Tom Daley urges UK to embrace trans people in Christmas message: ‘There is no LGB without the T’

Tom Daley holding up a Merry Christmas jumper

Tom Daley used his Alternative Christmas Message to throw down the gauntlet on trans inclusion.

The Olympic diver pre-recorded a speech for Channel 4 as an alternative to the Queen’s annual address. Both air Christmas Day (25 December).

The theme of his message was inclusion. Daley, one of sports most prominent queer athletes, looked back at this year’s Olympics and applauded the achievements of trans athletes, including Canadian footballer Quinn, who became the first out trans Olympic medallist at the Tokyo games.

Their successes are all the more impressive “especially in the current climate of fear and panic around trans people”, Daley added, making clear: “There is no LGB without the T”.

Tom Daley said he feels “incredibly lucky” to have been supported as an out, gay diver – and acknowledged that for some, life isn’t quite as easy.

He called for an end to homophobia in sport, saying that his “one Christmas wish” would be for a gay men’s Premier League footballer to come out, so that young queer people would have somebody to look up to.

Daley also criticised the decision for the 2022 World Cup to be hosted in Qatar, saying: “Why are we allowing places that aren’t safe for all fans and all players to host our most prestigious sporting events?”

Closing his speech, he issues a call for inclusivity and equality, saying: “We can make this country the most accepting, the most inclusive, the most progressive country on Earth.

“What if in Britain anybody could be anything regardless of where they started? What if we all started from the same place. Now wouldn’t that be something to be proud of?”

Like Tom Daley, Quinn won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which took place this summer after being delayed by COVID-19.

They were already an Olympic champion, having won bronze with the Canadian women’s football team at Rio 2016, Tokyo was their first Olympics since coming out as trans.

This year’s Olympics also welcomed trans weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, and non-binary skateboarder Alana Smith. 

After the games, in November, the International Olympics Committee announced it was dropping restrictions on trans athletes, paving the way for even greater inclusion – though  individual sports remain free to set their own rules.