Tom Daley wants gay footballers to come out for young LGBT+ fans

Tom Daley shirtless and waving

Tom Daley has urged gay and bisexual footballers to come out of the closet to help young LGBT+ fans.

Daley told Yahoo UK that he “feels really bad” for LGBT+ people in sport who feel that they can’t come out.

“I’m sure there are people that are closeted and feel trapped and I feel really bad for them because it’s such a weight on your shoulders to be living like that,” he said on Friday (June 28).

Acknowledging that there’s “no right or wrong time” to talk about your sexuality, he continued: “I think for anyone, whether they’re in sport or not, it is a daunting time to think about coming out and telling people about yourself and who you are.

It is a daunting time to think about coming out.

“But knowing that people in sport, especially a high profile sport, if you were to come out and share your personal story it would help so many young children that look up to you—whether it be a football player or a rugby player—and think, ‘Oh wow! Who I am isn’t going to stop me being able to achieve my dreams in sport.’”

Tom Daley says coming out ‘wasn’t so bad’

The Olympic diver said that he built his own coming out “up to be one of the craziest and scariest things.”

“I was like, ‘Oh okay that wasn’t so bad.’I thought the world is going to end, it’s this terrible event. It didn’t and I was like, ‘Oh okay that wasn’t so bad.’”

Daley announced that he was in a relationship with a man in a 2013 YouTube video.

He is now married to Oscar-winning screenwriter and activist Dustin Lance Black, with whom he has a one-year-old son.


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The couple welcomed Robbie Ray via surrogate in June 2018, and were forced to defend themselves against critics in the right-wing press who said that it was “not normal” for two men to start a family.

Speaking to The Times in 2018, Daley said that he didn’t care what naysayers felt.

“I don’t care if they don’t like it. It took me a long time to get to that place but I am here. I think, ‘Whatever,'” he said.