Sir Ian McKellen visits Colfe’s

We were privileged to welcome multi-award winning actor and activist Sir Ian McKellen to Colfe’s this week, to talk to Senior School pupils. Speaking on behalf of the equality charity Stonewall, of which he is a founding member, Sir Ian has visited many schools across the country to promote the equal rights of the LGBT+ community and the positive impact young people can have against all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

The Main School Hall was packed with pupils, teachers and staff who listened avidly to Sir Ian discuss growing up as a gay adolescent in Lancashire; discovering his love of acting; the impact of the passing of the Section 28 legislation and what it was like to ‘come out’ at the age of 49. Afterwards he met with an Equality Panel of students who were able to discuss, in more detail, the work we do at Colfe’s to promote diversity, respect and wellbeing amongst all our pupils as well as more global issues concerning human rights.

Charlotte Davies, Year 13 said “Talks like these are so important to schools. As teenagers, we are entering a new phase of our lives and for some, this may involve new discoveries about who we are. Listening to such a wise and welcoming figure as Sir Ian reassured us that these revelations are normal and ok. His words helped to de-stigmatise the LGBT+ community, especially for those in the audience who may not have previously known very much about it. As young people we shape the future and speakers like this are valuable to our education as we move one step closer to a world of acceptance and equality.”

Headmaster Richard Russell said “I have rarely seen our pupils more attentive or more engaged. Sir Ian was thought-provoking and convincing in equal measure. It says much for the school community that our pupils were so receptive to his message.”

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