A Neo-Nazi and National Front organizer in the United Kingdom came out as gay and revealed his Jewish heritage Tuesday, denouncing the far-right groups after 40 years of active membership.
Kevin Wilshaw, 58, who joined the National Front in the late 1970s and had been promoting white supremacy since his teenage years, told Channel 4 News he wanted to be a part of the groups because he wanted “a sense of comradeship.”
“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,” he told Channel 4. “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 was deeply involved in the far-right and fascist political party, becoming a regional organizer at the age 20 and working with white supremacist groups until earlier this year.
Yet said he has “Jewish blood” from his mother, who was part Jewish. In his application to join the National Front, he talked about his hatred of “the Jews.”
Wilshaw recalled other members suspecting him of being gay and he alleges he was abused because of it. He said he realize it was a contradiction to join extremist groups with his background.
“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 realize that what you’re doing is wrong,” Wilshaw said. “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 organization. Makes no sense.”
Wilshaw admitted he “hurt people” in the past for self-defense, but he said he now wants “to hurt extremists.”
“I feel appallingly guilty as well, I really do feel guilty, not only that, this is also a barrier to me having a relationship with my own family, and I want to get rid of it, it’s too much of a weight,” he said. “I want to do some damage as well. Not to ordinary people, but the people who are propagating this kind of rubbish – want to hurt them, show what it’s like for those who are living a lie and be on the receiving end of this type of propaganda, I want to hurt them.”