Ian McKellen Stars in ‘AKT Now’ LGBT Youth Awareness Campaign

In a new video campaign by the Albert Kennedy Trust, an organization set up to help at-risk and vulnerable LGBT teens in Britain, acclaimed actor Ian McKellen stars alongside a whole host of other British LGBT talent to highlight the message that their lives could have turned out very differently had they not found the support they needed, a situation many LGBT teens still face today.

The video shows McKellen sleeping on a street corner and being abused by local youths. The campaign also shows comedian and presenter Paul O’Grady huddled for warmth in a small dilapidated home and being taunted, as well as comedian and television star Sue Perkins begging for money on the street.

The video is billed as shocking, and it is just that with implied drug use and sexual scenes. For this reason viewer discretion is advised.

The campaign was made by the ad agency TBWA.

More from The Guardian:

The agency and the actors donated their time for free – McKellen is a patron of AKT – and the campaign is the first that the charity has been able to run.

“We’ve used some well-known personalities in these tough situations to help let young LGBT people know where they can turn for support,” said Robert Harwood-Matthews, president of TBWA UK. “TBWA London is hugely proud to be a part of a such a groundbreaking campaign that hopes to increase awareness and shift behaviour towards a cause that too often goes unrecognised.”

The Albert Kennedy Trust was set up in 1989 in response to LGBT youth stigmatization and homelessness and in particular the case of 16-year-old Albert Kennedy who fell to his death from the top of a car park in Manchester while trying to escape from a group of homophobic bullies that were pursuing him in a car.

Find out more about the history of the Albert Kennedy Trust here.

The trust offers a range of services to meet the needs of LGBT youth, including supported lodgings, fostering and other specialist housing schemes as well as working within the wider public sphere to improve the social situation for LGBT teens.

To find out more about the Albert Kennedy Trust or learn  how you can support their work, please click here fore their website.

Image taken from the campaign under fair use terms, no infringement intended.

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jorge t.
jorenrico torres2 years ago

We are surprise and sad to see how humans can easily fall into a terrible situation because misunderstanding from others or just neglet..We treat animals even worst.....

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank your for sharing.

Joy Jin
Joy Jin4 years ago

This is awesome! I want to watch this. :)

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal4 years ago

Well done...

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta4 years ago

Fair play to Mr McKellen, he is one of the most diverse actors I can think of, good work :-)

Connie W.
Connie W.4 years ago

It's tragic how horribly a human being can treat another...
Ian McKellan is a wonderful actor and a kind person, as are the others who have devoted their time to this cause.

monica r.
monica r.4 years ago

I think for me, the cool thing is I did not know until recently that Ian McKellen was gay. Because who cares? He's brilliant, so it never mattered to me. But this work he is doing against LGBT bullying changes that.

I am glad he is doing this. I am glad he has this voice as a famous person. I do care that he's gay, because he is living proof it gets better.

Kudos to him and all involved in this project. I wish them every blessing for the kindness they are bringing into this so-often hateful world.

Richard S.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks to Andrew Hayden-Smith, Sir Ian McKellen, Kieran Richardson, Paul O'Grady, Sam Fox, Sue Perkins, Radiohead, The Albert Kennedy Trust and to you Steve Williams.
For the making of this and for spreading the word.

Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

Ian McKellen is a wonderful person.

Pego R.
Pego R.4 years ago

You are misinformed. Ian is alive, well and in filming on 2 sets for the Hobbit movies