universally unacceptable

24dash: An international star and champion of gay rights has backed Sunderland’s approach to tackling bullying on a visit to schools in the city. Sir Ian McKellen met pupils at Sandhill View and Hetton secondary schools to describe his own experiences of growing up gay and facing homophobic bullying, and to answer questions about how he coped and some of the help and advice now available to teenagers. On his visit he was accompanied by representatives of the national charity and campaign group ‘Stonewall’ which he helped found to represent the views and interests of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. After speaking Sir Ian answered general and personal questions from students about homophobia and his work as an actor. “Until I visited secondary schools I hadn’t realised how much anti-gay bullying goes on throughout the education system in this country. By talking frankly about my own life as a gay man and listening to the concerns of staff and students I hope the visits arranged by Stonewall with Sunderland City Council, may make a difference in the classroom and the playground and also give confidence to gay students about their lives in the future.” (Ross Macmillan, 24dash.com, Jan 28, 2011). Sir Ian McKellen backs council’s anti-bullying approach

Wikipedia: Sir Ian Murray McKellen CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English actor. He has received a Tony Award and two Academy Award nominations. His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He is known to many for roles such as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and as Magneto in the X-Men films. In 1988, McKellen came out and announced he was gay. He became a founding member of Stonewall, one of the United Kingdom’s most influential LGBT rights groups, of which he remains a prominent spokesman. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979, and knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for his outstanding work and contributions to theatre. In the 2008 New Year Honours he was made a Companion of Honour (CH) for services to drama and to equality. Wikipedia: Ian McKellen

VIDEO: Sir Ian McKellen talks to Matt about the appeal of Shakespeare, the difference between working in theatre and film, the importance of having a child’s imagination and how Newsnight helps him relax after a show. Five Minutes With: Sir Ian McKellen

OFFICIAL WEB-SITE: Sir Ian McKellen Official Home Page ACTIVISM