Ian McKellen Gives The Ultimate "Coming Out" Pep Talk

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For those X-Men fans keeping track, Ellen Page is gay, Patrick Stewart isn't, and Ian McKellen is most certainly out — and wants you to be, too. Speaking alongside Stewart for BuzzFeed Brews yesterday, the British actor urged those living in the closet to come out, saying his own disclosure is one of his two "proudest achievements." (In case you're wondering, the other one is playing Gandalf.)

"I feel sorry for anyone who feels the need to lie about themselves," McKellen said. "That’s not good for you. It doesn’t lead to a happy life. And, I’ve never met a gay person who came out and who regretted it. Never. So, my advice to anyone in the closet — it doesn’t matter whether they’re a teacher, or a politician, or a priest, or an actor — come out. Join the human race.”

Adding that his former costar Page's recent announcement "gladdened my heart so much," McKellen claims he was open about his sexuality long before publicly coming out in 1988. "I was always openly gay,” he said. “I had a series of partners, and we went everywhere together, and we were accepted, living in London in the ’60s and ’70s, but never making a fuss, never dreaming that we might get married, never dreaming we could have a civil partnership, never dreaming that, should we want to, we could serve in the military. There were certain things we weren’t allowed to do, and I’m afraid I rather went along with that because I was having a rather good time being an actor.”

Now, he feels much more strongly about the importance of proclaiming your sexuality. “Anyone in public life who comes out, comes out primarily for themselves, and their life is immediately improved," he said. "That’s what happened to me. The world [became] a slightly better place.”

Our world is certainly a better place with McKellen in it, just as he is. Consider us inspired. (BuzzFeed)