Actors and others who take advantage of their access to the media by publicising and letting fly the bees in their bonnets, are often criticised for not sticking to what they do best. Clergy can pronounce on anything, politicians on everything, but actors should stick to acting. I've been on occasion lambasted for expressing my views by the very journalists who have enquired about them!

Since coming out in 1988, I've been asked, almost expected, to speak and write about gay issues. And I've been very happy to do so in London, Washington DC, Cape Town and on any number of Gay Pride Days everywhere. I have been reluctant to lobby on other issues I most care about - nuclear weapons (against), religion (atheist), capital punishment (anti), AIDS (fund-raiser) because I don't want to be forever spouting, diluting the impact of addressing my most urgent concern: legal and social equality for gay people worldwide.

There have, though, been a variety of charities for the arts and other causes I have publically supported in a variety of ways; I hope you want to link to them. — Ian McKellen, July 2008

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