Why Ian McKellen Says Using Facebook Is Like Coming Out Of The Closet

One big difference between Ian McKellen and his "Mr. Holmes" co-star Laura Linney is that while Linney doesn't use social media, McKellen has developed quite the online presence -- and it reminds him of coming out of the closet.

"[On Facebook] a lot of people follow things that I do and want to talk about, so I feel I've gotten lots of extended friendships with people I'll never actually meet," McKellen told HuffPost Live during a Monday conversation about the actors' Sherlock Holmes film. "And isn't that wonderful? That was also the same when I came out and discovered I had relationships with like-minded people who didn't speak the same language as I did, weren't my age and who I would never meet. They were gay. They'd had the problems that I was familiar with."

The legendary actor, 76, added that he sees going public as a gay man as one of his most satisfying experiences.

"It was the best thing I ever did in my life, as every gay person will tell you," McKellen said. "I grew up overnight, and I was born again. Everything went better, and it felt as if a great millstone had dropped from my back that I didn't know had been there."

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