Random acts

Sir Ian McKellen reflects on his youth as a closeted gay man in this heartbreaking short film

“Gay people, homosexuals, conducted their lives as secretly as possible,” Sir Ian McKellen recounts in a powerful new short film. “There was nobody who was out. Nobody.”

The four-minute film was directed by filmmaker Joe Stephenson for Tate Britain’s new Queer British Art exhibit. The exhibit provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of six different LGBTQ individuals.

In his part, McKellen offers a sad reflection on his lonely childhood growing up in Britain, and talks about why he is so vocal about LGBTQ issues today, despite the flack he often receives from conservatives and other bigots.

Actor Scott Chambers supplies the visuals for McKellen’s somber narrative.

“Part of the reason I proselytize, talk about being gay, is because I don’t want today’s children not to enjoy their sexuality,” McKellen says. “Be aware of it, think about it, puzzle about it, discuss it, have it out in the open, because of course it’s central to what you are.”

Check out the haunting video below.