I just found out that actor Sir Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings Trillogy, is a gay rights activist and a founder-member of the Stonewall Group UK, an equal rights advocacy organization. (I happened across the link on T.J. Wharry’s blog, of all places.)
And this, from an article in Southern Voice, Atlanta GA’s “most respected and most read gay and lesbian newspaper”:
” … The very notion that the hobbits had a romantic interest in each other is enough to send some people into apoplexy. Between the release of the first and second films, some fans were surprised to learn that actor Ian McKellen, who portrays the wizard Gandalf, is gay.
For a time, the official “Lord of the Rings” Fan Club message boards even censored the word “gay,” until McKellen found out and helped lift the ban.
So one can imagine the potential for hostility to any suggestion that Sam and Frodo, making their way towards the fires of Mount Doom, were also heating things up with a fire of their own. …
McKellen posted a statement on his Web site about the relationship between Sam and Frodo.
“Frodo and Sam would not be the first young gentleman and his servant to be a little in love with each other, but Tolkien doesn’t make their affection explicit sexually, nor does every reader agree that he has dropped any real hints about it,” McKellen writes. “Theirs is certainly a close interdependent relationship.”
Even Elijah Woods and Sean Astin, the heterosexual actors who play Frodo and Sam, acknowledged that the pair could be gay during interviews after the release of the second film “Two Towers.”
“I think the gay community has certainly embraced it as a beautiful, special thing, and I think it can be interpreted that way,” Woods said at the time. “It’s good to know that people appreciate the relationship, because it is powerful, and it is integral to both individual journeys. Frodo wouldn’t make it without Sam, and Sam wouldn’t make it without Frodo.”
The comic relief duo Merry and Pippin could also be interpreted to have a love relationship, according to the actors who play them….”