Lifetime ambitions of equality

It’s funny, you make these sweeping statements about what you want to do with your life. Most of the time, they will come to nothing, but sometimes you get to check said sweeping statements off the list:

  1. Watch Dame Judi Dench in an RSC Shakespeare play. Check, and in my favourite play, All’s Well That Ends Well to boot.
  2. Watch Nathan Lane in a musical. Check, opening week of The Producers in London.
  3. Watch Lance Armstrong in a professional bike race. Check, this year in Adelaide on the Tour Down Under.
  4. Watch Sir Ian McKellen in a play. Check, last night we saw the opening night of Waiting For Godot. Somehow, we’d managed to get front row seats. We then waited patiently in the cold for him to come out.
  5. Tell Sir Ian McKellen how wonderful he is. Check.

The beard is for the play by the way. I am wrapped up in my pashmina as it was chilly, and dithering with excitement. He was sweet, kind and lovely to all the people who waited for his autograph afterwards. The boy in the right hand side of his picture was doing well until his mum said to Mr McKellen, ‘We’ve watched all the Harry Potter films’. He said, ‘I’m not in Harry Potter!’ I will laugh about that for a long time, the indignation in his voice sounded like he obviously gets that a lot.

I don’t think I will ever run a marathon. I don’t think I will ever learn Russian. But last night, I met someone who has contributed greatly to the world we live in. Co-founding Stonewall, Mr McKellen is a staunch supporter of gay and lesbian rights, simply believing that we are all equal, and should be treated as such. Sadly, Propisition 8 shows that we have a long way to go on that score, the hideous legislation that was recently passed in Arizona, and that Australia consistently tops “One of the most racist countries” lists, highlights that scare-mongering and fear are rife still.

On this Mother’s Day, I hope that one thing we can all pass on, up, forward and sideways is that we are members of the Human Family.

Do unto others as you would do unto you.

It is amazing to me how many ‘Christians’ gloss over that simple phrase in the bible. God is inclusive, not exclusive. God is love. God is not hatred, or victimising others because their path to Him is different to yours. I was brought up a Methodist, but lost that faith when I couldn’t reconcile in my mind how the Church elders would treat other people outside the Church. I now make my own way in the spiritual world, but everyone walks beside me.

Actors and celebrities get a lot of stick for standing up for the wrong things, but every so often, you’ll get one or two who do the right thing. Being able to watch someone in their 70s who is still in demand and as busy as ever, at the top of their game, in a play that revolutionised the world of theatre, was one thing. But to be able to thank him for Stonewall?  That was the true lifetime’s amibition fulfilled.

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