Monday, August 05, 2013

Sir Ian McKellen: Solidarity With Gay Russians! (FOTO)

(From the left, myself, Ian McKellen, my partner Mike Merrigan, and Sean Mathias. My sign in Russian reads "I am a human being and not propaganda". Click to enlarge. Free use granted to share the photo, but please give credit to Gays Without Borders.)

Last night, Mike and I caught the evening performance of "No Man's Land" at the Berkeley Rep across the bay and afterward met with the star of the show Sir Ian McKellen.

I went to the theater with a rainbow flag and four signs, hoping Sir Ian would be amenable to a photo-op, one that might send a clear message to the Russian LGBT people.

He and I spoke briefly about the plight of LGBT citizens of Russia, and Sir Ian expressed his solidarity with them and deplored the escalating violence against our community over there.

We had ten minutes of his time in the courtyard of the Berkeley Rep, as the company's managing director Susan Medak helped us pose for and snapped this photo. For a few very short moments, I directed the great out superstar actor and longtime activist Sir Ian McKellen!

In addition to him, my partner Mike and myself for the photo, we were joined by the play's openly gay director Sean Mathias who is out and married.

Before we parted ways, he saw me looking at the pix on my camera and asked if I had the image that I needed. After making sure the images were satisfactory, I hugged and thanked him for assisting in our solidarity advocacy for the gay Russians.

A reminder that tomorrow, Tuesday, August 6 at noon, on the sidewalk in front of San Francisco's City Hall on Polk Street, Gays Without Borders and allies are holding a protest and requesting that Mayor Ed Lee sever all "sister city" agreements with Russian cities, denounce Vladimir Putin's homophobic laws and the assaults on Russian lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons.

Please join us!

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