A man who spent 40 years as an active member of the white supremacist movement has announced to the U.K.'s Channel 4 News that he's a gay Jew and disavowing neo-Nazism.
"After a lifetime of involvement with the far-right, Kevin Wilshaw announces on Channel 4 News that he is leaving the movement — at the same time publicly coming out as gay," reports Channel 4.
Wilshaw spoke at white supremacist events earlier this year and is known for his organizing during the 1980s at National Front, a far-right U.K. political party.
He fessed up to being violent during his time in the movement, "but not unprovoked." "In a by-election in Leeds, I smashed a chair over someone’s head," said Wilshaw. According to Channel 4, the former neo-Nazi "was arrested for vandalising a mosque in Aylesbury in the early 1990s — and in March this year he was arrested for online race hate offences."
“She was part Jewish," Wilshaw said of his mother, "maiden name was Benjamin, we have Jewish blood on that side."
He also explained how he came to hate "the Jews."
“That term ‘the Jews’ is the global faceless mass of people you can’t personalise it, not individuals. That’s the generalisation that leads to 6 million people being deliberately murdered," he said.
“I didn’t have many friends at school, I wanted to be a member of a group of people that had an aim, and I thought getting involved in that kind of thing would be comradeship," continued Wilshaw. “Even though you end up being a group of people that through their own extreme views are cut off from society, you do have a sense of comradeship in that you’re a member of a group that’s being attacked by other people.”
Wilshaw claims he was "suspected of being gay" within the community and was subsequently the recipient of hate on two occasions.
“On one or two occasions in the recent past I’ve actually been the recipient of the very hatred of the people I want to belong to … if you’re gay it is acceptable in society but with these group of people it’s not acceptable, and I found on one or two occasions when I was suspected of being gay I was subjected to abuse," he claimed.
“It’s a terribly selfish thing to say but it’s true, I saw people being abused, shouted at, spat at in the street — it’s not until it’s directed at you that you suddenly realise that what you’re doing is wrong," added Wilshaw.
There are other suspected gay men leading National Front, claims Wilshaw:
“You have other members leading National Front who are overtly gay. And nobody could see the contradiction of it that you have an overtly gay person leading a homophobic organisation, makes no sense.”
“Then you have someone like Nicky Crane, one of the hardest people who would be gay.”
“Even when people found out, they’d rationalise it, ‘He’s not really gay’ or ‘gay and ok’.”
Wilshaw now believes that there are "one or two" members of the movement who "would want to sort me," adding, "they’d see it as betrayal.”
“I am going to find it difficult, granted, to fill a void that has occupied my life since childhood," closed the former neo-Nazi.