Sir Ian Mckellen goes back to his roots to challenge homophobia.
Publish Date: 18/12/2008
Sir Ian McKellen has been revisiting his roots this week, as he paid his hometown of Wigan a visit, to help Golborne High School launch their anti homophobic bullying campaign.
Sir Ian McKellen, who is involved in Stonewall's Education For All campaign, has visited several schools this year to help Stonewall - the gay rights organisation - promote gay tolerance.
McKellen said: "It is essential to talk to 12 and 13 year olds because they absorb what's thrown at them, whether it be homophobia or tolerance - and we have to make sure it's the positive stuff".
Wigan Council have signed up to Stonewall's Education Champions Programme, which provides support and guidance to local authorities in tackling homophobia and homophobic bullying in their local schools.
McKellen, star of Lord of the Rings, famously came out in 1998 on Radio 4 while discussing Section 28.
Last year, Stonewall's School Report studied the experiences of young gay people in British schools and found that almost two thirds of young lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils have experienced direct bullying. It also found that over half of lesbian and gay pupils don't feel able to be themselves at school.
For support, resources and information on tackling homophobia in schools visit the LGF's Exceeding Expectations website - ending homophobia through education.