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.