Welcome to the Club, Tom!

119

There can be few people in the world who by now are not aware that the lovely UK diver Tom Daley came out as ‘being in a relationship with another guy’ yesterday.

Dave and I listened to him, not on his YouTube channel, but on the website of BBC Radio 4 (UK) which played the entire sound track without interruption on its headline evening news programme yesterday. Yes, he rambled a little and ‘ummed and ahed’ quite a bit, but the sincerity of his message was very moving. When he said how he felt “so happy, so safe” for the first time in his life, Dave just fell into my arms and we shared a few tears.

The world-wide sporting community is still very afraid of coming out, and this open, unsponsored, unpaid and simply honest statement is an example to everyone.

Tom (rightly) will probably try to  keep his loving partner’s identity secret as long as he can, whilst the ugly red-tops will do everything they can think of to ‘expose’ the couple. So, in the early days, it might be a bit tough, but our trawl of the British media (today’s ‘The Times’ for example) is hugely positive, with articles by ‘out’ gay writers Matthew Parris (former MP!) and Patrick Strudwick which themselves are so moving too, and a piece in the sports section about how this simple act of Tom’s could be the release valve for gay footballers who are so likely to get crowd abuse.. Tom will draw strength for himself and his family from this rallying around, and I bet the next crowd he faces will be ecstatic.

Very, VERY well handled, Tom, and all of us here exiled in USA wish you both a long and fulfilling relationship. I wish everyone in this ‘Bible Belt’ would learn a stern lesson from Tom’s example.

19th Commonwealth Games - Day 10: Diving

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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