Tom Daley. Olympic bronze medalist. Commonwealth Games gold medalist. Bi-sexual. Teenager. Brave young man flung into the world of celebrity. What is the most important face in this list?
The newest celebrity scandal is Tom ‘coming out’ in his very poignant and personal YouTube video. There have been mixed emotions from people regarding this. It was obvious he was gay. Why did he have to make such a big deal of it? Why does it even matter?
It shouldn’t matter, but sadly we are in a society that needs to know the ins and outs of the lives of everyone in the public eye. Tom said himself in his video, he was recently misquoted and wanted to set the record straight. He could have done a magazine interview, or gone on a chat show, but who’s to say he wouldn’t get edited and misquoted there? His decision to make a YouTube video with a very shaky camera on his bed at home earns him a great amount of respect from me. Not because he’s so brave to do it (which he is) or because he chose honesty over anything else (well done) but because he did it on his own terms in his own way.
For me, his sexuality is of little consequence. I currently study drama and in the past have done musical theatre and dance. Thankfully the arts is one of the more accepting disciplines (disagree with me if you will) and homosexuality, bisexuality and anything else in between is commonplace. Men and women are comfortable enough to be themselves and rarely feel like they have to hide their true selves. The day Dayly’s video was broadcast the reaction in my house was ‘oh well, at least we still have a shot’. Like most handsome celebrities in a relationship, we mourned a little then moved on. His (topless) picture is still on our fridge, and our respect for his achievements hasn’t waned.
What upsets me is the importance the media is putting on this. Yes, it is crucial that more sportsmen and women become comfortable with their sexuality. But they shouldn’t have to ‘come out’. Why can’t they just be with a man? Or a woman. Or both. In our modern society, we are still worringly close-minded about sexuality. Surely we are advanced enough now to know that love is love, it takes many forms and we all experience it differently.
This may have become a bit of a rant, and for that I apologise. But to Tom I say this – stay strong, and follow your heart. If you think it’s right, then it probably is!