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Ben Cohen, Rugby Star And Gay Rights Advocate, Wanted A Male 'Strictly Come Dancing' Partner

09/17/2013 12:52 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

British rugby veteran and prominent gay rights advocate Ben Cohen planned to make his reality television debut extra memorable by giving it a same-sex twist, according to reports.

When he was plucked for the eleventh season of BBC's smash series "Strictly Come Dancing" (the UK version of "Dancing with the Stars"), Cohen -- who is married with children -- said he considered a male dance partner, in the form of the show's Robin Windsor.

"I’ve no qualms dancing with a woman or a man," Cohen is quoted by the Mirror as saying. "Kristina [Rihanoff] will be easier to pick up though.”

Cohen, who has garnered a sizable gay following after steamy underwear ads and calendar shoots, added, "I like to break down stereotypes."

As Pink News pointed out, Windsor seemed to approve, noting, "He kept saying to me, ‘I hope they put me with you,’ but it wasn’t to be. He’s amazing, the things he’s done for the gay community. I adore him.”

In an interview with The Huffington Post past year, Cohen said he wasn't bothered by the attention from his gay male fanbase. "If men find me attractive, that’s fair enough," he said at the time. "I’m very comfortable in my sexuality, and I’m honored and flattered by it—it’s lovely to hear."

He also founded the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, which is focused on combating homophobia and bullying among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, in 2011.

Earlier this month, Cohen confirmed his participation in the British reality series, posting and tweeting the following image to his fans:

Straight Professional Athletes Who’ve Come Out In Support Of LGBT Rights
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