Meeting Sir Ian McKellen

This was MY kind of Tuesday: Cold, rainy, and I had plenty of coffee ready to make all day. As much as I love running around London, I really enjoy working from home on a day like this. I turn the music down low and listen to the trickling on my window as I research topics. Today I am finding all I can on Sir Ian McKellen, whom I meet tomorrow for an interview. I had already started volunteering at Stonewall before I knew he and a few other men and women started the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender organization opposing Section 28. If it were not for freethinking individuals as he is, there would be no same-gender marriage, no gay-adoptions, and possibly re-criminalization of simply being homosexual.

Don’t get me started here. I am passionate about human rights, equal-rights, gay-rights, whatever anyone calls it: When I can’t, while somebody else can, I shut-up only when things change or I know I’ve done all I can. This is the exciting part about meeting Ian: He didn’t shut-up, and now I am a happily married man with a wonderful husband, in a country where our wedding wasn’t just a party: It was as real and legal as one between a man and a woman. It sounds simple, until it is you, and it wasn’t possible just around five years ago.

The event was to dedicate a Blue Plaque to Peter Tatchell, a fellow GLBT rights campaigner, and one extremely deserving of the honour, with McKellen dedicating the plaque. The reception, five blocks away was in the schedule for a 10-minute walk. Ours was twenty-five. I enjoyed the stroll myself, and felt like I was taking an autumn stroll with my grandfather, although we were chatting about what needs to be done today, and furthering ‘the fight’. Most importantly how proud we are of the young people in the public’s eye who are gay are not as afraid of coming out as when he and I were their age. It is such a joy meeting people who have done so much, for so many, and work with them to do more. It may make for a twenty-hour day sometimes, but I never tire of the work.

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