January 29, 2018 at 10:16 am PDT | by Mariah Cooper
Ian McKellen celebrates his 30th anniversary coming out as gay

(Photo via Themightyquill at Wikimedia Commons)

Actor Ian McKellen celebrated an important milestone over the weekend, the 30th anniversary of his public coming out.

“I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I’m celebrating,” McKellen, 78, tweeted.

McKellen came out in 1988 on BBC Radio while debating Section 28, a bill that prohibited local authorities from “promoting homosexuality.”

“I was so appalled by this when I heard of it, I joined in groups vocally explaining why this was an unjust law, and in a debate on BBC radio, I came out and said I was gay,” McKellen recalled to ET. 

The actor has mentioned in the past he regrets coming out so late at age 48.

“I wish I’d felt able to come out earlier. Everything in society was against people of my generation coming out, because it was against the law to make love. So if every time you have sex you remind yourself you’re a criminal, that’s not something you necessarily want to talk about unless you’re a really, really strong and brave person which I wasn’t, so I got on very comfortable with my life as an openly gay man without ever talking about it. And most people don’t have to but if you’re in the public eye there comes a time when it’s appropriate,” McKellen told Charlie Rose in 2015.

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