Tom Daley is like the UK’s little brother – we’ve all watched him grow up into an articulate and decent young man. Today he decided that he’d had enough of the speculation and innuendo that surrounds his interview and image and come out on YouTube to ensure his message was made in his own words, in his own time and on his terms. For that I applaud him.
I’m not going to second guess anything about the young lad because I don’t know him – very few people do. Prying into his personal life is really none of our business and I’m sure that some commentators will reference his late father in the stories that will follow this story, but it’s none of their business. All we need to know is he’s happy, everything else is private.
This leads me to ask the question – why in this day and age, where same-sex relationships are a norm, where civil partnerships and marriage are commonplace and where many of us know gay and lesbians is there still a need to “come out” at all? This is not a criticism of Tom and I can fully understand his decision to make this announcement, but surely it shouldn’t matter what his sexual preference is because it’s none of our business.
It plays in to the hands of the homophobes and marks people out as being different from equal that there needs to be statements and public declarations. I know that if either of our children were gay that I would love them just as much as i do now – that wouldn’t change the way I feel about them – but at the same time neither would I want or need a “warning” that this was the case because it almost undermines or asks them to justify how they feel. We should be able, as a grown up country, to just accept the truth when it happens.
I respect his decision but it doesn’t change the way I view him at all. For me he has more than proved his worth through his sporting ability and his approach to all the nasty comments that were made about his private life and the death of his beloved dad two years ago. He more than proved himself as a strong and admirable young man by coming through all that and continuing to improve in his sport.
I’m sure that some will see him as a role model and feel more confident in their own personal situation. That they perhaps find the courage through his announcement to make one of their own, but for me I’d rather we didn’t need to worry about it anymore and just accept that people’s private lives are none of the public’s business.
Here’s his video from YouTube: