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How a gay guy was reunited with the man who saved him from suicide

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  1. Very touching story. Saw the headlines on the Guardian earlier and it’s a surprise to find out the guy who was saved from jumping is gay. And good for him to pointing to the role religion played in making him miserable enough to want to take his own life back then.

    1. Are you sure about Neil Laybourn being gay, Eddy? The BBC reports that it was his fiancée who first alerted him to the campaign – ?

      1. This PN story is about Jonathan Benjamin being gay so I wrote “the guy who was saved from jumping is gay”. I haven’t said that the man, Neil Laybourn, who talked him out of jumping is gay.

        1. Apologies – my mistake.

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 31 Jan 2014, 7:05pm

    What a heart warming story. So happy he was able to find the man who saved his life and happier still that he didn’t try ex-gay aversion therapy.

  3. Colin (Queenstown/London) 31 Jan 2014, 9:11pm

    Loved the story and video. Well done guys and I hope you stay in touch.
    You never know what a kind word to that person on the bus or in the park does and this reminds me of that.

    I often chat with older people in my local park. Many are lonely and it’s nice walking where people say hello to you. Simple human contact and recognition

  4. Left me speechless. Beautiful story. This guy seems so nice; actually both of them seem good persons.

  5. Helge Vladimir Tiller 31 Jan 2014, 11:38pm

    Two wonderful persons ! This is humanity. It is positive to know that such qualities are inside most of us. Let your love grow !

  6. It’s a touching story and very positive that someone was there to help him make the right decision. I did not know that he was gay until now, which is a good thing because it shouldn’t matter.

  7. A really lovely story, and one that I hope will somehow trickle through to those who’re in most need of hearing it, young people in Russia or Nigeria for example.

  8. Lovely story. Wishing you all the best for your future

  9. Sad that his religious community made him feel bad about himself. Conservative Jewish groups frown on homosexuality but progressive and liberal Jewish groups and Rabbis are inclusive and are happy to offer same sex marriages. In 2012 Pink News reported on liberal Jews, and Quakers and Unitarians, writing to David Cameron to support marriage equality.

    1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 1 Feb 2014, 9:44am

      Thanks, Kay ! Important to mention this-

  10. Jonathan Benjamin, just an added to note to ask you if you realize that in the looks department you have everything going for you? You look gorgeous. You’re a very very attractive-looking guy. Keep the head sorted out, ditch all religious delusions, and make the most of your youth!

  11. Jonny has made a very good ‘It Gets Better’ video.

    1. Excellent videos. I know they will inspire any young gay men or lesbians who see them. But what has rocked me is that Jonathan was born only 24 years ago! That means he was born in 1990 or 1991. But the year before that was 1989 and in that year I and several hundred thousand gay people protested through the streets of Manchester, and then London, against Margaret Thatcher’s anti-gay Section 28, something of the equivalent of Putin’s recent legislation in Russia! But 10 years or so AFTER those massive protests in Manchester and London, Jonathan’s hell began! It only goes to show that despite all the progress that we think we have made at any one time, there are still people out there who are isolated from “the community”, feeling they’re all alone, and going through hell. So well done you, Jonathan, for making these videos. I hope they really get publicised.

      1. Colin (Queenstown/London) 2 Feb 2014, 10:10pm

        Really good point Eddy. Many young people in Manchester and London still feel isolated never mind outside large cities. We must live public lives so others see we are just ordinary good people.
        Jonathan is a case in point and I hope more people use modern media to explore their world and connect with others or share their stories to give others confidence.

  12. BangingOn Windows 2 Feb 2014, 8:45am

    Religion, once again the cause of ignorance, hatred, mistrust, fear. What a surprise.

    Glad he’s okay. Nice story but sad all the same.

  13. Dennis Velco 2 Feb 2014, 9:35pm

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated. 
    I posted it to the largest LGBT Group on LinkedIn with over 24,400+ global members to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup. 
    Link to group >>
    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 24,400+ of your soon to be great connections on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries.  
    It’s core value is – Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe’s largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT – or a welcomed community ally.  

  14. To those religious nut jobs who say being gay is ‘a choice’; why the f**k would anyone ‘choose’ to go through the kind of mental torture this guy did over his sexuality? He struggled to accept who he truly is simply because of the conditioning which religion imposes on kids. CHILDREN have NO CHOICE when adults subject them to this brainwashing. So, if a kid is gay – from birth – they will struggle between their natural instincts and the religious conditioning they endure with the resultant psychological damage. Answer: outlaw religious education until kids are old enough to decide for themselves. No religious gay ‘taboos’ – no mental damage.

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