The world needs more positive gay role models, homosexual men and women that LGBTI youth can look up to for guidance, hope and direction. The world also needs more straight allies, heterosexual men and women who take a stand against inequality, bullying and discrimination. The world needs more people like Ben Cohen.
Former English rugby union player, Ben Cohen has developed a global gay following thanks to his rustic good looks and well-formed athletic body but it’s his advocacy work against bullying that has earned him the greatest respect. In 2011, inspired by his father Peter, who was fatally injured while protecting an attack victim, Ben established The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation Inc., the first organisation dedicated solely to anti-bullying. The mission of the foundation is “to raise awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying and to raise funds to support those doing real-world work to stop it”. As LGBTI youth are often the targets of bullying, the foundation has worked closely with the community by providing grants and assistance to various LGBTI organisations.
On his website Cohen says that “it is time we stand up for what is right and support people who are being harmed. Every person on this planet has a right to be true to themselves, to love and be loved, and to be happy”.
Handsome, distinguished, philanthropic and a straight ally, the world needs more people like Ben Cohen.