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TBD: Is Tom Daley “Actually” Gay?

Tom Daley

Flickr Creative Commons, Cocoa Butter and Cash

Bronze-holding Olympic diver Tom Daley came out last week as dating a man, though he never actually uttered the words, “I am gay.” I find this omission to be as pointed as a swimmer’s nipples after ten laps in the puffin tank, and just as pleasant to hold in my ear. No hard statements about his identity were needed.

The only words were the relevant ones: “I’m still Tom.”

The critical public tends to treat celebrity coming-outs like fine wines, swirling them to every angle and watching for cause-betrayals to stick to the glass. The swimmer might catch flack for not embracing a gay identity, but I’m here to tell him I have his back. It doesn’t matter what Tom Daley is anymore. What matters is what he isn’t, which is straight. He gave up a huge amount of privilege — including that of a private body — to ensure that young queer athletes have more professional role models than can be counted on one hand.

The guy is only 19. I know my personal sexuality grew as much in size and nuance  since my freshman year of college as my dick did in middle school. There’s a good chance that Daley hasn’t made a concrete statement about “what” he is yet because he doesn’t know. Young love is scary and exhilarating enough as it is without having to sign a preference contract based on the loved one’s gender. Queer celebrities will have to field questions about their sex lives, one way or another, their whole careers. I applaud this one for not locking himself into a label he he feels unable to grow with.

The impression I get from Daley’s generation, from which I am 11 years removed, is that they understand the concept of self-identification in ways that today’s current crop of top-dog activists couldn’t learn from another 15 Netroots Nation conferences. I believe that the freedom to self-identify, even if that identification is “TBD,” is key towards a deeper kind of liberation than can be won through the likes of sitcom ubiquity and legalized marriage. There are not two people in this world that have the same lived experience around the word “gay;” unshackling those three letters from from a human history’s worth of sexual attraction and action could give us some collective breathing room.

Let me put this in layman’s terms. That is, terms that describe laying a man. It’s what I do best and will save us from going down any queer studies rabbit holes.

I do not claim to have 1/10th of Tom Daley’s athletic talent, but I ran track for four years in college and spent two of those as team captain. I was fully out by my junior year, and my mixed campus reputations as token tomcatting homo and locker-room-comfortable, all-conference sprinter lead some of the other athletes (who played far bro-ier sports) to get comfortable with me. That is to say, did everything to get my attention but draw arrow to their assholes and drop their carpenter’s jeans at my front steps.

Nothing ever happened with these curious jocks because I never had the self-confidence to get their money where their mouths were (or their mouths where my balls were). The few I could get close to owning up would just tell me that there weren’t gay, though often as a prelude to a list of things they could imagine trying only with me if they were. I speak “flirty straight guy” quite fluently these days, but then it was a foreign language whose speakers left me blue-balled and alone.

Imagine if these guys had a role model they’d be naturally inclined to respect — say, an Olympic medal diver — that told showed them they could get close to the ol’ Owen Wilson Nose once in a while without tattooing “I’m Gay” on their foreheads. That they could go to a Bar Mitzvah without taking conversion vows, and not be barred from visiting any churches, mosques or ashrams in the future.

Of course, many of these guys are gay and bi men in denial, so the freedom to self-identify would just hasten (and cushion) their eventual comings-out. In my experience, the biggest perpetrators of queer hate speech are the ones who seem most closeted. (Hey there, Eminem!) Imagine how many fewer times we’d hear hateful public F-bombs if all their users came out?

The guys who genuinely just stop over in dicktown before marrying their high school sweethearts could gain an increased empathy for the queer experience, and if they weren’t called gay every time they tried to speak about the source of this empathy we could gain some powerful new voices in the fight for universal queer safety.

Tom Daley coming out as he did isn’t going to get us there immediately. But the ease at which he opened up to us, and the sense of connection he fosters in his supporters, give me hope that we’re closer than we could be. Role models tend to produce more of the same. The final words of his coming out statement were concerned not with his identity, but with excitement to get back to training.

