In a new interview with Details magazine, actor Sir Ian "Gandalf" McKellen shares a very unusual ritual that he has when staying in hotels. Unlike some celebrities, who like to do drugs and wreck hotel rooms, McKellen prefers to flip through the handy copy of Gideon’s Bible. The actor, who is openly gay, always rips out the page of Leviticus that contains Chapter 18, verse 22 ("Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable") from the book.
"I’m not proudly defacing the book," he asserts, "but it’s a choice between removing that page and throwing away the whole Bible."
McKellen says his actions have inspired others to do the same. "I got delivered a package of 40 of those pages that had been torn out by a married couple I know. They put them on a bit of string so that I could hang it up in the bathroom."
I wonder if anyone would have ever noticed this if he hadn’t said anything. I mean, who actually leafs through hotel Bibles anyway? And if you were going to leaf through the Bible, who would pick Leviticus as quality bedtime reading?
Another quote from Details:
Sir Ian wants you to know that being gay in England was kind of like being a Jew during the Holocaust. In a recent interview, he said:
It was horrible living this secret life. You could feel a little bit what it was like to be a Jew in central Europe during a certain period. It was horrible.