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Comment: Tom Daley coming out should bring us together, not divide us

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  1. Poenaru Brindusa-Katalin 3 Dec 2013, 8:31am

    I have the same feeling about this. I took some time and watched Tom on You Tube and I was touched and impressed. He is sensitive and very considerate; he doesn’t act up like a superhero. He just wants to be sincere. So , a lot of respect and congrats from me! And yes, such role models are needed; I live in a former socialist country, I am new in this field about LGBTQI communities, here we don’t speak about them, so I wonder how is to be…invisible. I am straight and I am ashamed whenever I think tthat what comes esily to me it is denied to others. I wonder how is to have a gay…etc. child and worry about the not friendly world he/she would have to live in. I wonder about all the mysery in an adolescent’s heart and mind because I had some odd moments until my son and my daughter grew up. So I praise Tom Daley and wish him all the best! and hope that a better future for all of us won’t take anothe 100 years.

    1. Thank you Poenaru, what a lovely comment, thanks for your support and honesty. xxx

  2. I agree entirely with the sentiments of this article. Whilst I accept as a community we are all very different there are times when we need to identify moments that cane shift attitudes. They come along once in a decade or so. There are lots of reasons we need to support Tom Daley rather than seek to find something to criticise (which quite frankly we seem expert at doing these days). I would implore people to actually watch Toms youtube clip before jumping to comment negatively. It is honest, heartfelt and demonstrates just how happy he in his first relationship. It remains difficult for people to come out (I know, I only did it myself three years ago). I have three children and homophobia is still out there amongst young people and teen suicides continue over this issue. I do struggle to understand why LGBT individuals choose to put down a 19 year old young man who’s coming to terms with his sexuality complicated by his public profile. Have they read the hate tweets he’s been sent?

  3. I was really annoyed yesterday at the level of disdain I saw on the likes of Twitter with the response to Tom’s coming out. We have all had our own personal struggles. Not all of us have an easy time coming out. It’s stressful and emotional. You always have that fear of “what if people react badly?”
    As a community we should be supportive, not castigating him for coming out. Some people have been so quick to belittle his announcement. They have been more than happy to dish out vitriolic comments about it. The people that decided to be so mean, take a bloody look at yourselves! The lad is 19, he’s probably been battling his emotions and feelings for a little while. He is still young. We all hoped for love and support when WE came out. We should be extending the same support to him.

    I wish Tom all the luck in the world and I hope this fella that he is seeing makes him happy.

  4. Tim Hanafin 3 Dec 2013, 10:18am

    +1

  5. Midnighter 3 Dec 2013, 11:11am

    I agree with the sentiment of the article and applaud its attempt to educate people.

    Sadly (or perhaps happily) there are people out there who have led very sheltered lives and haven’t been touched by anti-LGBT sentiment. Others are in a state of denial and confuse “what is” with “what ought to be”. And still others simply want to be the “cool kid” and impress us with their e-peen, with mouthings such as “doesn’t bother me”.

    You’re fighting human nature and ignorance here, but by all means let’s keep fighting it.

  6. Why should we stand together? We are not the same. I’m homosexual, not bisexual.

    1. No, your a bigot, but thank you for coming out to us all today. I’m glad you felt brave enough to do it.

      1. I don’t see how I’m a bigot. Being homosexual is different from being bisexual just like being homosexual is different from being heterosexual.

    2. Calvin you do understand what the B stands for in LGBT right? It stands for Bisexual. Yes you may be Gay but surely you must know how it felt to come out to family, friends, peers etc? He is part of the gang now. We should welcome him

      1. I have nothing against him. I’m just saying he’s different from me. I wish him well though.
        Just because i’m homosexual doesn’t mean I’ve signed on the LGBT club.

        1. you may conscider yourself different but a homophobe who sees you with a male partner wont be so understanding of your sexuality ..your comments show a poor insight into what people go through or you are just a very selfish ,self centred person …good luck to you

        2. Why is he different from you Calvin? He has entered into a relationship with a man. Regardless of whether he is Bi or not he is still having sex with a man… Not that sex defines any of us. He is a young lad. I don’t really get your position on this. I think it’s very odd to be bleating on about differences when if any of us were faced with a homophobe, they wouldn’t differentiate between LGBT. They would attack us regardless

          1. Are you saying that if he wasn’t in a relationship with a man than he would be different from me?
            Straight people are victims of homophobia too, so what?
            As I said I have nothing against him, I just don’t see why there should be any special bond between us and not with any straight person.

          2. Midnighter 3 Dec 2013, 3:43pm

            @calvin

            You don’t have to be the same, in order to stand together (and if you’ve ever watched the ending of TimeCop that could actually be a very bad thing, but I digress).