Continued training on Tom Daley’s part means an out queer man achieving continued success at the next Olympics and letting sports speak louder than politics.

Zack Rosen is a regular Queerty essayist and contributor. Follow Zack Rosen @ZackRosen, Facebook.com/ZackRosenIndustries and www.ZackRosenIndustries.com. 

By:           Zack Rosen
On:           Dec 11, 2013
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,
  • 69 Comments
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Many men do not belong to the gay or straight categories. They are perfectly capable of attraction towards both men and women. However, as they grow older, certain social forces start to exert themselves.

      These include the force of marriage to a woman. Men who get married to women do it for reasons that include the desire to live a nuclear existence with a home, a wife and two kids.

      Such men usually end up declaring themselves straight because of two important things: the temptation of yielding to the power of male-male sexuality needs to be categorically rejected if one is to remain faithful to one’s wife. The other thing is the attitude of women to male homosexuality. This requires a new paragraph for emphasis.

      Women find male homosexuality offensive if it exists in men who are also attracted to women.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 6:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whirly
      whirly

      @jimbryant:

      he never admitted he was gay or even bisexual for that matter

      i think it’s escapism …
      he could be bisexual, sure, since, by his own admission he still “fancies” girls
      but he could also be gay and cushioning the blow (lots of us come out as bi before coming out as gay)

      but to say you don’t belong to a category is ridiculous.
      there’s a category for everybody. that’s why there are so many categories out there ;)

      oh and gay (NOT bi) guys that marry women (for the sake of having children and such) may identify as straight to others, but they are and will always be homosexual … it’s biology; society can’t change what makes you who you are

      Dec 11, 2013 at 6:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dixie Rect
      Dixie Rect

      Zack Rosen has way too much time on his hands. Oh, and Daley is as gay as a picnic basket.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 6:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      whirly,

      I think you are biasing your argument in a way which suggests that you believe homosexuality to be superior to heterosexuality. I believe that neither is superior to the other in terms of the pleasure that they can bring to a man.

      From a reproductive angle, of course, heterosexuality is far superior to homosexuality. However, from a pleasure angle, neither is superior.

      As for Tom’s “escapism”, I doubt it. Men take their sexuality very, very seriously. There is no such thing as escapism when it comes to men.

      Women, on the other hand, take their own sexuality much less seriously than men. They tend to use it as a weapon or as a means of extracting rewards.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 7:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tazz602
      tazz602

      “escapism” Really? We’re going to invent terms.

      The author hits the mark in several ways and makes very valid points across the board about sexuality, labels and how people identify themselves.

      Keep in mind that outside of America, and even growing in the younger generations here, there is less of a need to label sexuality. So Tom didn’t say he was gay, nor bisexual, but he did say he was in a relationship with a guy and still fancies women.

      More and more, enlightened people realize that sexuality is fluid, it’s rarely cut and dry for a majority of people. The Kinsey scale does exist and there is a wide room for variation and people who can handle feelings, desire and emotions for both sexes and don’t have the weight of society or religion bearing down on them to make a choice. It is their life and whatever they choose is what they feel is right for them at this time.

      It is a point I believe we are moving towards and one I hope we keep moving towards. I applaud Tom Daley and what he did and said. What he didn’t say speaks volumes and I believe, despite what many say, that it is progress.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 8:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tricky ricky
      tricky ricky

      he’s gay. he hasn’t said it but if he isn’t gay then neither were liberace and rock hudson. it’s THAT obvious

      Dec 11, 2013 at 9:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @tazz602: What exactly does that mean? “Sexuality is fluid”? The fact that bisexual and pansexual people exist is great (and I am not one of those types who denies their existence), but I don’t see that as meaning that “sexuality is fluid”. I am actually kind of tired of hearing that as well meaning as it may be by those who say it. I think that “fluid” is actually a terrible term when applied this way and gives credence to ex-gay ministry types who keep insisting that you “can change”.

