Opinion: Sexual orientation and Tom Daley Jake Basford 2 Dec 2013 Opinion The LGBT media have been screaming ever since Tom Daley released a video on YouTube discussing the fact that he is in a relationship with a guy, but across the country people have been assuming his sexual orientation alongside it. Staying clear of Tom Daley related material is my general rule, because I find that fascination with him brings out the worst in me: the gays love him because he is cute and twink-like, and that just boils my piss (focus on aesthetic in general does). But the responses to his declaration on the internet made me react more ferociously than anything else, so throwing my proverbial hat into the screaming maw seemed like the best response. Everyone spotted that Tom Daley did not make a reference to his sexual orientation in the video, and there is nothing wrong with that. During a comment-war on Facebook, a friend told me that Tom Daley was bisexual, but is that a label being chosen for him or is it something he decides – this question is fixated at the moment. The only answer I can come to is that we, ourselves, come out on our own terms with our own labels when we want to. Nobody else gets to choose which (or whose) box we go into. When in high school I had a relationship with someone who did not define as ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’ or anything that moved away from ‘heterosexual’ or ‘straight’ as a label for his orientation, and saw what the mess of having to be labelled for society to deem you acceptable can be. Going through it and finding a way of balancing your own feelings with society’s expectations is a very personal journey, and one that everyone knows about intimately. Watching someone else do it when you have defined yourself can be as hard as going through it again, especially when you are watching someone you care deeply about. Trying to find a label that fits is like trying to find a decent pair of underwear – you need one that suits you, looks and feels good, but supports you when you need it. Sometimes it takes a lifetime, but sometimes people know from day one, and there will always be tests to make sure. I hope whoever ‘the guy’ in Tom Daley’s life is, that he is ready to be that voice of support for him through this period. And that should his identity become known, So So Gay‘s Managing Director has a hitman on speed-dial. Seriously though, I have never seen such an impressively mature video from someone so young. By taking the power out of the hands of the media he was able to truly voice his concerns and feelings without bias, and he should be commended as such. If he was to read this, I hope he knows that with all of the people on Twitter being vile, he has managed to gain a rather unassuming (and un-expecting) fan. To his partner, I wish him luck – lord is he going to need it. And when/if Tom Daley reveals he is bisexual, or tells us that it was an experimental phase and that he is actually straight, I hope people will understand and accept that it is a part of growing up that we all go through. Many gay people can tell stories of friends from their youth who wanted to test the limit of their sexuality with them, some fall into boxes and others don’t. The end result stands alone and harbouring grudges serves no one. Tom: you don’t have to tell me where you fall on the Kinsey scale if you don’t want to, and like my ex you will be taken on your word. Your way in your time – nobody else’s.