British Olympic diving sensation announces he's in a relationship with a man
Published Monday, December 2, 2013 6:40PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 2, 2013 11:12PM EST
British Olympic diver Tom Daley revealed in a five-minute long YouTube video that he is in a relationship with a man.
“I met someone, and it made me feel so happy, so safe, and everything just feels great, and, well that someone is a guy,” Daley said in the video post Monday, which has since amassed over 2 million views.
Daley, 19, said he made the video to put an end to rumours, and tell his story in his own words.
“In an ideal world I wouldn’t be doing this video because it shouldn’t matter, but recently I was misquoted in an interview and it made me feel really angry and frustrated,” Daley said in the video.
In an interview with The Mirror in September, Daley was quoted as saying: “I think it’s funny when people say I’m gay…I laugh it off…I’m not. But even if I was, I wouldn’t be ashamed.”
Daley won the 10-metre platform gold at the 2009 World championships when he was 15. He won a bronze medal at the same event last year at the London 2012 Olympics.
Hudson Taylor, founder and executive director of Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization focused on ending homophobia in sport, said Daley’s revelation was “tremendous news.”
“When you have Olympic athletes, professional athletes, certainly college athletes coming out, it shows the world that homophobia in sports is not just a theory, it affects real people,” Taylor told CTV News Channel.
Taylor said LGBT athletes continue to be marginalized, with homophobia still running rampant in sports culture.
“The majority of the words that you hear in the locker room and in athletic circles are homophobic or are sexist, and create a stigma or stereotype that LGBT athletes cannot compete or be themselves,” he said.
And while Taylor said more athletes have come out this year, with more allies speaking out against homophobia than in “any other time in history,” he believes there is still much work to be done to eradicate the stigma surrounding gay athletes.
Taylor said the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Russia’s law prohibiting the so-called propaganda of “non-traditional sexual relations” are a “perfect example of how there are discriminatory environments where athletes are competing and risking persecution or fine or jail time solely because of who they love.”
In response to the controversial law passed in June, Athlete Ally launched “Principle 6”: a campaign that “draws directly on the language of the Olympic charter, which says that discrimination of any kind is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he hopes to use one of the founding principles of the Olympics to allow athletes to voice their opinions about Russia’s laws without fear of expulsion from the games.
“I hope that through principle 6, through athletes coming out like Tom Daley, we’ll see more athletes coming out and feel able to live their true selves on and off the playing field,” Taylor said.