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Monday, April 7, 2014

Maybe Tom Daley Didn't Say He Was Gay?

Posted by on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Alex Gabriel at FreethoughtBlogs:

Here is the clip that spurred reports. The entire exchange occurs within the first five seconds.

‘Let’s get right to the crunch here,’ says host Keith Lemon – persona of Leigh Francis, one more straight comic in the David Walliams mould who thinks ‘act queer’ is the fastest route to funny. ‘You’re a gay man now.’ (This is, as has thus far been largely overlooked, a reference to a popular Catherine Tate sketch.)
‘I, ah…’ Daley replies, sounding a bit uncomfortable. That’s it.

Admittedly, his diction isn’t clear. A proper journalist’s transcription, and well-known journalists have hired me to give them, would render it simply as ‘[indistinct]’: the second word could equally be ‘agh’, ‘ugh’, ‘yeah’, ‘know’ or something else. Outlets desperate for a bi-now-gay-later scoop seem to have rounded it up to ‘am’—then delved into wild, opportunistic paraphrase of what they hoped he’d said.
Even if Daley had answered ‘I am’, low-brow comedy quiz programmes on ITV aren’t quite the forum for Q&A on nuanced identities. Plenty who sail like me in vaguely bisexual waters would, I think, have shrugged along rather than correct Francis.

Sounded like an "I am" to me. But, no, Tom Daley didn't use the word "gay" in that brief interview.

But after the host described Daley as gay—which he did twice—the British diver went on to say this about why he came out about being in a relationship with a man on YouTube: "I wanted to be able to say what I wanted to say on my own terms without anyone twisting it." If the host of the show was "twisting it," i.e. suggesting that Daley was something he was not, you would think Daley would've corrected him. But Daley didn't. That said, Daley is young, the exchange was rushed, and the format didn't exactly allow a nuanced convo about sexual identity. So Alex may have a point.


Comments (14) RSS

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Did anyone else who doesn't keep up on the sex lives of pretty foreigners momentarily think this post was about Tom Delay?
Posted by ohthetrees on April 7, 2014 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 2
We know he likes boys, and that's good enough to me. Not that I have a chance of dating him, but at least I'm not categorically out of the running. Whether or not he also likes girls doesn't really matter to me.
Posted by Kevin_BGFH on April 7, 2014 at 9:25 AM · Report this
rob! 5
I have, in general, some difficulty following the rapid-fire conversations of Brits in their native habitat—maybe it takes an extended Christofle-polishing stint for that?—but it sure sounded like "I am!" to me.
Posted by rob! on April 7, 2014 at 9:37 AM · Report this
Maybe we need to all stop worrying about what buckets people fall into? I mean, I get that invisibility is bad, but by the same token, hyper-sensitivity makes it seem like everyone's sexual identity is everyone else's business. And you know what: it's really not. Do we need to know who's into who so we can be prepared for unwanted advances? That's always a risk, even if everyone labeled themselves clearly. Is it just morbid curiosity? There are also confused people out there who probably don't know exactly what their sexual identity is.

Anyway, the Tom Daley audiotape isn't the Zapruder film, so I'm going to go back to not giving a flying fuck if he's precisely gay or bisexual. Be whatever you want, Tom, and be at peace with whoever you are.
Posted by Centrists Rule the World today on April 7, 2014 at 9:56 AM · Report this

Dan wants him on the gay team because he's hot so he won't let this go. If Tom Daley were chubby and ugly, he'd give it little attention. Typical shallow gay male bullshit.
Posted by Confluence on April 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM · Report this
@6: I agree with the sentiment, but I don't think that we as a society are to the point that we can just let everyone's sexuality be their own thing and only worry about it when it personally intersects with our own lives. There is a long way to go before people accept alternative sexualities in others and themselves. In the future, it will hopefully be nothing major, but for now, it's really important.
Posted by nanoboy on April 7, 2014 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Ophian 10
Good for Tom, otherwise why are we supposed to care?

I think Dan is trying to score some kind of point. Instead he is contributing to a slightly salacious, gossip culture that might encourage young people--who haven't sorted everything out--to stay in the closet longer. I think that is pretty crap.

I also take a bit of an issue with Gabriel's dig at Walliams: "...who thinks ‘act queer’ is the fastest route to funny." As far as I'm concerned Walliams is hetero-queer. While some of his persona is an act, he did write a children's book Boy in the Dress.

Bonus: the deliciously femme, but straight, Noel Fielding on Alan Carr's show talking about sex with men.…

Bonus II: Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy S01 E01. Everyone must watch this least if they have as much of a crush on him as I do.…

Posted by Ophian on April 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM · Report this
@9 - I get where you're coming from, but in terms of helping people accept alternative sexualities, it doesn't matter whether Tom is gay or bi - either one shakes up the hetero-normative bias, right? So the only reason to care is if you want to question bisexuality. Full disclosure: I have often found myself skeptical of certain sexualities, and then i realized it truly is not my place. It makes no difference to my life if someone says they're bisexual and later turns out to be 100% gay. Or if a woman who says she's a lesbian later marries a man (see: Heche, Anne). I suppose if I were with someone who left me when they changed their mind, that would suck, but that's a matter of sizing up the individual. Categories don't matter.

So back to the original point: why parse Tom Daley's sexual identity? Why not just be supportive of someone who's said: I am no longer pretending to be heterosexual?
Posted by Centrists Rule the World today on April 7, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
very bad homo 12
He's gay-ish. We don't need to know more than that until he asks us out on a date. Which he probably won't.
Posted by very bad homo on April 7, 2014 at 1:47 PM · Report this
David Walliams isn't really queer?
Posted by fubar on April 7, 2014 at 2:20 PM · Report this
lolorhone 14
We know he is ridiculously adorable and dating Dustin Lance Black, Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk. I'd say he has accrued more than enough queer points to be allowed platinum access to Queersville and leave it at that.

Ophian @10: I fully agree. And, from the other Daley-related thread: mmmwwah!
Posted by lolorhone on April 7, 2014 at 3:17 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 15
Once You Go Dustin Lance Black, You Never Go Back
Posted by Original Andrew on April 7, 2014 at 3:40 PM · Report this
Ophian 16
CRtWt @11, "Why not just be supportive of someone who's said: I am no longer pretending to be heterosexual?"

Bingo. Due to a host of reasons, for some people who are not straight [LGBTQA&c.], coming out is not so simple [which is not to say it's easy] as just declaring same-sex orientation. Queer culture needs to accept and support people for whom things are a bit more ambiguous, not play gotcha.

fubar @13, I don't know how Walliams identifies, but I think he fits into the queer spectrum, despite being straight and married. He's certainly not heteronormative.

lolo @14, holly shit. I didn't know Daley was dating DLB! Hell of a catch for Tom's first time out. If you haven't seen it, DLB's "8" [dramatization of the Prop8 trial, made with genuine court transcript, hilarious and touching, with an all star cast] is a must see.…

And smooches back to you, mon acajou.

Posted by Ophian on April 7, 2014 at 3:45 PM · Report this
James6 17
The Keith Lemon character is straight, and although it's fairly indistict Tom Daley's response is definitely not "I am." If I had to pin it down, I'd say it's "I know."
Posted by James6 on April 8, 2014 at 8:46 AM · Report this

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