Olympic speed walker Tom Bosworth revealed his friend outed him while he was at school.
In an exclusive live stream conversation with James Besanvalle for Gay Star News, his coming out was an awful experience.
He revealed: ‘I must’ve been 14 and at school. I told a couple of friends what I thought I was but I didn’t really know what I was going through. I didn’t really know what it all meant.
‘But I just kind of said: “This is how I feel” and that didn’t go so well. And it went from there, with a little bit going through school.’
It spread through the school and it had a lasting negative impression on the Olympic speed walker.
‘It kind of put me off coming out to other people because I thought if it was all going to be that negative, I didn’t want that,’ he said.
The olympic speed walker then added: ‘So it was a difficult start to it.’
He came out to his family when he was 21, after he met his boyfriend Harry Dineley at a small pub in York, England.
Tom said he had a reason to come out as gay to his family after he met Harry.
He said: ‘I was really nervous. I knew my mum would struggle with it a little bit and my dad would deal with it better, which was the case.’
It happened late 2011 and he said it was a tough first few couple of months. But in the end, he said: ‘My family stand by me no matter what so we got there in the end.’
Tom Bosworth: ‘We can’t just live a normal life’
Tom believes the power of support from family and friends is so important for any athlete.
On the support he receives from his partner, Tom joked: ‘He puts up with so much!
‘I’ve been in the UK for four or five weeks so far in 2018. He’s a school teacher – he loves what he does and he’s brilliant at it – but it means we have a lot of time away from each other.
‘I don’t get to go to family do’s and that’s a real challenge. We can’t just live a normal life and he gets it. But not many people do.
‘He’s the most valuable item of my life. Without him, none of this would work. I don’t think I would’ve even gotten to this level,’ he said.
Tom won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast earlier this year. He also set a British record for the 20km race walk.
He represented Team England and proud partner npower and was co-captain of the athletics team.
Watch the full video conversation here:
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