Metro Weekly

Sir Ian McKellen: Gay men are more masculine than straight men

McKellen made the comment while discussing the various military roles he's played over the years

Sir Ian McKellen, Credit - Gage Skidmore

Sir Ian McKellen, Credit – Gage Skidmore

“I think gay men are more masculine than straight men.”

Sir Ian McKellen, in an interview with ES Magazine. McKellen was being interviewed alongside close friend Sir Patrick Stewart when conversation turned to military characters that the pair have played over their long and illustrious careers.

“I’ve probably played even more military men than Patrick. Gandalf is a soldier, Magneto is a soldier, Richard III, Coriolanus, Macbeth,” McKellen said. “And I think the reason is because I want my revenge on them all….The people who start wars, perpetuate them and glory in them.

“If that’s what masculinity is then I don’t want any part of it at all,” he continued. “I think gay men are more masculine than straight men. Because, guess what? They love other men! … So when bully boys say: ‘Faggot!’ you say, ‘That’s right, I’m with the boys.’”

McKellen and Stewart also addressed their long-running friendship (which is the ultimate in friendship goals).

“I know that I’m in a love affair with Ian,” Stewart joked.

“What I love about Patrick is that he’s so predictably myself. I think we are the same person,” McKellen responded. “If Patrick comes into a rehearsal room and says, ‘Look, look…’ I know what it’s going to be about… Mind you, I think Derek Jacobi is trying to be the third at the party.”

Last year, McKellen lamented that he hadn’t came out sooner than he did. McKellen told the Huffington Post that, prior to revealing his sexuality in the late eighties, he had used acting as a “disguise,” considering it “somewhere where I could express my emotions, and draw attention to myself in a way that I didn’t particularly want to do in real life.”

“I regret and always shall that I didn’t see the significance of coming out at a much earlier date,” he said, “because I think I would have been a different person and a happier one.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at