Sir Ian McKellen has marked the 30th anniversary of his coming out with a celebratory tweet.
“I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest,” the 78-year-old Lord of the Rings star tweeted.
“Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically [sic] said I was gay. So I’m celebrating!”
Fans congratulated the actor, with one tweeting, “Ian I am coming out to my family tomorrow. I hope my life will make sense as you say. I hope I could be as brave as you.”
Another wrote: “When I was 16, I watched an interview with you and Sir Patrick Stewart where you talked about coming out.
“A few days later, I came out to my friends and family and I’ve never regretted it for a second. Thank you for inspiring me and giving me courage.”
Sir Ian came out as gay in a radio interview in 1988, during a debate on Section 28, a piece of legislation that would have outlawed the “promotion” of homosexuality had it passed.
Since then, the actor has co-founded the UK charity Stonewall, become a regular fixture at UK pride parades and campaigned for LGBTI rights in countries such as India and Chechnya.
In 2015, Ian explained of his coming out, “A law was being passed that I didn’t approve of, which disadvantaged gay people, and that’s when I came out.
“It was just the right time for me, because at 49, I was confident as an actor, as a person.”
He added, “I regret and always shall that I didn’t see the significance of coming out at a much earlier date because I think I would have been a different person and a happier one.
“I can reassure people who don’t feel they’re able to, the world will like you better because people like honesty and authenticity.”
I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I’m celebrating!
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) January 27, 2018