Legendary Actor Ian McKellen Doesn’t Regret Not Having Kids

Ian McKellen
John Salangsang/Invision/AP

If you’re lucky enough to be in a queer-friendly family, you might have already heard these words from a parent: “When am I going to get some grandkids?” If that question makes you squirm, don’t worry—some people just know they weren’t made to be parents.

And one of those people in your corner, luckily, is actor and activist Ian McKellen.

In an interview with Irish Examiner, McKellen talked about how he never saw himself raising a family, partly because of social pressures around being gay.

“I think I’ve always known I wouldn’t have children, because I’m gay,” he said. “That wouldn’t have been true today, would it?”

Related: Ian McKellen: Gay Men Are More Masculine Than Straight Men

Still, the 77-year-old performer, who is the last of his name, doesn’t believe he would take advantage of being parent even in these friendlier times.

“I don’t feel I’ve got a responsibility to produce another McKellen,” he said. “Bringing up children is the most dreadfully difficult thing to do, and so few people are good at it.”

He was honest that he might just be “too selfish” to be an effective parent and still finds it “difficult making decisions about my own life”—let alone a child’s.

Of course, he praised parents as “extraordinary” but hopes his life has left “a contribution … of another sort.”  

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