Cumberbatch, meanwhile, emailed THR from the set of the next Sherlock series to offer his full and enthusiastic agreement with Fry’s idea. “Alan Turing was not only prosecuted, but quite arguably persuaded to end his own life early, by a society who called him a criminal for simply seeking out the love he deserved, as all human beings do. 60 years later, that same government claimed to ‘forgive’ him by pardoning him. I find this deplorable, because Turing’s actions did not warrant forgiveness — theirs did — and the 49,000 other prosecuted men deserve the same.”

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Benedict Cumberbatch calls on Duchess of Cambridge to help overturn ‘intolerable’ gay convictions

(extract) An open letter addressed to Her Majesty’s Government now calls on politicians and “young leaders”, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to see the convictions overturned.
Calling Turing “one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century”, it argues that while his pardon was welcomed by supporters, it does not go far enough.
“In 2009, an “unequivocal apology” for his appalling treatment was issued by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown,” it reads.
“Following the apology and after receiving a request from the justice secretary Chris Grayling, Queen Elizabeth II granted Alan Turing a posthumous pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy in 2013.
“But Alan Turing was not alone.
“The apology and pardon of Alan Turing are to be welcomed but ignores over 49,000 men who were convicted under the same law, many of whom took their own lives. An estimated 15,000 men are believed to still be alive.
“The UK’s homophobic laws made the lives of generations of gay and bisexual men intolerable.
“It is up to young leaders of today including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to acknowledge this mark on our history and not allow it to stand.”


I’m proud to be who I am when I’m good and I’m ashamed to be who I am when I’m bad, but I won’t ever apologize for being born the way I was, for feeling the way I do. To apologize for feelings is a silly thing. One should apologize for behaviour that’s unkind or cruel, bigoted, oppressive, snobbish, that looks down on people, superior; one should always apologize for that kind of thing. But to apologize for who one is, to apologize for how one loves, that’s crazy.
—  Stephen Fry
It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing - they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.
—  Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot
Oscar Wilde said that if you know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it – that is your punishment, but if you never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.
—  Stephen Fry