I should add that McKellen doesn't use the word "slash," but he talks about
the homoerotic subtexts people have seen.
Incidentally, if anybody thinks this is a tiny fringe phenomenon, I'd note
that at one point a few weeks ago, I was thinking of joining Amy Fortuna's
Tolkien_Slash group on yahoogroups, just to see what people were talking
about -- but when I saw that the list had 836 members and was getting 1800
posts a month, I decided not to!
Since then, the list's gone up to 1000 subscribers. Gracious!