UK rugby star Ben Cohen says he's happy
to be a sex symbol to gay men.
The handsome, six-foot-two star of the
Sale Sharks club says he's never actively courted a gay following but
is happy about his status as a gay icon.
Cohen, who is married to his wife Abbie and has
two children, twin daughters Hariette and Isabelle, began his
professional sports career at the age of 17.
“I have been lucky to have had great
success in my career with winning the World Cup in 2003 with England
and the Heineken Cup with Northampton in 2000,” Cohen, now 31,
In 2008, he was named UK gay glossy Gay
Times' sport personality of the year.
In a cover
story for gay sports magazine Compete, Cohen talked about
his gay following.
“I embrace diversity more than just a
gay fanbase,” he said. “I am happy and content in my life and
feel that everyone should have the opportunity of feeling that way
and being true to themselves.”
“I have never really thought about
whether I court a gay fanbase. I actually find it quite amazing that
people are so interested in me in that way. I don't see it myself.
But it seems that my acceptance of those who like me makes a big
difference to a lot of gay men.”
Cohen added that he's received numerous
communications from gay men who say he's inspired them to come out
and from parents that say he's helped them accept their gay child.
“I have no idea how I have managed to
do that, I have to confess. But if my openness has done that then it
seems that it is the right way to be.”