I want you to first ponder the following: ‘why is it when something alters in society that has not been accepted in the past or threatens to change the traditions of society that we are initially unaccepting of it?’
Today we live in a society where social media and celebrity culture in particular have become a normal part of our everyday lives. There was a time when celebrity culture, technological devices and social media were non-existent and the idea of them was inconceivable. When technology first entered society the concept was unfamiliar and viewed by some as taboo. Over time technology has developed and become so integrated in society, it has now become a norm.
So why is it that society still views homosexuality and a person’s sexuality as taboo and wrong, when it has been a part of society longer, than for example technology?
Since yesterday people on social media sites have gone crazy over British Olympian and Diver Tom Daley, for something other than his career. Through a self-taken video that he posted on YouTube he stated that ‘Come spring this year my life changed, massively, when I met someone and they made me feel happy, so safe, and everything just feels great and well that someone is a guy.’
When I first saw the video and heard those words I was happy for Tom and admired that he had chosen to express his views in his own terms. Before he revealed that he was in love with a guy, he said that ‘In an ideal world I shouldn’t be doing this video, because it shouldn’t matter’. And I totally agree. It shouldn’t matter who a person falls in love with and whether they are of the same sex or not. At the end of the day you cannot help who you fall in love with, the only thing that matters is whether they are happy.
Even though Tom Daley is under the public eye and is famous for his career he should not have to express his sexuality through a video that has circulated rapidly through the media world.
I have read a few articles/news bulletins which have revealed the news of Tom Daley’s love life, and within them they have used the word gay or homosexual. Not once does Tom uses the term gay or homosexual to tell people that he is in love with a guy. So why is it that the media has used those terms to label Tom Daley? Isn’t it simple enough to quote that he is in love with a guy? And to be honest, is broadcasting and writing a news article about it, whether they are famous or not, really news?
It shouldn’t matter what sexuality anybody is especially that of someone who has served the UK as a as part of the British team in the Olympic Games. Tom is the first ever British Olympian to come out, but is that what he has really done? In my eyes he has just revealed that he is in love with a guy, a revelation that personally I know is hard to admit to yourself and to your family. But also to the public? I have to say I further admire Tom as a 19 year old guy to say not only to his family and friends but to the public that he is in love with a guy; a concept which for some reason is still seen as taboo to some.
Further on in the video Daley thinks that ‘people are going to make a big deal about this; I mean is it a big deal? I don’t think so.’ You’re right Tom it isn’t a big deal and it should not be taken as one. The reaction that I have heard from Tom’s revelation has been positive which does prove how society has become more accepting of peoples sexuality that isn’t ‘traditionally’ viewed as the norm. However the stigmatism surrounding homosexuality and gay men does still exist; this was made evident by a crude joke I overheard, sparked by Tom Daley’s reveal.
A few hours after releasing the video the Olympic swimmer wrote on twitter: ‘Overwhelmed by all the support! Means the world! Thanks so much guys’ restoring I believe faith in humanity.
Towards the end of the video Tom stated that he didn’t want his words to be ‘twisted’ and he wanted to put an end to all the rumors and wanted to make sure he got to tell people himself. Because of this, he is now an inspiration to so many people especially to those who are unable and worried about coming out about their sexuality.
Lastly Tom said ‘I hope you can join me on my journey to Rio 2016’. I know that I, like so many people have a new found respect and love for Tom Daley, and will definitely be supporting him in the next Olympic Games.
Watch the video below: