If you follow this website, then you know I have always been a huge fan of Tom Daley, the British Olympic diver who won gold medals in the last summer Olympics. That’s Tom to the left. Isn’t he beautiful? And he’s such a nice guy too.
Yesterday, Tom revealed to the world he is dating a man, and he is totally comfortable with the situation. He says it feels completely natural, and he makes no apologies for who he is.
Now, this is a huge step. Yes, many celebrities have come out in recent years, but not many Olympic athletes of Tom’s caliber, and I am so proud of him for having the courage to make his announcement. I am sure some people will disapprove of Tom’s revelation, but who are they to judge? You can see Tom talk about his private life here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJwJnoB9EKw
Back in the late 1970’s, when I attended law school, I was running in competitive distance races in Tallahassee, 5K and 10K races, and I was training hard every day. I was also freshly out of the closet, and badly in need of emotional support for my decision to live as an openly gay male. I friend lent me a book I still own today, Patricia Nell Warren’s The Front Runner. It’s the story of a gay U. S. Olympic distance runner, and his struggle to find acceptance of his sexual orientation in the intolerant world of Olympic-class sports. The book had a huge impact on me. It helped me realize my sexual orientation was not going to stop me from becoming whatever I chose to be. And it hasn’t. But I never thought I would see the day when someone like Tom Daley would come out as publicly as he has.
Good for you, Tom. And thank you so much.
If you want to check out The Front Runner, you can do so here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Front-Runner-A-Novel/dp/0964109964
Have a nice Monday evening, everyone.