Tom Daley has opened up about his marriage to Dustin Lance Black, his coming-out experience and his role as a gay icon.
The 24 year-old British diver spoke to The Guardian as part of the promotional campaign for his upcoming self-help book, Tom’s Daily Goals.
Daley said that the catalyst for his coming out was the media’s misinterpretation of his own comment’s regarding his sexuality.
‘Journalists always asked: “Do you have a girlfriend?” And I always said: “No, diving’s my No1. I never said: “No, I don’t have a girlfriend but I’m looking for one.” And then someone asked: “Do you ever wonder why people think you’re gay?” And I said something like: “Maybe because I spend half my time half naked,” thinking: “They can think whatever they like, what does it matter?” But then the next day, headlines were all: “Tom Daley is not gay.” And that’s what sparked it [coming out]. Because I was not having people thinking I’d been lying.
Daley came out publicly at the age of 19, five years after his Olympic debut in 2008.
‘It was love at first sight’
Daley described the early days of his relationship with Dustin Lance Black, the 44 year-old Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director. He revealed that their relationship heated up very quickly.
‘It was a real love-at-first-sight thing. But then I had to come back to England so we were just talking on the phone or WhatsApp or whatever. Then he came over eight weeks later. The first night, I took him to meet my friends and said: “This is my boyfriend.”
‘The next night we went on our first date. The next night he asked me to be his boyfriend. The night after that, after a couple of lychee martinis, he told me he loved me. He extended his trip, we were already talking about babies and weddings. So that was in the first week. It was weird. But now it’s five years later…’
Daley, whose father passed away in 2011 whilst he was still only 17, spoke of his long-standing desires to start a family. He and his husband announced the the birth of their first child, via surrogacy, in June this year.
Tom Daley shopped for baby clothes since age 17
‘I’ve been shopping for baby clothes for six years, since before I met Lance, since I was 17 or 18. There’s nothing I’ve ever been more sure of in my life than having a family.’
‘I want to change people’s hearts and minds’
Tom Daley has become increasingly vocal regarding LGBT rights in recent years, given his global prominence as a gay sportsman. He decried the criminilization of LGBT people throughout the Commonwealth this year.
‘I got to go to the  games with my grandad, grandma, my mother and Lance, and we sat down for lunch. I looked at Lance and thought: “How lucky am I to be able to be married to the person I love without any worry about ramifications, to be able to represent my country at a sport I love to do, and not have to worry about getting thrown in jail?”
‘At the time, there were 37 countries that criminalised LGBT people – Trinidad recently has legalised. Lots of people in the UK were shocked to hear that there were countries at all where it’s illegal. People of my generation, we just don’t realise.
‘I thought, if I can try and shine a light on that, that’s the way to change people’s hearts, that’s the way to change their minds, and change laws, and change the way people think about everything.’
Daley’s new book attempts to parlay the athlete’s healthy lifestyle into seven steps that people can easily follow. It follows 2016’s Tom’s Daily Plan. Tom’s Daily Goals is set to be published on 23 August.
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