the anglo file

WATCH: PinkNews Founder Benjamin Cohen Explains How It Gets Better For Gays Of Faith

When we saw that a Brit named Ben Cohen made an It Gets Better video, we automatically assumed it was the gay-friendly rugby player, who has already done so much to help combat LGBT bullying.

Actually it’s Benjamin Cohen, a correspondent for the UK’s Channel 4 News and the founder of the international LGBT outlet PinkNews (a site familiar to readers of Queerty).  And his clip is particularly noteworthy because it’s aimed at queer youth raised in communities of faith.

We’ve addressed how LGBT kids in the States can wind up in unsympathetic environments like evangelical Christian colleges, but here Cohen speaks about his own experience of being raised in an observant Jewish home and eventually realizing he was “twice blessed” to be born both gay and Jewish.

It’s also worth noting Channel 4 obviously allowed Cohen to use its studio to film in. We can’t imagine, say, ABC  doing the same for Sam Champion.

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  • EmmaMTF

    Your god tells you you are an abomination and should be stoned. There’s no way to reconcile your faith and an alternate sexuality, no matter how you swing it. Stop deluding yourselves. Just move on and be decent person -without- supporting a church or superstition.

  • Corn&Porn

    Hm, I’ve always been under the impression that Queerty gays abhore all kinds of religion and should turn their back on it. Now I’m confused as they seem to be promoting it. All I want to do is be a good gay and do as I’m told by the sites like this one, as I would never want to offend the gay community and possess my own perspective.

    So . . . now religion is OK? Or is it still oppressive? QUEERTY HELP ME MAKE UP MY MIND!

  • William

    He seems happy. That’s all I want for anyone.

  • JayKay

    Oh the angry, bitter, militant atheists are gonna be crawling out of the woodwork over this…

  • WJoaquin

    @JayKay: Is there any conservative garbage that you don’t peddle? We all know that if this was a gay black man from a church like Obama’s saying ‘It Gets Better’ you would be saying that Queerty is promoting a militant Christian anti-white racist. You are consistently one of the dumbest people to comment on this site.

  • Shannon1981

    I have softened my stance re: gays and faith since my life partner is a theist. However, I still disagree with it, for a number of reasons.

    1) Supporting, on any level, a system of beliefs that condemns us is counterproductive to our legal/political/rights cause.

    2) It makes no sense to believe in a god that wants you to be stoned to death. Spin it any way you want, that’s in the Bible, which is the document that is the basis for this faith.

    3)There is no reason to believe any of it anyway and it causes more harm than good. Besides all that, it is simply untrue.

    For the record, yes, my girlfriend is more than well aware of my thoughts and feelings on religion and loves me anyway. :)

  • Shannon1981

    @Corn&Porn: There are long time religious commenters on this site who are both religious and gay. Though, of course, like on the majority of gay sites, and,of course those with a snarky feel in particular, those people are in the minority.

  • Jim Hlavac

    Religions have changed on multiple things — what was once condemned has come to a new understanding. Why can’t any religion do so on gays, also? Some have, some have not. But there’s nothing intrinsic in religion to keep hating gayness — as some have shown. And if every day a few more gays with faith move along a few more heteros with faith to liking and appreciating gays, that’s good. And frankly, I’d rather help faith-folks change then to just be at war with them for the rest of our days.

  • Shannon1981

    @Jim Hlavac: I think what you are proposing is highly idealistic. Good thoughts, but nothing that shall come to pass anytime soon. Besides, it makes no damn sense. We are wasting money and resources on a war that cannot be won. Best to secure legal protections and leave them to their delusions.

  • Mike UK

    Channel 4 is a channel that supports gay programming, this is the channel that brought you the UK version of Queer as Folk and has a daily soap opera that goes out at 18:30 with gay characters and has for a number of years! note that this is not a cable or satellite channel but a channel that is free to everyone!

  • Ogre Magi

    @WJoaquin: JayKay is an idiot, just ignore him!

  • CBRad

    @Shannon1981: Actually, I find that kind of cool that a Theist and an Atheist can still have a great relationship. Disagreement doesn’t have to mean hostility.

  • Shannon1981

    @CBRad: Thanks. I didn’t think I could do it.Started our really weird lol. I had to dial down a lot of my opinions(or at least learn where I could state them without her seeing/hearing and getting upset) and she dialed back the god bothering in my presence and all was cool.

    We never actively fight about it, but the potential is there. If she ever says anything I find to be kinda kooky or something like that, I just keep my mouth shut. If my mockery of religion is too much for her, she walks away. It’s about being able to realize we are never going to agree on this, and that’s ok.

  • CBRad

    @Corn&Porn: I don’t think Queerty is taking a pro-religion stance by showing this guy. They might be neutral, or also have hoped all the posters would be ripping him to shreds. ( The usual Gay Ghetto rule is too dislike the Jewish religion, but not as much as Catholicism or certain sects of Protestantism. Jews, solely on an ethnic basis, are considered okay. Israel has to be hated, though, without question).

  • CBRad

    @Shannon1981: You never know, though. In the long run that little bit of tension might actually be good for the relationship. (Wouldn’t an exact replica of yourself just get boring?)

  • Shannon1981

    @CBRad: Yeah, she and I are opposites and loving it LOL. You are right, another me would get boring. We’re working it out so far.

    I think the whole having an OMFG SUPER AWFUL PAST with religion and religious people made me wary. Don’t get me wrong- I’ll never understand the God thing. To me, yes, it’s crazy, not to mention harmful and often a slippery slope. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t see past that with someone enough to love her fully. To me, it has shown that I am definitely capable of true unconditional love when the thing I hate the most in the world is important to the person I love the most.

  • CBRad

    @Shannon1981: Understood.

  • CBRad

    @Shannon1981: P.S. And if you two have a good fight sometimes… what?? I know you probably know that, but some people out there seem to think fights are the definitive thing about the relationship…whether they happen or not. As if two people, with even half-a-brain, aren’t going to get into fights sometimes..

  • Shannon1981

    @CBRad: Oh yeah. I am waiting for it to be on this issue LOL. So far, I think its just that we haven’t settled in. You know, living together. The wedding. All that jazz. We haven’t had the chance to argue. It will happen, and it will be about religion, I am sure of it haha.

  • 13Zeroither

    Fuck religion. It needs to die. But it would take a miracle if someone had a huge army to overthrow the governments of the world to create a global culture suicide to start all over (in order to murder religion. Fuck it into the depths of time). In its place would be the new world with each country having its own unique food, clothes, language, culture, etc. BUT ALL of the countries in the new world will be not racist, sexist, and homophobic.
    A person can dream… :)

  • Alexa

    I find it fascinating that the most militant atheists generally are those who were raised religious and rejected it. Not surprising, I guess, as it happens with many things that people give up. I was raised an atheist, and because of that I have a much more live and let live attitude than most other atheists I know. Don’t get me wrong, I abhor the homophobic religious right, and the hypocrisy of many religious leaders, as any decent person should, but if someone wants to believe in a loving God or Goddess, more power to them.

  • Professor Locs

    It is so much easier when your parents support and love their children—“We just want you to be happy.” This way, the parents can help guide and find ways to bring them up in a loving way so that they grow up mentally strong and withstand the world of people that do not understand. Ben Cohen is a great role model and blessing to the gay community because of the wonderful job this parents did of raising him.

  • Charlie

    You can be deeply religious and gay. Everyone cherry picks their religious beliefs, everyone (myself included, though as a polytheist). Church doctrines change quite a bit over time people don’t realize it and get stuck on the idea that they are practicing “old time religion.” The Abrahamist religions have a lot of healing to do on this issue and it’s nice to see it when it happens.

  • Jaroslaw

    To go a bit further, many things have changed about most religions. Women are no longer property or 100% servants of men and in many countries can even vote! Slavery is pretty much passe in the Christian world at least. And I’ll never figure out how men sleeping with men is the exact same “abomination” as eating shellfish. Many of the smaller Christian sects have figured out that it isn’t (notice that women with women isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament). I promised just a bit, so we won’t make this a Bibilical discussion of mammoth proportions.

  • CBRad

    @Jaroslaw: The major religions seem to grow with the times, yes (except for some crazy sects). We could go on and on with that subject..

  • Shannon1981

    @CBRad: I’d have no real issue if the crazy fringes didn’t have so much power.

    @Alexa: Most atheists are former theists. Not only that, but we have background of the deep, really kooky versions. Here are some of the wilder things my own mother believes:

    -Jesus will return in a blaze of glory with the angels in her lifetime to destroy the heathens and take people like her to heaven.

    -Washing clothes on New Year’s means someone in the family will die that year. This also stretches to washing hair. you can take a bath or shower, though.

    – She will not shop at thrift stores for fear of getting dead people’s clothes. God does not mean for us to use the deaths of his children for gain.

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