Tom Daley Isn’t (Exactly) Gay
If you’re as thirsty as I am, you would understand the frenzy that ensued on social media this morning as news spread that Tom Daley is gay.
This was all very well and good to me. I mean, look at him.
But being the skeptic journalist that I am, I searched for the source of this information.
I found the Youtube video in which Tom Daley made his “coming out” announcement, a confession delivered from bed. I watched the whole video and was overcome with joy for him (and envy, as I’m single this Holiday season, GOD HELP US ALL) but was perplexed by the reactions and assumptions made by people who heard the news.
But at what point in the video did Tom Daley come out as a gay man? At what point did Tom Daley define his own sexuality? The only news Daley gave to the world was his relationship status with a man. This comes in great contrast to Lance Bass’ huge “coming out” announcement with a People Magazine cover which read “Yep, I’m Gay.” Daley’s headline would simply be, “I’m in a Relationship with a Guy.”
And one would say, well wouldn’t this gay thing be inferred? Well sure, it very well could be. But Daley even made it clear he “still fancies girls.” Daley is in a relationship with a guy but to define his sexuality as gay is reaching and not the media’s right to do so. Sometimes a guy will be going on his merry way, dating ladies and BAM…he comes across a guy that makes him go, “Hey shawty what yo name is.”
Look, the problem is we like absolutes. We like to label, put things and people in categories to ease our minds and define what we don’t understand (or wish to understand). We also hear what we want to hear, so the all the gay men (including me) who have been fantasizing about Tom Daley coming out of the closet, grabbed at this piece of information and interpreted it as we wanted. Tom’s announcement does deserve
Tom Daley could very well be gay or bisexual. I’m just saying it’s not our right to decide if he is. And maybe he doesn’t need to label himself at all. All that matters is he spoke his truth, and his bravery is inspiring.
xoxo Robby Rob
Follow me on Twitter @whatrobertsaid.