      Also, “escapism” is not an “invented” term although its not really used the way that whirly does. I think whirly means “avoidance” more so than “escapism”. When I play a game like Fallout New Vegas or TES V: Skyrim, THAT is “escapism”. I am trying to temporarily escape from the world and from my life.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 9:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      I see Zack’s point. The world will be a better place when curious straight guys can have gay flings, and even talk and joke about it in the wider world, without being called gay or being assumed to be “really gay.”

      On the other hand – Zack, believe me, sex with straight guys isn’t as great as you’re imagining!

      Dec 11, 2013 at 9:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skylerbound
      skylerbound

      @tazz602

      I find your argument fundamentally flawed in numerous ways. First of all, the basis that labels are somehow undesirable, chains suppressing people. This argument is a bad one BECAUSE of the community you’re talking to. There’s nothing wrong if someone thinks you’re gay/bi/lesbian, and you should definitely NOT be offended.

      This “No labels” trend is actually either quite ignorant of the LGBTQQI history and our community or a superiority complex of not wanting to be associated with OUR community, not the heteros but us.(Some of course don’t feel this way but I unfortunately have dealt with WAY too many people who fit the ‘not into the gay scene’ category)

      Then the whole argument of labels are now obsolete is just plain delusional thinking, especially given how much of a fight we still have going on globally for equal rights.

      There used to be a sense of pride and community of the vast spectrum of LGBTQQI but unfortunately it’s devolved into disassociation and lack of pride for our people. It’s definitely not something that should be promoted or considered “ideal”

      As far as Tom goes, I’d consider him under the old “Questioning” charter, for some of us it takes longer to figure out who we are. Mostly though, I think he’s been rather gentlemanly about the whole thing and very respectful.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skylerbound
      skylerbound

      @skylerbound:

      I think I may have tagged the wrong person. meh, whatever.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pistolo
      Pistolo

      @DarkZephyr: I -so- agree. I find it to be a self-indulgent thing to say, let’s see everyone put their money where their mouth is on that one. It’s as though my or your being definitely gay and okay with it is somehow less intellectual or open-minded regardless of how accepting we are otherwise. It can’t just be “I’m not into only one sex” or “I have had relationships with queer, undefined people”, some people have to turn it into “My truth is the universal truth of sexuality as a whole and I’m just more in touch with it than you are”. Ugh.

      Also, the term “queer” is really broad, it kind of is already an orientation. And yes, “queer” is a “label” or, as I call them, words with applicable definitions we use to describe things.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tazz602
      tazz602

      @skylerbound:

      Just so you know, I am 50 years old, I have seen and been a part of the struggles and our victories and our failures over the last several decades. I understand the importance of having pride and how important it has been for our community to make itself known to move forward.

      BUT – I also look toward the future, when being gay, straight, bi, whatever does not matter. Where labels mean less and no longer define you as a person. Why does someone have to be a gay swimmer, why not a swimmer who happens to be gay? I look forward to the day when being gay, bi, etc is incidental and we are ALL together and can all take pride in ourselves no matter who we are or who we love.

      This goes into why I say sexuality is fluid @DarkZephyr – I love to see a day where someone who only considered themselves straight, like Tom Daley, finds them self having feelings and affection and sexual desire towards a person of the same sex and allowing them self to grow and explore that side of their life. By being fluid I mean that whatever we want to call ourselves, it doesn’t mean we are limited by those labels.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist
      AuntieChrist

      @the other Greg: I know right..? First you get drunk, then when it’s all over they don’t want to cuddle or kiss…It’s just not worth the work…LOL…At least that’s what I’ve heard :-) About Tom…Does it really matter…? He’s young, having fun, meeting people…The world will be a better place when we stop having to label and define peoples sexuality…

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skylerbound
      skylerbound

      @tazz602:

