Out100: The Activists Who Shaped 2013
BY Advocate Contributors
November 13 2013 10:00 AM ET
Sir Ian McKellen
Photography by Danielle Levitt
After coming out in 1988 in protest against Britain‚ Section 28‚ which sought to prevent schools from promoting the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family lifestyle‚ he co-founded Stonewall, an LGBT lobby group in the United Kingdom, and has been a vocal advocate for gay rights ever since. "Coming out is the best thing to fuel social change," he says. "People can only be cruel and horrible to gay people if they think that they don't know any." Of the roles he feels the most affinity for, McKellen settles on James Whale, the gay Hollywood director of the 1930s whom he played in the 1998 film Gods and Monsters, and for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.
Photographed at his home in New York City on October 2, 2013