when I first told the media I was gay.”