Students at Cheadle Hulme School were given a lesson in language when they were visited by Stonewall Ambassador Sir Ian McKellen, who presented an assembly about homophobia and the impact of homophobic bullying.
Sir Ian talked to the students in Years 10 to 13 about being aware of the words they use and his personal experiences of prejudice throughout the years. The students asked questions about homophobia and Sir Ian’s acting career before he ended with a monologue from Shakespeare play Sir Thomas More.
Cheadle Hulme School Sixth Form student Stephanie said: “It was really cool and interesting to hear about this kind of thing from him rather than the usual way of hearing it from a teacher or organisation.”
Year 7 and Year 13 students also took part in a Q&A with Sir Ian about ‘Inspiring Young People To Be Themselves’ whilst students of GCSE and A Level Drama met with him to discuss how theatre and the arts can be used to tackle the issues of homophobia. Sir Ian recorded a pledge against prejudice message to help inspire their play writing ahead of the ‘Make a noise about bullying’ Anti-Bullying Week in November.
Sir Ian visited Cheadle Hulme School as part of Stonewall’s Secondary School Champions programme. Co-founded by Sir Ian in 1989 as a response to Section 28 of the Local Government Act, Stonewall campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across Britain.