Olympic bronze medallist, Tom Daley, openly announced via YouTube today that he has a boyfriend, and the internet went crazy.
Tom uploaded his video, called: “Tom Daley: Something I want to say”, admitting that he’s been in a relationship with a man since spring, and that he’s never been happier.
In less than 12 hours it has received over 2.6m views.
Before people start throwing around the word gay, however, it should be made clear that Tom has not come out as gay at all; he hasn’t even come out as bi. Perhaps he’s pansexual? (No, that does not mean he fancies pans). The media storm following Tom’s brave video has been ignorant of this, with media outlets and people claiming he has come out as a gay man.
The Daily Mirror tweeted: “Tom Daley coming out as gay will help thousands of young people who struggle with their sexuality”. Whilst the message from the left wing news publication is positive, their obliviousness to Tom’s actual sexuality almost makes redundant the awareness that LGBT+ groups like the Trevor Project and PFLAG have worked tirelessly to publicise.
Whilst homosexuality is a well known type of sexuality, there are other types that do not get the recognition they deserve, leaving children who are born as bisexual, pansexual, trans or asexual, with no one to look up to or fight for their corner.
So whilst the media could have taken this as a perfect time to ponder sexuality, and remove the nonsensical idea that being bisexual etc. should be seen as taboo or attention seeking , they decided to publish literary vomit about Tom Daley being gay.
Well done, journalists.
Having said this, it is still a remarkably brave move from Tom to come out in such a way. Not only will this give hope to a lot of LGBT+ youth, but it also acts as a defiant stand for human rights, as Tom is hopeful to take place in the 2016 Olympics in Russia, where homosexuality is restricted and punishable.
Tom stated in his video that in an ideal world, he wouldn’t have to come out and his video wouldn’t be necessary, but until the time when people across the globe can come out and not be ridiculed, bullied or punished, then videos like his are just what’s needed to keep the fight for justice and equality alive.