English rugby star Ben Cohen says his anti-homophobia campaign was prompted by heart wrenching stories of bullying.

Cohen, also known as Big Ben and Benji, will begin a U.S. tour to combat homophobia starting in May.

Fundraising to support The Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour, which includes stops in Atlanta, New York, Washington and Seattle, begins with two meet-and-greet events titled Beer with Ben in April in the UK.

In Manchester, Cohen and the Village Spartans Rugby Club will hold an event on Thursday, April 7 at the Taurus. A Wednesday, April 20 event at 2 Brewers teams up Cohen with the Kings Cross Steelers.

When gay website Towleroad.com asked, “What sparked the idea for the tour?” Cohen replied it was stories of anti-gay bullying.

“For some years now we have been receiving messages and emails from people all over the world with some heart wrenching stories. I really felt that I wanted to do something about it and I felt that I could,” Cohen said. “The [anti-gay bullying] video I made sparked off all sorts of things really, as well as emotions in me as a sports figure and as a dad, so we started thinking about what we could do. Then we received an invitation to go to a sports bar in New York. And then a proposal from a gay/gay-friendly rugby club in Atlanta at the same time.”