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Tom Daley’s baby joy met with social media homophobia

Hazel Southwell June 30, 2018

Tom Daley and husband Dustin Lance Black announced today that their baby son, Robbie Ray, has been born, to ‘love and joy.’ Which has been met by floods of homophobic comments on social media.

Daley and Black’s son was born three days ago, on the 27th June 2018. Which you would be forgiven for not believing while reading some social media responses, whose base homophobia makes clear the challenges LGBT+ parents face.

Robbie Ray’s birth was announced by both dads on social media, in celebratory posts sharing their happiness at becoming a family. Black and Daley spoke out while they were expecting their son about the bias they had faced for choosing a pregnancy surrogate to have their son.

The announcements were met positively on Instagram, with most commenters sharing the couple’s happiness at their new arrival.

However, when Daley made the same post to his Twitter, the responses had a very different flavour.

Although many friends and fans did congratulate the new dads, with retweets and favourites exceeding replies by a long way, many of the replies showed extremely homophobic views even in direct response to Daley.

One said “Another child that will be socially deprived and forever, scarred mentally and emotionally,” buying into the intensely homophobic view that two loving parents with well beyond average financial means could in some way hold back their child in society by both being men.

Another commenter responded to Daley’s Olympic teammate Jack Laugher, who tweeted “Congratulations boys ❤️” to the new family.

The response was “You don’t congratulate boys typically. Mothers are the ones who do the hard work”

Many of the homophobic comments claimed same-sex parenthood as “unnatural” or accused the couple of erasing the surrogate from their son’s birth, despite Daley and Black being extremely open about the process.

The Daily Mail published a Richard Littlejohn column shortly after their announcement that they were expecting a child, in which he made homophobic comments that having two dads was “not normal.”

Some responses also accused same-sex parents of being abusive or damaging to their children, such as “I knew a male couple who had an infant daughter. I saw the relationship. I worried about that child.” Similar views to those expressed by UKIP Families and Children spokesman Alan Craig.

Perhaps it should be no surprise that the Daily Mail still published a piece about Daley and Black’s announcement, including their social media posts or that the most upvoted comments on the piece are also intensely homophobic.

Comments ranked highly by Daily Mail website users ranged from faux-concern “Is this really in the best interests of the child” to speculating about the biology of Daley and Black’s baby and assuming the couple would break up imminently.

Or even the intensely offensive “hope they take this seriously,” in response to a couple who have said they have been working on becoming parents for more than two years and that they were “depriving a newborn of a mummy,” since as we all know in 2018 it is literally impossible for men to touch a baby.

Many men and women reproduce together without staying together, entirely by accident and without having made any plans to or even co-parent children not biologically related to themselves, as well as different-sex relationships contributing to the vast majority of divorces.

Despite this, it remains harder for LGBT+ people to become parents, with surrogacy or adoption often unavailable depending on financial means or local legislature – which often still prevents same sex couples accessing the same parenthood services as heterosexuals.

 

More: Olympic diver Tom Daley, Olympics, Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black

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