Gay rights champion opens up to pupils

SIR Ian McKellen, the world-renowned actor and gay rights champion, shares the platform with head boy Josh Buckle and deputy head boy Joe Hughes at Rossett School, in Harrogate.

During his visit on behalf of Stonewall, the charity he co-founded that campaigns on behalf of gay people, Sir Ian spoke of the difficulties he faced as a young homosexual man.

He also joined in a philosophy and ethics lesson and took part in a school assembly.

The actor told the Yorkshire Post: "There was nowhere to go, no books to read, no Wikipedia to use for research, no open discussion – homosexuality was still illegal and people went to prison. My greatest regret is that I never told my parents and for a young person to be open about their sexuality is still generally very difficult."