Deputy Editor Joseph Patrick McCormick writes on why PinkNews has not reported on speculation over who Tom Daley is dating, following his coming out earlier this week.
So, Tom, it’s been quite a journey over the past two days, and it’s not over yet. You’ve not only taken my first comment piece, but here is my second.
We’ve been inundated here with emails asking the same question. Why would we report about Tom Daley’s coming out, why we reported about his grandparents’ acceptance of his announcement, and the world’s reaction to it, but yet have chosen not to follow many other outlets in reporting about speculation to do with who he is in a relationship with.
Firstly – an attempt to contact Tom Daley, or any other party speculated on, and ask for a comment would be futile. The entire point of how he chose to come out, and why it was interesting, was that it was on his own terms. He published his coming out video on his own YouTube channel, filmed on a camera phone, not in a newspaper interview, or otherwise. He did it when he chose to do so, and presumably will make an announcement about who he is seeing, if and when he sees appropriate.
Secondly – what is also interesting is that Tom Daley’s coming out has opened up a really honest debate from within and outside the LGBT+ community on where perceive that we stand with equality, and most prominently it seems, people’s own decisions to define (or not define) themselves as they please.
The latter point is what, for us, this whole thing comes down to. I’m not here to take a side in the debate about labels. I see the merits of both choosing a label, and therefore aligning yourself to a community, and not choosing a label (for whatever reason), and defining your relationship as what it is.
Just as Tom Daley did not use the word gay, bisexual, pansexual, or otherwise in his YouTube video, he has also not himself confirmed who his partner is.
Many reports have taken speculation about who Tom Daley is dating as gospel, and some have gone further to bring up old issues over past private issues.
Until one of the pair decide to confirm reports, and make a statement about their relationship, PinkNews will not report or speculate about it, in the same way that (after some lessons quickly learned) we would not apply a label to his sexuality.
Working in this industry it is easy to lose track of things, or make snap decisions in following a big story (trust me, I’ve had to make a few), but what this comes down to is that Tom Daley is a 19-year-old dealing with coming out, with the added pressure of attention from the world’s media.
I commend him for making the decision to publicly reveal that he is dating a man, but who that man is is only his business, unless an announcement is made.
Joseph Patrick McCormick is the Deputy Editor of PinkNews.co.uk, and tweets at @JPMcCormick.