      I get the “People First” approach, that’s not a problem. But we also will always live in a heteronomative society, and it will ALWAYS be important to have and be proud of our community. People should be able to freely say “I’m a gay/bi/lesbian/pansexual agnostic left-handed american” with no issues and no stigma of being attached to a non-hetero group. That’s the fight we have now and we’re unfortunately a very long way from that.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tazz602
      tazz602

      @skylerbound:

      We are a long way from it, yes, and probably not in my lifetime, but someday – someday – I like to hope and dream.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      If you’re dating a guy, the world is going to see you as gay. It seems some people are reluctant to “label” him gay because Daley is Britain’s great Olympic hero. Yes, you can be an Olympic hero and be gay at the same time.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      @ the other Greg: so true about sex with straight guys not being all that great. And they are not concern nor put any effort in making sure that”every” nook & cranny is clean and ready for sex. And they give awful head. @ AuntieChrist: true about not wanting to cuddle and kiss after sex.

      That being said, the writer made several good points. I think it’s important that no one tries to force him to be anything. Comming out is a process and ones own personal journey. But like the writer said , one thing is for sure, he’s not straight. So for people like him and others, I think it’s important that we remember to add the Q , always making it LGBTQ…

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Homophile
      Homophile

      He’s queer, and that’s good enough for me.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyler100
      Tyler100

      You people should know by now that JimBryant has nothing of interest or value to say.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RickinTheCity
      RickinTheCity

      Who cares how he labels himself? Or if he doesn’t like labels at all? If he wants to sleep with men and women that’s his business. As a gay man I may never understand the whole “sleeping with women” thing. The idea of it makes my skin crawl but evidently not his. So be it. Let the boy live his life. It’s hard enough doing it in a spotlight without people, who should be his advocates, tearing him down.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • samwise343
      samwise343

      Queerty, can we please let this be the last Tom Daley post for a while? I mean, I am EXTREMELY sick of JimBryant’s insane theories about human sexuality.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist
      AuntieChrist

      @Tackle: I know this is a stupid question but is the Q for queer or questioning..?@samwise343: Here here, I second that emotion.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • krystalkleer
      krystalkleer

      ummm yea…snoreville story…to say the least!
      http://getoffmydress.blogspot.com/2013/12/textnsextnperplexnoh-my.html

      Dec 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      Thank you for a fine article.

      Labels are useful, but picking one immediately is far from necessary.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      @ Auntie Christ: as far as I know it’s for Queer. But a recent thing, I have heard people say that Q for them questioning. But Queer is an all inclusive word

      Dec 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KittyLitter
      KittyLitter

      Time to reset the counter.
      “It’s been 0 Days since the last Tom Daley article.”

      Dec 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Tackle: One Q is Queer; the second, if present, is Questioning.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • franiel32
      franiel32

      At first, I thought that Tom Daley was Bi, based on his YouTube video.
      But after watching his interview on ITV and reviewing the YouTube clip, I think that he’s gay, and uncomfortable. Now it’s up to him to be clear if or when he chooses to in the future. But I’m in agreement with Andrew Sullivan, I bet that he will never sleep with a girl or woman again, or be in any meaningful love relationship with one.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Niall
      Niall

      Personally, I don’t get what the issue against labels is. They help define stuff and tell you what this or that is. People seem to think you can’t put labels on things without letting yourself be defined by it and I think that’s nonsense. I can identify as gay and not let it define me.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AnitaMann
      AnitaMann

      Dude wants to get back to training but nobody will leave him alone. This “story” has gotten so boring. And what is his story? He was all about girls. For now he’s dating a dude. End of story. But people have to beat it to death.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pistolo
      Pistolo

      @tazz602: But what I take issue with in what you’ve said is this…

      “BUT – I also look toward the future, when being gay, straight, bi, whatever does not matter. Where labels mean less and no longer define you as a person. Why does someone have to be a gay swimmer, why not a swimmer who happens to be gay?”

