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Ian McKellen calls on gay people to be trans allies as we’re all ‘under the queer umbrella’

"I quite like being queer, actually."

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: McKellen in the movie Mr. Holmes (20th Century Fox)

Sir Ian McKellen has urged gay people to be allies to trans people, saying we’re all “under the same queer umbrella.”

The Oscar-nominated actor was speaking during an interview with Years and Years singer and It’s A Sin star Olly Alexander yesterday when he addressed the subject.

The Lord of the Rings icon came out as gay to the public in 1988, and is a cofounder of LGBTQ rights organisation Stonewall.

“The wrath of God comes down on you from certain quarters”

Speaking to Olly on TikTok, Sir Ian said: “I do hear people – gay people – talk about transgender people in very much the same terms as people used to talk about your common or garden gay.

‘The connection between us all is we come under the queer umbrella – we are queer. I quite like being queer actually.”

The 81-year-old continued: “The problems that transgender people have with the law are not dissimilar from what used to be the case for us, so I think we should all be allies really.

“But you say that and the wrath of God comes down on you from certain quarters.”

While interviewing Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey for Attitude last month, McKellen said he was “so happy” for old X-Men costar Elliot Page after he came out as trans in December 2020.

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