Sir Ian McKellen on:
One contribution to changing the world is to change the law. That's why I support the Stonewall Group in the UK as it lobbies for legal advances, on the lines of your Human Rights Campaign. It's also partly why I accepted a knighthood - it would give me some social clout in a country where traditional titles add lustre to views that otherwise the establishment might consider too radical to be taken seriously.
My own knighthood - and it's dreadful that this should be necessary - has been a small symbol to young people who, when coming out to their parents, are able to point to me and increasingly to others in British public life (like Sir Cameron Mackintosh, John Schlesinger) and can say: "Don't worry. The days of hiding are numbered."