Robert Hampton

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12th April 2011

Hobbit Forming
Posted by at 1.14pm | Gay, In the News | 1 response

Sir Ian McKellen is touring schools in an attempt to educate teenagers on gay issues and combat prejudice.

Schools, with their social cliques and pressure to fit in, are frequently a bastion of homophobic bullying, so it’s great that a prominent figure like Sir Ian is taking the time to do something kike this. The lovely idea is made even better when anecdotes like this come up:

“Do you know any gay people?” asks Sir Ian McKellen asks. Silence. Heads shake. “Well, you do now. I’m gay.” It’s my turn to speak up. “You know two now. I used to go to this school – and I’m gay,” I offer. “You know three now,” a sixth-former chips in. The other pupils don’t look too surprised, and he seems admirably comfortable in his sexuality. Silence. Then: “Erm. Well. You know four now.” Heads shoot around to see a uniformed boy, leaning close to McKellen. Mouths fall slightly open – including mine – but nobody speaks. Then McKellen says, in that mellifluous voice of his, “Well. How about that? It turns out we all know quite a few more gay people than we thought we did.”

As is usual with online newspaper articles, it’s best to ignore the comments.