From Tel Aviv, with love

Broadway star shares how he came out as gay during Israel trip

Ben Platt says a chaperone overheard kids mentioning his sexuality on 8th grade trip, assumed he was being bullied; to preempt call to his parents, he told them about his sexuality

Actor Ben Platt is seen walking midtown on March 5, 2020 in New York City.  (Raymond Hall/GC Images via JTA)
Actor Ben Platt is seen walking midtown on March 5, 2020 in New York City. (Raymond Hall/GC Images via JTA)

JTA — In a recently released Netflix film, Broadway star Ben Platt shared his coming out story — and it involves a trip to Israel.

He shared the vignette from “Ben Platt: Live from Radio City Music Hall,” which debuted in May, in a clip on his Twitter account on Monday.

As Platt explains, he realized he was gay when he was 12, but hadn’t felt it necessary to tell anyone.

“I was in eighth grade on a trip to Israel, like you do in the eighth grade. When you’re a Jew. A kid in my class who was on the trip made a comment something like, ‘Oh, Ben, is so lucky. Because he’s gay he gets to hang out with all the girls and be in their hotel room because they don’t care.’”

“It was no derogatory thing at all. It wasn’t a bullying thing. It was just true. All my friends were girls and they would let me hang out with them. But the chaperone overheard this.”

The chaperone assumed Platt was being bullied and planned to call his parents. He didn’t want them to find out that way, so he went back to his Tel Aviv hotel and dialed his home in the US.

His mother, Julie, answered and he told her he needed to tell her something important. Before Ben could finish his sentence, mom blurted out: “Is this about your sexuality?”

She added: “You spent most of your childhood dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. No one is surprised.”

Platt ends by wishing the same “nothing experience” for other young people struggling to come out.

Platt, who has starred in Broadway shows such as “Dear Evan Hansen” and transitioned to TV in Netflix’s “The Politician,” released his debut album of original music last year.

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