Kevin Wilshaw, one of the leaders of the racist and neo-Nazi British National Front movement retired from the group in a surprisingly move, announcing he was gay and had Jewish heritage.
Wilshaw was a National Front member for 40 years and considered its public "face."
The National Front movement advocates white supremacy and extols hatred against foreigners, immigrants, Jews and homosexuals.
Wilshaw organized hundreds of demonstrations and activities for the movement since the 80s. However, he recently broke away from the National Front, announcing in an interview with British Channel 4 News his mother was part Jewish and that her maiden name was Benjamin.
Nevertheless, his Jewish background didn't get in the way of his becoming a Jew-hating neo-Nazi. Wilshaw claimed his joining of the racist organization was born of his desire to belong to a meaningful cause as a rather lonely youth.
"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," he explained his early allegiance to the National Front.
His membership of the movement, however, was not completely bereft of hardship. When his fellow members suspected he was gay, he himself fell victim to homophobic attacks, for instance.
"If you’re gay, it is acceptable in society, but with this 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 said.
"It’s a terribly selfish thing to say but it’s true, I saw people being abused, shouted at, spat at in the street, (but) it’s not until it’s directed at you that you suddenly realize that what you’re doing is wrong," he told Channel 4.
Wilshaw himself was arrested twice in the past: once during the 90s, when he vandalized a mosque, and again this past March when he was suspected of online hate crimes.
He admitted he often felt his "stomach turn" when he saw his comrades violently attacking blacks or other minorities, but only recently made his decision to withdraw from the movement using the help of a group extracting people from hate groups.
"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," Wilshaw lamented.