In a new exclusive interview, everyone’s favorite Olympic diver Tom Daley talked about his experience of coming out to his mom, and the big role his fiancé played in helping him come to terms with his sexuality.
The 22-year-old athlete shared that he wasn’t fully sure of his sexuality — not until he met award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
‘It wasn’t until I met Lance that I started understanding it,’ Tom told The Times, ‘I didn’t know that I was different. I just assumed everyone thought like me, that it didn’t matter if it was a boy or a girl. I thought everyone had those thoughts in their heads growing up.’
Tom and Lance met at a dinner party in Los Angeles back in 2013.
Tom told The Times that he passed the 42-year-old his number after their chat: ‘It was the first time I’d been forward like that with a guy.’
‘I guess it was ballsy to do that, but I just did it,’ he added. ‘These were much stronger feelings than I’d ever had before.’
The diver also said that Lance is the reason he’s still diving.
‘In March 2013 I was at my all-time low and didn’t want to do it any more. Then I met him and thought, “This guy won’t want to be with me unless I’m successful at what I do.”
‘I felt happy all of a sudden. Nothing seemed confusing any more. He is a massive, massive support for me,’ Tom said.
Tom told his mom about his relationship with Lance during his birthday celebration when he had him over at his place.
‘Then he came over for my birthday and that was that. I told my best friend, Sophie, first. Then I told my mum,’ Tom said.
He continued: ‘My mum had no idea. It was just a random conversation. We were having a barbecue at my house, Lance was making burgers and I was in the kitchen.
‘I said to Mum, “What do you think of Lance?” And she said, “Yeah, he’s great. He makes great burgers.” So I told her I was in a relationship with him.
‘She said, “Like a gay relationship?” And I said, “Yeah.” And she said, “Oh… all right.”
‘She had no idea, despite the fact I’d brought this guy home for the weekend. I was lucky. It was so easy, and you hear some horror stories.’
Indeed, coming out is one of the most difficult experiences in life. But doing so could potentially open up more room for love in your life.
‘You always think it is going to be the worst thing in the world to tell someone,’ Tom said. ‘But that put it into perspective.’
A photo posted by Tom Daley (@tomdaley1994) on Dec 24, 2014 at 3:37pm PST