Sir Ian McKellen

Lord of the Rings and X-Men actor Sir Ian McKellen is to tour schools in the UK to educate children about homophobic bullying, which is rife in Britain’s schools.

The 71 year old McKellen will be giving assemblies and chatting to pupils in classrooms throughout October, November and December as part of a campaign by British LGBT rights group Stonewall.

“Until I visited secondary schools recently, I hadn’t realised how much anti-gay bullying goes on, throughout the education system,” said McKellen

“By talking frankly about my own life as a gay man and listening to the concerns of staff and students, parents and governors, I hope the visits arranged by Stonewall may make a difference in the classroom and the playground and also give confidence to gay students about their lives in the future,” he said.

Recent research in the UK found that nine in ten teachers say their pupils currently experience homophobic bullying.

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