      Why should we care if calling ourselves “gay” causes others to define us entirely by that? I’m sure some people see me as “the gay guy” and don’t appreciate my talents or characteristics of my personality and individual nature that I think take precedence over my sexuality but I couldn’t care less! To hell with them.

      The important thing is that *I* know that I’m not defined by my sexuality and I do. So when I say “Yep, I’m gay”, if people want to only think of me as a gay person and nothing else, that’s *their* problem. It doesn’t mean I should stop identifying as gay because I want to emphasize that it’s not the most interesting thing about me. That would be letting them win!

      By the way, without certain terms to describe us like gay or lesbian, lots of people would just characterize us as sodomites or perverts. We should thank god for these “labels” because it was the first time we could be recognized as a people and not a statistic of “abnormal” behavior. We’re here, we’re queer so get it used to it, right?

      Dec 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QuintoLover
      QuintoLover

      People hate labels because they think it makes it easier for people to judge them. But really, it just makes it less freaking confusing for everyone. If a man is gay but he chooses not to identify as it, he just puts a negative disposition on the term and nobody will want to be gay. They’ll just hide who they are and pretend they’re normal. I started seeing a gay man who wasn’t out to anybody but desperately wanted to date me and have a relationship. I thought that meant he would identify as gay and wanted to come out. I invited him to a party where he wouldn’t know ANYONE thinking he could be relaxed and open as my date. Apparently when he got there, he absolutely refuted he was gay and actually tried to get at some of my female friends. Yet when we were alone, he was all about me Sucking him in MY car. He said he didn’t want to be constricted by ‘labels’ like gay and all the angry ass voice could yell in my head was “YOU ARE GAY!!!” I know that sexuality can be confusing but some people are just ridiculous about absolutely refuting to be defined and it’s selfish because it leaves those you interact with confused as what can or won’t happen with you.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      I always find it hilarious when an article states that the statement of an 18 or 19 year old just coming out means (Insert something here).

      The authors sexuality didn’t grow as he got older, his experimentation, realization, and self acceptance did.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwtraveler
      jwtraveler

      Much ado about nothing.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redcarpet
      redcarpet

      I hate the whole “no labels” movement, not because it’s not true, but because when ever someone brings it up it is presented as a value judgement, like it is somehow better or more evolved to eschew labels or have “fluid sexuality”. Some people have a hard time fitting into Gay/Straight/Bi, but many, MANY do not and that does not make them bad people or less than any more than your sexual flexibility makes you a bad person.

      As for Tom, he’s young, REALLY YOUNG, so he’s still figuring it out. My money is on his committing to full “gay” at some point in the future, but that’s just my guess. He may never say another word about his sexuality and that is his prerogative. Or maybe he really is a 60/40 bisexual, or 70/30, or what ever and doesn’t feel comfortable with the inaccuracy of the term bisexual. It’s ultimately not our business, as uncomfortable as it is for us to not know for sure.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Doughosier
      Doughosier

      Many a gay guy is “bisexual” when he 1st comes out. 5 years later, 100% gay.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DonW
      DonW

      @redcarpet: I’m with you. It’s way too early to talk about “no labels” or a “post-gay” society — just as the fact that we have a (half-)black President doesn’t mean race is just a meaningless, abstract concept in American life.

      Too many public figures use “I don’t like labels” as a coy way of avoiding taking a stand on sexuality, maintaining their heterosexual privilege while enjoying the freedoms that others have fought for, labels and all.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ShowMeGuy
      ShowMeGuy

      Every scared, young gay guy turns off of life’s highway for the rest stop called *bisexuality*…and three years later, when they realize they haven’t kiss a female in a “non-family” way since that “gay” adventure, three years ago….they get back out on that gay highway of life and never look back. Yeah, yeah, some people are bisexual…but we’re talking about gay guys here.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Men’s fluid sexuality is heavily resisted by women. In order to appease women, men are often forced to declare themselves as straight or gay. This serves to remove a woman’s anxiety.

