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01/23/2015 03:45 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Patrick Stewart Says He's 'Flattered' At Being Mistaken For Gay

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Patrick Stewart says he was "flattered" when The Guardian mistakenly identified him as gay in a 2014 article.

The 74-year-old "X-Men" star tells The Advocate he was ultimately proud of the assumption, which appeared in a Feb. 17 article detailing Ellen Page's coming out, penned by writer Jane Czyzselska.

"Indeed the first contact I had was from Ian McKellen, who sent me an email saying, ‘Congratulations!’ And I accepted the congratulations and said, ‘I think this is a very distinctive honor that I’ve been awarded,’” he recalls in a new interview with Jase Peeples of The Advocate.

At the time, Stewart playfully responded to the report on Twitter. joking that he had "like, five or even SEVEN hetero friends and we totally drink beer and eat lots of chicken wings!"

In hindsight, he takes the gaffe in stride.

“I wasn’t going to get all upset and stuffy about somebody being a little bit careless in their research,” he says. “Or frankly who had looked at some of the evidence and made an assumption.”

The actor, who can be seen opposite Carla Gugino and Matthew Lilliard in "Match," said his longtime support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community came naturally, due in part to his background in theater.

“I think this is where the theater is such an appealing world, because it embraces everything and always has. So there was never a moment where I made an intellectual choice that I would be a supporter of gay civil rights," he says. "It was always a natural and uncomplicated choice."

Read the full interview with Stewart here.

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