Monday, 2 December 2013
Some thoughts on the Tom Daley reactions
So Tom Daley has admitted that he is dating a man. He has also said that he still fancies girls.
However, as a gay sportsman I cannot believe some of the comments I have seen online since Tom courageously told us this very personal news.
So some of the negative comments that are out there.
How will this affect him in the locker room? Hardly at all, there is already an openly gay man in international diving the 2008 Olympic Champion, Matthew Mitcham, so in his sport at the top level the rest of the guys already have no issue. Indeed this is an issue I addressed some 3 years ago.
Will it affect his training? No, well at least not in an adverse way. Being in a stable relationship, if that is what this is, is actually likely to enhance his training as he has some that will enable him to relax in his down time. Also the fact this he is being honest about himself means he doesn't have to worry about people disclosing details of his personal life before he is able to. So that is possibly one thing that he is now able to put behind him.
Why is he not naming his boyfriend is he ashamed of him? Actually no. As Tom says he likes to have some personal life. Just because someone is in the public eye doesn't mean that their partner either wants to be, or desires to be. Tom is the one in this relationship who is in the public eye, so we should respect the privacy that he is wanting for his partner. On the news earlier Tom was quite rightly called the pop star of British sport, he was on posters for London 2012 in nothing more than his speedo. Anyone either male or female would take some time adjusting to being the partner of that sort of public figure.
Tom Daley is gay! Actually no he hasn't said that. He said above that he still fancies girls but that the person he is currently dating is another man. Tom himself hasn't put a label on his sexuality and for all the bisexuals out there, as Tom says, it shouldn't really matter. He is in love with someone and that is all that is important, the gender of the other person in his eyes is not significant. He says he couldn't be happier and all of us who have like him had to make some sort of announcement about our own sexuality not being heterosexual we are happy for him too. Tom doesn't want any label other than that he is in a relationship.
He's just greedy! I sadly have seen this biphopic comment from a number of gay men. Tom is not greedy he is in a relationship with one person. Even if he was poly that wouldn't make him greedy, he would only be providing the amount of love that he felt he could give and receive the amount he was able to. Thirteen years ago, after I had come out, I fell in love. The individual in question just happened to be female. So I can fully understand that Tom has fallen in love with the person, I can also understand that he is in a relationship and still fancy people of the opposite gender to that partner, I've been there and worn the t-shirt. My partner at the time did not feel insecure about that, but it allowed us to have a lot of honest conversations. Tom is in a monogamous relationship, he is therefore not greedy and gay men (as invariably it is they) who say this are being biphopic and should think about how excluded they feel at times.
As for the way Tom made the announcement it was through his own YouTube channel. It was a way he has spoken to his fans who have followed him for years. It was there that he told us about Splash, recently shared his first experience of an American Football game. In other words it was where like many YouTubers you consider your subscribers as friends. Which is why at the time of writing Tom's "coming out" vlog has over 40,000 likes and only 650 dislikes. People who support Tom don't care.