• Sir Ian McKellen has started 'Pride In Ageing' to support older members of the LGBTIQ+ community. (WireImage)
'Pride In Ageing' will support members of the LGBTIQ+ community over 50.
Samuel Leighton-Dore

6 Jun 2019 - 2:18 PM  UPDATED 6 Jun 2019 - 2:19 PM

Longtime LGBTIQ+ activist and actor Sir Ian McKellen has put his star power to good use, launching a new program to support  members of the LGBTIQ+ community over 50-years-old.

A collaboration with Britain's LGBT Foundation, the program, titled Pride In Ageing, aims to help end discrimination and inequalities faced by older LGBTIQ+ people in Greater Manchester, as well as assisting people gain access to inclusive housing and ageing care.

Speaking at the Manchester launch, McKellen said: "No one is born with prejudice, it’s something you learn."

He also reflected on his experience growing up as a gay man in the area - and the sense of isolation he felt.

"Growing up, even in Lancashire, what is now Greater Manchester, 70 years ago, it was a total silence," he told the crowd.

"There was no mention of sexuality other than heterosexuality at school, on the radio, in church. Absolute silence. So is it any wonder that people who are older, when things are hazy, they may think back to a time when things were different?"

He added: "Waving the banner for full and total equality, and love, is something that has my total support."

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