On Monday, the fantastically gifted, astoundingly babe-tastic Olympic diver Tom Daley made a YouTube video in which he revealed that he has a boyfriend and “couldn’t be happier”. Daley made the simple and heartfelt video to maintain control over the information, rather than letting the press run away with it.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what they did.
Headlines everywhere proclaimed that Daley had come out as gay. Some, noting his statement that he “still fancies girls,” stated that he is bisexual. One small problem: we have no idea how Daley identifies.
Know why? He didn’t tell us. Many have commented that the media’s assumption that Daley is gay is a symptom of widespread bisexual erasure, and this is true—but it’s also not the entire problem. Daley could identify as gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, what have you—the point is, he didn’t actually say anything to that effect in his video. Daley did not choose a label for his sexuality or state that he was coming out—he just opened up about his new relationship.
Not to mention, by the sound of his video, Daley wasn’t exactly in the closet before. “It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen, but it wasn’t until this spring that something clicked, it felt right, and I was like, OK.”
“In an ideal world, I shouldn’t be doing this video because it shouldn’t matter,” Daley stated.
It really shouldn’t. But if and when Daley chooses to label his sexuality, whatever label he chooses will be the one we should respect—not the ones that the media have foisted on him.
Though there is one thing we can all agree on: we’re all insanely jealous of Daley’s boyfriend.