Why I am broadcasting this positive message

By Benjamin Cohen, February 9, 2012
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I wanted to use my public profile on TV and online to communicate a positive message to young Jewish people. That message is simple: it's okay to be Jewish and gay, you don't have to sacrifice one part of your identity to remain true to the other. In my experience, your family and true friends will respect you for being honest about who you are.

I have friends who spent a fortune trying therapies that they believed would turn them straight. Others who have gone through this process have harmed themselves after failing. And I was disappointed that young people are being told about these so-called "therapies" but not about organisations that can help them reconcile their faith and their sexuality in a positive, healthy way.

I also wanted to say how great my family are. My father, Richard, plays an active role in Jewish communal life, principally as a JFS governor, but also for gay rights, through PinkNews, the gay media company I founded.

I've been blown away by the support the video has received from public figures ranging from Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon) to Stephen Fry, and of course my colleague Jon Snow. The messages from young people of all faiths have shown me that there is definitely a need for positive gay public figures from faith backgrounds to say how proud they are of who they are - and to assure others that it gets better.

Benjamin Cohen is Technology Correspondent at Channel 4 News

    Last updated: 12:40pm, February 9 2012