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