STAND UP WITH BEN COHEN
I am passionate about standing up against homophobia and feel compelled to take action. It is time we stand up for what is right and support young people who are being harmed. As athletes, it is not enough just to have strong bodies. We must have strong characters and use our voices to support those who need and deserve it.
Every person on this planet has a right to be true to themselves, to love and be loved, and to be happy. I encourage others to stand up with me and make a difference. Stand up for equality, stand up against bullying.
Join In And Stand Up With Ben Cohen
London - Manchester - Atlanta - New York - Washington - Seattle
Friday, 06 May 2011 00:00Things are hotting up with the tour plans now and I am really looking forward to flying out next week to join the rest of the team. I have been spending some time with my family at home as I will be away for some time.
I was really chuffed to be invited to the GLAAD awards in San Francisco as one of the presenters. It’s not something I’ve done before so I’ll probably be a bit nervous. I know I’m going to be looked after so it will be fine. A new suit and a haircut is called for I think!
After the GLAAD awards we are back to Atlanta to start the Acceptance Tour 2011. Our first stop is in Atlanta at Fado’s Bar for a Beer with Ben night. Before that though there will be lots of meetings about the new StandUp Foundation and a photoshoot for a variety of things coming up.
Sitting in my garden in England it all seems a bit surreal, and I have to admit that I am anxious to fly out and get involved. There is a huge amount of work to do. I feel so honoured to be in a position to make a difference to other peoples lives. It is an incredible feeling. I know there will be lots of challenges along the way, but the bullying HAS to stop, young people should no longer feel they need to end their lives to escape the pain because they feel ‘different’ and we all need to stand up and show an attitude of tolerance and understanding.
Lots of people ask me why I feel so strongly about my work with StandUp. One of the many reasons is that people out there, who I have never met, write to me and tell me their stories. This is part of an email that I was sent the other day:
I happen to love sport and was made to hate it at school by the constant bullying and harassment that I like many others suffered. What an amazing thing for a teenage boy in 2011 to know that there are people like you out in the world that don’t subscribe to the hatred and ignorance that breeds in our schools.
I spent years being taunted and made fun of because of my sexuality. I am very straight acting, not at all camp and love my female friends dearly, I was able to hide my sexuality until I was outed at school. Whilst never pushed to the brink of suicide I know the feeling of being cast out and ridiculed and feeling as though there is no where to hide.
(Sent through Ben’s website – www.ben-cohen.com)
I receive emails like this all the time. So you can see why I feel so privileged to be able to help people like this guy who wrote to me.
Lots of work to do. We’ve only just begun. Until next time…..
p.s. For more information on the GLAAD Awards...
On Twitter - #glaadawards
Link to the GLAAD website
Link to the GLAAD Facebook event
Link to the GLAAD Facebook page
And please share any of these links wherever you are online