BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Straight international rugby star Ben Cohen says his thousands of gay Facebook fans hit the “Like” button because “they used to find me attractive,” but now stick by him because of his anti-bullying campaign.
“We’re saving lives and that’s what we want to do,” says Cohen, who retired from rugby earlier this year to work full time on his Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation. “We want to stop people from committing suicide, to stop being bullied because they’re perceived to be different.”
Cohen, the married father of twin girls, became an anti-bullying activist after his father was slain breaking up a fight at a Northampton nightclub.
The British heartthrob, 33, will be feted Saturday by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force at “Sparkle,” a fundraising dinner at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
The party will also honor Miami attorney and gay-rights activist Georg Ketelhohn, and feature a special appearance by 1970s power actress Pam Grier, most recently seen in Showtime’s The L Word.