Handsome hunk and British diving sensation Tom Daley, 19, “outed” himself as gay this week, no doubt breaking the hearts of his many female fans. However, in the increasingly liberal west does the fact that he is gay, matter?
Well obviously it does. Straight people never feel the need to “out” themselves as straight and until they do, no person can ever truly claim that sexual orientation does not matter.
Saturday the good news is that Tom and his partner – successful American screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, 39, have been accepted, at least by the media. Negative reviews on the gay outing are scarce in the media. In fact it is hard to find any that form an attack on the couple.
On the contrary, Saturday, the Daily Mirror published details of Tom’s birthday celebrations back in May and how Dustin joined friends on a rooftop overlooking London to enjoy cocktails before a night on the town.
Whether Dustin joined Tom and his pals when they raved the night away at the swanky central London nightclub Funk Buddha is not known, but the couple’s relationship was not public at that time.
Check out the comments of some articles online though and it is easy to see homophobia still thrives.
With Tom living at home with Mum, Debbie, in Plymouth, England, and boyfriend Dustin based in the US, spending time together is not straightforward.
Reports by some media sources that the couple have been house-hunting in the UK and spotted checking out a swish apartment carrying a hefty price tag getting up close and personal could be a whole lot easier for the boys in the near future.
A source told The Sun: “Moving into his own place will mean the couple get to spend more time alone together.” Well obviously!
Tom opted to reveal his sexuality to the world in true 21st Century style by posting a video on YouTube. His “coming-out” appeared unrehearsed, almost casual but was it well scripted?
Boyfriend Dustin is 20 years senior to Tom and has been a gay activist for some time. As a successful scriptwriter he knows all about using the right words and technique in front of the camera. Tom may have chosen to record the footage on his mobile phone camera but it still may have been carefully scripted.
A couple of days ago the Daily Mail reported that some of Tom’s family members have expressed concerns that Dustin may have pressurized Tom into publicly declaring his sexual orientation. Sure Tom is young but believing he did not jump but was pushed demeans the guy’s intelligence and strength of character.
Gay or straight, the cat as they say is out of the bag, and it cannot be stuffed back in.
Typically, now that we all know Tom is gay, it is easy to see. The same thing happened with the late US actor Rock Hudson. Perhaps it is just that once a person is outed he or she can drop the pretense and the individual be true to themselves, allowing them to be what or who they are?
Tom has experienced a tough few years.
The death of his father, Robert, who was an integral part of his sporting career, was particularly tough. His father died in 2011, aged just 40, after a fierce battle with brain cancer. Tom had yet to complete his schooling and was also one of England’s sporting medal hopes for the London 2012 Olympics.
Daley then has already shown that he is a fine young man capable of fighting back following adversity. The young man is becoming an adult and outing his sexual orientation is his choice and it has ultimately to be the right decision.
Better than a life of secrets and lies.
By Eileen Kersey