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Tom Daley Is In Love With A Man

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 8:30 PM

As most readers probably know by now, 19-year-old British diver (and Olympian) Tom Daley announced today in a YouTube video that he is currently in a relationship with a man. He doesn’t label himself as gay, and says that he “still fancies girls.” I’ve said before that I’m pretty much over celebrity news of this type. It’s happened so often that the impact just isn’t there for me any longer. Daley is an exception since he’s a currently top-of-the-heap athlete, and the athletic world has been perhaps the segment of society that has been most resistant to people being anything other than straight.


 

As has been increasingly the case for me, I am most interested in the response of others. In this case I was struck by how routinely people are using the word “gay” to describe Tom. Even some news outlets headlined their stories with the word, and many others referred to him as bisexual, or as “coming out.” No, he didn’t say he’s gay, and no, he didn’t come out as anything. He simply said he’s currently in a relationship with a man. Why does everyone feel the need to attach a label to Tom? He may turn out to be mostly gay, or this may be his only gay relationship. Or perhaps he’ll turn out be pansexual. He hasn’t told us, and WE DON’T KNOW. We need to quit reacting as if we’re living in a two dimensional world.


 

HUGE numbers of gay people are saying “I knew it all along!” And that’s why they are referring to Tom as gay. Bullshit! And, of course, there are gay people criticizing him for how he made his announcement. For example: “This is barely an example of ‘courage.’ Stumbling over your words and saying ‘I still fancy girls but I’m dating a guy’ only perpetuates a negative/shameful view of gay people.” On the other hand, my favorite comment so far is: “The only people who should have to explain themselves on this topic are the homophobes. They are the outcasts in todays society.” And I love the headline from Slate. “Tom Daley and Maria Bello Come Out…As Nothing: Do Labels Still Matter?”


 

Here's a link to Tom's YouTube announcement:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJwJnoB9EKw


 

And here's a link to a super-sexy video Tom made with his British teammates. Tom is hot, but that blond guy!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bws52wtv6Ts&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bws52wtv6Ts&feature=youtu.be  

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3 Comments

Reply Ulysses Dietz
6:12 PM on December 10, 2013 
Tom Daley isn't rejecting labels. He's simply not adopting the label "gay." He's with a man, but he still fancies girls. So, he's bisexual, whether he adopts the label or not. Whether or not his news is interesting or not, it without question takes courage for any public figure, much less a teenager in an athletic context, to do this. This in no way puts into question the idea of "born this way." Whatever he is he's been all his life - he may have only recently accepted the fact that he "fancies" guys, but I very much doubt that you look like he does and spend so much time with other mostly-naked guys of equal beauty and have absolutely no inkling that you're attracted to men. He's at that place on the spectrum or the grid or whatever where it took one particular guy to ignite what was already there. The fact that it's a man 20 years his senior is very interesting. Dustin Lance black has the body of a twink (I mean that as a compliment; I did too, once) and obviously the mind of a very sophisticated, worldly, very smart man. I can see the attraction, and it speaks well of Daley's own intelligence.
Reply Dennis Stone
1:50 PM on December 5, 2013 
Hue-Man - That's an interesting theory. I've always thought it was insecurity, but I hadn't thought of the insecurity being about that specifically. I think a lot of gays ARE insecure, and so they need more and more people to publicly join their ranks. Every time someone does, they somehow feel better about themselves, especially if it's a prominent person they admire. When people like Daley reject labels they don't feel they can fully "claim" them, and they then feel their underlying insecurity. Beyond that I think it's related to a feeling that the person isn't brave enough to "go all the way" and call themselves gay. If THEY are "fully" gay themselves it's hard to accept that other people who like the same sex would be different than they are. That's one of the most common human flaws - assuming that how you see the world is how others will see it; what you know others should know; what you ARE, others must be. They can't relate to bisexuality or a non-label outlook, and therefore have trouble accepting it in others.

Hue-Man says...
Do gays - especially - feel threatened by people like Daley who reject labels because it calls into question whether sexual orientation is not so secure, that "Born that Way" is being challenged from inside? If sexual orientation isn't secure, does this lead to "sexual preference" and ultimately "gay lifestyle"? And then, "your sexuality is a choice, so choose to be hetero"? My guess is that this same insecurity may explain in part the frequent comments about bisexuals being gays with training wheels. Better to have that conversation than to attack the messenger. (Knowing who I was attracted to at age 12, I look forward to the flimsy "gay lifestyle" arguments!)
Reply Hue-Man
12:55 PM on December 5, 2013 
Do gays - especially - feel threatened by people like Daley who reject labels because it calls into question whether sexual orientation is not so secure, that "Born that Way" is being challenged from inside? If sexual orientation isn't secure, does this lead to "sexual preference" and ultimately "gay lifestyle"? And then, "your sexuality is a choice, so choose to be hetero"? My guess is that this same insecurity may explain in part the frequent comments about bisexuals being gays with training wheels. Better to have that conversation than to attack the messenger. (Knowing who I was attracted to at age 12, I look forward to the flimsy "gay lifestyle" arguments!)