Coming out - the coming-out videos

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2012
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Gay and lesbian Jewish activists are stepping up their campaign to have Keshet UK, the Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender forum, advise Jewish schools on teaching about homosexuality, after the controversy over a reference to Jewish gay cure group JONAH in a JFS lesson on the topic.

This week, Channel 4 presenter and ex-JFS pupil, Benjamin Cohen, released a video, promoted by the broadcaster, in which he describes his experience of coming out as gay when he was a teenager. Keshet UK has also released other videos under the umbrella of the "It Gets Better" campaign, which features people, including many celebrities, describing their experiences of coming out and urging depressed teenagers to seek help. Keshet is also preparing education packs to be delivered directly to Jewish schools next week.

In the video, Mr Cohen, founder of gay news website Pink News, said he had come out at 15, and wondered if his feelings were a "test from God."

His father, Richard, a United Synagogue-appointed governor of JFS, has become "a vocal advocate for LGBT rights in his professional and communal life." Other ex-JFS pupils have also made "It Gets Better" videos, including Dalia Fleming and Benjamin Kaye, founder of Gay Jews in London.

    Last updated: 12:47pm, February 9 2012