By Tim Saunders on
Lord of the Rings’ Gandalf cast a spell over a special charity event in London during the weekend and helped raise over £15,000 for young homeless lesbian, gay and bisexual and people in the UK.
Sir Ian McKellen hosted the auction in front of 300 people for the Albert Kennedy Trust in Soho on Sunday. Joined by celebrities Boy George and BBC’s Open House presenter Kristian Digby, McKellen helped celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Trust and the 10th anniversary of social networking site Jake, which is now the world’s largest community of gay professionals.
“Homophobic prejudice is still rife in society today, and as a result many young gay people face rejection by family or peers,” said Jonathan Penny, Fundraising and Communications Officer for the Albert Kennedy Trust. “Too often, some of these people are forced out on the streets. The funds raised tonight will enable us to help provide safe housing and a supportive environment for young people who otherwise would be in grave danger. We would like to say a big thank you to our donors and sponsors for making this such a successful evening.”
The auction included a signed oil painting of McKellen, which went under the hammer for £5,700.
McKellen has been an activist for gay rights for many years, and recently vowed to fight on in support of gay marriage in America.
“Everyone’s got to go on fighting,” he told IMRU Radio in LA, referring to California’s Prop 8 decision. “And in what way you fight, well, it depends who you are. You can write a letter, you can talk about it to your congressperson, you can talk to people in bars. Or you can go on marches, or you can go and break windows.”
Copyright © 2009 Look to the Stars