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Sir Ian McKellen’s Impassioned Speech For The Trevor Project Will Make Your Day

Sir Ian McKellen's Impassioned Speech For The Trevor Project Will Make Your Day

The Trevor Project honored Sir Ian McKellen earlier this week with the Trevor Hero Award for his ongoing support of the LGBTQ community, and it was quite something.

McKellen’s speech advocated for the fight for greater equality, and he walked through the crowd quoting from Shakespeare’s speech in “Sir Thomas More.” 

“What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught how insolence and strong hand should prevail/ How order should be quelled; and by this pattern…men like ravenous fishes/would feed on one another,” McKellen sang to the crowd. It’s pretty magical

Watch a video of the speech below and read the entire Shakespeare text below that.


“Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs with their poor luggage,
Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silenced by your brawl, And you in rough of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.

O, desperate as you are,
Wash your foul minds with tears, and those same hands,
That you like rebels lift against the peace,
Lift up for peace, and your unreverent knees,
Make them your feet to kneel to be forgiven!

You’ll put down strangers,
Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,
And lead the majesty of law in liom,
To slip him like a hound. Say now the king
(As he is clement, if th’ offender mourn)
Should so much come to short of your great trespass
As but to banish you, whether would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbor? go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, to Spain or Portugal,
Nay, any where that not adheres to England,—
Why, you must needs be strangers: would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper,
That, breaking out in hideous violence,
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, nor that the claimants
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But chartered unto them, what would you think
To be thus used? this is the strangers case;
And this your momtainish inhumanity.”

This Article is related to: News