            “Straight people are victims of homophobia too, so what?”
            And many straight people fight for your rights out of a sense of social justice and a desire to make the world a better place. See the previous point.

            Why stand together? Because people working together are more likely to achieve their shared goal, and will achieve it faster.

            What I suggest you have in common are issues of civil liberties as sexual minorities. You aren’t obliged to do anything about it whatsoever, but if you want to achieve something (eg a spot of social reform), a little help is surely a welcome thing?

    3. First they came for the trade-unionists, and I did not speak out…

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Dec 2013, 12:07pm

    Well said, Sam. I enjoin you in celebrating Tom’s coming out and hope that this will enable others of his generation to feel that they too can take one of the most important steps they will ever take in their lives by coming out and leading happy and productive lives in society. A powerful tool to diminish bullying.

  8. colonelkira 3 Dec 2013, 12:40pm

    What a well written and interesting piece.

    Pity its 100% wrong.

    1. Thanks for such a thoroughly reasoned and well argued response. Next time, though, can you cut the reams of evidence and explanation and just condense your thoughts into one line of fatuous assertion for us?

  9. Elston Gunn 3 Dec 2013, 1:42pm

    My hope is that this level of hysteria will be a thing of the past. It presents an unhealthy trend in some young people to only feel their experiences are validated if an lgbt celebrity exists. The sense I get from some reactions is not joyous per se, but almost a desperate relief – this is a worrying reflection on young people – more works needs to be done on confidence and bullying. Tom Daley coming out won’t change these problems.

    But its still a nice moment and I’m impressed by the way he did it :)

    1. I don’t think this is about feeling validated by celebrities – I think it’s about feeling validated by the example of others in general. The sense that we’re not alone. A lot of young LGBT people will have grown up with no LGBT friends or role models in their own lives, which can make anyone feel all the more isolated and uncertain in themselves. I know it did with me. And I think that part of Tom’s charm and presence is that, of all the celebrities out there, he’s probably the one to whom teenagers can most relate. He’s not a champagne-swilling Hollywood luvvie – he’s a regular (if unfeasibly pretty) schoolboy from Plymouth who just happened to become world-famous thanks to his diving.

      1. I think you pretty much hit it — one reason it’s so important for people to come out is that too many LGBT kids live in places where “there’s no one like them.” I watched Daley’s own video, and I also caught his interview on Jonathan Ross, and I’m tremendously impressed by his honesty and genuineness. He’s a normal kid talking about his first serious romance, if somewhat more articulate than most.

        As for the negative comments on Twitter and the comments sections of this blog and too many others, I realized a long time ago that being gay or bi is not a choice. Being a bitter, nasty queen is.

  10. Thank you for writing this!
    Last night I watched Tom’s video. I liked it. I wish him and his boyfriend all the best. But last night I also read the comments here and on other WebSites, comments by our ilk, and I read the homophobic outburst on tweeter against this lovely young man, too. I went to bed with a huge feeling of dismay. This morning when I woke up I thought of him and felt sad. He is in love, he is young, he is a good person, he is a role model not only for kids, but also for middle-aged people like mysefl. He should not be the target of so much hatred.

    Best wishes Tom! Take care.

    1. How is he a role model?

      1. Midnighter 3 Dec 2013, 5:11pm

        Because he is a high profile sports personality.

        “According to a survey of teachers in the United Kingdom conducted in 2008 by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, young people most frequently chose sports stars as role models, followed by pop stars” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_model)

        How he behaves and what he does evidently influences others who follow his example.

        Whether or not you value his example is entirely up to you, of course.

  11. Kevin Toomey 3 Dec 2013, 3:03pm

    How wonderful it is when a person comes out! No matter were or when it is something to be applauded. Everyone has their own journey to make. Here a wonderful person has shared with us all. This will only make it easier for those that follow, we can only hope. Bravo!!!

  12. Richard Jones 3 Dec 2013, 4:43pm

    Good article, Sam. I watched the YouTube piece yesterday afternoon and was very impressed by it.

  13. He has been brave IMO. Anyone who ‘comes out’ to the public and who is in the public eye should be lauded to the skies. Especially when one considers the very nasty, venomous homophobic rants about him (Tom Daley) on Twitter. I would be horrified if I read that about myself.
    It’s a huge step to take and there are certain members of the public who don’t make ‘coming out’ very easy for GLBTQ people. Homophobia is alive and well unfortunately and it’s people like Mr Daley who, with this announcement will, hopefully help others to do the same and begin to live their lives as themselves and without shame.

  14. Very well said. You’ve hit the nail on the head there, thank you Sam :)

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