Tom Daley: ‘I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier’.
Olympic diver Tom Daley came out via Youtube this week, in an emotional video where the 2012 bronze-medallist spoke frankly about his developing relationship – the first romantic relationship of any real significance in his life – with another man.
“In an ideal world I shouldn’t be doing this video because it shouldn’t matter,” said Daley, 19. But we live in a time and a country where, although acceptance and tolerance of bi- and homosexuality has come a long way, it can still be difficult for people to come out as gay or lesbian. It can also be a confusing time for the person who is struggling to get to grips with their feelings and realisations themselves.
In his video Daley first revealed that he was dating and had met someone special: “That someone is a guy, and it did take me by surprise a little bit,” he went on to say. “It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen, but it wasn’t until this spring that something clicked, it felt right, and I was like, OK.”
Realising that you’re homosexual can be enlightening, relieving and comforting, but it can also be a confusing time, as you struggle to manage your feelings and worry about how those around you might respond. Some people have always known they were gay, whereas for others that realisation may come later in life and come as something as a shock in itself. This period may be a time of questioning and wondering, as you explore new feelings and get to grips with what is changing for you.
At The Grove we know how important it is to be listened to and supported while you explore your thoughts, feelings and emotions around your sexuality. Being heard can help you make more sense of your story and experiences and enable you to feel stronger in who you truly are. There may be internal conflict around accepting your sexuality for yourself, for any number of personal, family and social reasons. It can help to work through this before talking to others in your wider networks, so that you feel more aware of yourself and more confident of your own identity in the first instance. This is important even within a circle of close-knit friends and family members.
You may already be feeling comfortable with your own identity and sexuality, but this does not mean that it’s always easy to tell those around you, be that parents, friends or colleagues. If you are worried about coming our to friends and family, whether you have been aware of your bi- or homosexuality for some time or whether it is a new realisation, you may want to think more deeply about how to manage your disclosure to ensure that you are best looking after yourself. Let’s talk first, before making any big announcements, so that we can think about how best to tell your friends and family what you want to disclose about your sexuality in a way that works best for you.