Yesterday Tom Daley came out as bisexual, and announced his current relationship with a man. I think it's great that he came out, and will be a great model to other young sports players who are gay. It's great that he is happy and the reception from the public has generally been very accepting.
However, I don't agree with the media circus that has surrounded it. On ITV news last night, it ran alongside some shocking stories including the Helicopter Crash in Glasgow, The Italian Woman who had a forced abortion, and the murder trial of Lee Rigby. What it felt like was that Tom Daley coming out was as shocking as these other stories. When really, coming out nowadays is not such a big deal in most situations.
A few years ago, one of my childhood friends came out as gay. I completely took me by surprise, but what was actually more surprising was how little it mattered.
When I was a teenager, coming out seemed like it would be a huge life changing move, a massive step and something that would change the way people perceive you. And while does change your life in the way that you feel completely honest with yourself, a lot of the time, it doesn't change the way people see you.
I think my friend would agree with me when I say the whole thing was completely anti-climactic.
After the initial 'Guess what? I'm Gay' moment, I completely forgot. I felt bad, like I wasn't being supportive or bothered enough, but to be honest, nothing had changed. He was still one of my best friends. Literally nothing changed. I couldn't care less who he fancied or fell in love with, he was still him. Life went on.
What I think is important to say to any young person who is afraid of coming out, is to say that most of the time there's not such a huge fuss. Most people are generally very accepting nowadays, and this whole media circus doesn't reflect that. It's a completely normal thing, in fact, it happens Daley (haha).
What do you think? Is it a good thing that all there's been huge public attention? Or is it a bit dated that the media still report stories like this? Let me know by commenting at the bottom of this post.
Congratulations to Tom and his boyfriend, and I hope they have many very happy years together.