‘It was one of the scariest things’: Tom Daley discusses ‘coming out’ and says ‘you’re always told you’re different growing up as a queer person’
Tom Daley discussed ‘coming out’ in a new book by Andrew Gelwicks, The Queer Advantage: Conversations with LGBTQ+ Leaders on the Power of Identity.
The Olympic diver, 26, revealed his sexuality in a YouTube video in 2013, calling it ‘one of the scariest things to have to do,’ in an extract from the book, shared by Glamour.
He added: ‘I was so terrified to press send on that YouTube video. I wanted to get people off my back, continuously asking questions about my love life.
‘It was one of the scariest things’: Tom Daley, (left) discussed ‘coming out’ and claimed you’re ‘always told you are different growing up as a queer person’
‘I knew I had found love. And I wanted people to know that. Doing a YouTube video was the way I communicated with my fans and was the only way I could say exactly what I wanted to say without getting my words twisted.’
Tom married Dustin Lance Black, 45, in 2017 after two years of dating, and they are parents to son Robbie, two, born via a surrogate.
When asked if he feels as though top heterosexual athletes treat Tom as an equal, he said he hadn’t felt any differential treatment, but felt like one of the lucky ones.
Family: Tom and husband Dustin Lance Black welcomed their son Robert in 2018 via a surrogate (pictured, the toddler cuddling up with the Olympic diver)
But he admitted that ‘growing up as a queer person’ had been ‘challenging’.
He said: ‘You are always told that you are different and you are less than. That automatically puts you on the back foot and you have to work even harder to prove yourself. Those challenges and obstacles are what have shaped me as an athlete.’
Tom added that when you ‘have to work harder’ when you are seen as an ‘outsider.’
In June, Tom revealed he collected baby clothes for YEARS before his son was born and admitted he was ‘shocked’ by negativity surrounding his surrogate birth
Love: In June, Tom revealed he collected baby clothes for YEARS before his son was born and admitted he was ‘shocked’ by negativity surrounding his surrogate birth
He told The Times: ‘I didn’t understand why people would mind so much if Lance and I decided to have a child of our own. We’d probably thought about it more than many couples.’
Adding that he was hurt by the reaction, he said that when they’re out in public together, people ‘just see a family’, and that the public are much more ‘accepting’ than critics on social media.
He continued: ‘I don’t notice any heckling. I don’t even think about being two dads now. It feels very normal. Like any other couple we just want to be the best parents.’
The Queer Advantage: Conversations with LGBTQ+ Leaders on the Power of Identity by Andrew Gelwicks is out now
High-achiever: Diver Tom added that when you ‘have to work harder’ when you are seen as an ‘outsider’