Sir Ian McKellen (79), a British veteran actor and an LGBT human rights activist, recorded a video greeting inviting everyone to join the Baltic Pride March For Equality in Vilnius on June 8th.
In his video, „The Lord of the Rings“ and „The Hobbit“ star emphasizes the political significance of the Baltic Pride 2019 march and expresses regret over not being able to be in Vilnius on June 8th. Sir Ian McKellen is certain that Pride events give people a chance to be themselves, “surrounded by love, which is what we all deserve”.
This is not the first time that the British film star invites people to participate in the Baltic Pride march. Ian McKellen has also declared his support for the right of peaceful assembly for the LGBT community on the occasions of the Baltic Pride in Vilnius in 2016 and in Riga in 2018.
In a 2017 interview to the US magazine “The Hollywood Reporter”, I. McKellen expressed his wish that people would remember him not as a legendary actor, but as an LGBT human rights activist who has played an important role in the LGBT human rights movement in the United Kingdom.
In 1989, Sir Ian McKellen, together with Lord Michael Cashman and Lisa Power, founded an LGBT rights charity “Stonewall”, as a response to the Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher, which in 1988 had introduced the infamous Section 28, a provision prohibiting “the intentional promotion of homosexuality”.
The British cinema legend first publicly spoke out about his sexual orientation in 1988. I. McKellen admits regretting not having spoken out about homosexuality sooner. „I didn‘t want anything to do with politics, but I got involved in the campaign against Section 28 in an attempt to encourage other LGBT people to open up. If Ian McKellen can, so do the others“, – the British cinema legend spoke about the beginning of his LGBT human rights activism.
Sir Ian McKellen is also patron of „Pride London“, „Oxford Pride“, „GAY-GLOS“, „The Lesbian & Gay Foundation“, „FFLAG“ and the „LGBT History Month“.