Benjamin Cohen on being gay and Jewish

By Jessica Elgot, February 8, 2012
Channel 4 presenter and ex JFS pupil Benjamin Cohen has released a video, promoted by the broadcaster, where he describes his experience coming out as gay as a Jewish teenager.

The video has been tweeted and backed by celebrities and journalists including Jon Snow, Stephen Fry, Sarah Brown and Krishnan Guru Murthy.

Keshet UK, the Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender forum, have also released other videos for the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign, which features people, including many celebrities and employees of companies like Facebook, Google and Pixar, describing their experiences of coming out and urging depressed teenagers to seek help. They are also preparing education packs, to personally deliver to Jewish schools next week.

In the video, Mr Cohen, founder of gay news website Pink News and a JFS patron, said he came out at 15, and wondered if his feelings were a “test from God.”

His father, Richard, one of the United Synagogue-appointed governors of the school, has become “a vocal advocate for LGBT rights in his professional and communal life.”

The original campaign began in the US after media reports of a spate of gay teen suicides. Other former JFS pupils have also recorded "It Gets Better" videos, including Dalia Fleming and Benjamin Kaye, the founder of Gay Jews in London.

Last updated: 5:12pm, February 9 2012