Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Congratulations to Tom, but why is it news?

Tom Daley 'came out' on Monday and said he was in a relationship with a man. Meltdown occurred with everyone celebrating him being gay.

He isn't as he 'still fancies girls', he is bisexual but massive respect to him for telling the world in an open and honest way.

For a 19-year-old, there is something deeply impressive how Daley handles himself, mature beyond his years yet his statement on YouTube belied the vulnerability he clearly felt about how 'society' would react to the news.

Today's papers have reacted much to be expected, over sensationalised and hyped to the max reporting and the usual 'maybe a footballer will now' lines.

Why is it news though? There are probably hundreds of 19-year-olds who either know they are bi, gay or lesbian or have come out to much less fanfare!

Being openly bi or gay won't make Tom Daley a better diver, but it will make him happier and more comfortable in his own skin and that is what we as society have to remember.

If just one teenager has the courage to come out to their friends and parents as a result of this and be accepted then that's the news.

We pontificate and stress over the lack of coming out in professional sport, especially football, but is it any wonder when those that do have the glare of the media for days and weeks?

And of course any brave footballer who decides to do so will instantly be compared to Justin Fashanu because hey we haven't moved forward as a country since the 80s.

Being bi/gay/transgender should not be an issue, it's nearly 2014 for crying out loud!

If anyone 'comes out' nowadays we should simply say glad you are happy, and carry on being a friend, a parent, a relative or a supporter.

I am pleased for Tom, the lad has been through enough to last a lifetime and I wish him and his partner every happiness.

But his announcement wasn't news, it was real life