      Note how men are nowhere near as resentful of fluid sexuality in women. Indeed, women are often ENCOURAGED to pretend to have a fluid sexuality in order to appease men. Therefore, it’s the complete opposite situation to that which I described in the first paragraph.

      This double standard is critical in understanding attitudes to human sexuality in 2013. Absolutely critical. You will go nowhere fast unless you use this double standard as a starting point in discussions of sexuality.

      Overall, don’t underestimate the role of women in shaping male sexual declarations. In a way, women are the culprits because they help to create the homophobic double standard.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mz.sam
      mz.sam

      Way too much mental masterbation cumming from Zack Rosen’s polemics. Like the events leading up to this year’s historical Supreme Court decision and as illustrated in Tom’s personal admission: Love is Love.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pistolo
      Pistolo

      @DonW: Too true. Before anyone had a “label” for us, we were completely voiceless and unrepresented. Think back in time in like the 1800s or something, nobody ever had to explain their heterosexuality- it was believed everyone inherently was or was meant to be. I bet you most people didn’t know the meaning of the word. And people who were gay weren’t allowed, by society, to identify as such or talk about it without vicious ramifications. With no “labels”, we virtually didn’t exist and were never advocated for or understood. We underground AT BEST.

      There are places in the world like India where people will be killed or imprisoned for committing homosexual acts. If sexuality were so damn fluid, they’d spare themselves a terrible fate by pseudo-intellectual sexual liberation and yet they can’t, a brave few just flat-out *won’t* and protest the status quo.

      So these people, often of privilege, saying “Oh *everyone* is inherently bisexual” or “It’s so narrow-minded to think in labels” are contributing to a much narrower concept of everyone being the same. We’re not. But we’re all equal.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 6:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Labels ARE important, particularly if you are fighting a political battle and need to find your voice. The label enables you to define your cause. It’s like a placard which says “yes, I exist”.

      Don’t forget that barely 50 years ago, male homosexuality was completely banned in all states of the USA and in much of the Western world. We could not have won all our battles since then without the label. So, yes, LABELS ARE IMPORTANT.

      However, in the non-political realm, labels serve only a small role. They don’t really mean much. They’re like a box which serves to enable prejudice. It’s like going to the supermarket, seeing a tin of anchovies, and thinking they’re going to be in the same spot whenever you visit the supermarket.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jvp3299
      jvp3299

      Enough with the articles about Tom D. He is hot, but really. This blog should be renamed as the Tom D. blog….. There are many more people as interesting that never get covered.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spotlight
      Spotlight

      @jimbryant:
      Women think of male homosexuality basically the same way that a lot of men think of female homosexuality- it’s perfectly fine, and usually kinda hot. I have no idea where you’re getting these ideas from, that homophobia is created by double standards set by women.

      Literally the only reason that women may seem more critical of male homosexuality is because of homophobic created by men. Lesbians are a heterosexual male sexual fantasy, which is why they’re more ‘accepted’ in today’s society. Gay males are not a straight male fantasy!

      Please stop blaming women for homophobia.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • newecreator
      newecreator

      Time will tell in the mean time… I may keep watch…

      Dec 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sprocket
      sprocket

      I agree with DarkZephyr that the term “fluid” is rather useless. Sexual identity is a continuum however but “fluid” suggests “change” that the evidence for that just doesn’t exist.

      Labels are useful and also unavoidable. The problem is when one has more negative weight that it’s logical equivalent and that’s what needs to change. We need to work harder to make “gay” “bi” “trans” “queer” “lesbian” “asexual” etc. have no more negative connotation than “tall” or “blond”.

      However, I think people should have the choice in how they want to be labelled or not labelled at all. He’s 19. He’ll figure it out for himself and I admire his courage. I was still in the closet at his age.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bnalls
      bnalls

      I have never thought that labels were as important as the people themselves. I, personally, don’t really care for them. Labels can be harmful if not fully understood. I didn’t know what label I fit under until I hit my early 30s. It caused me a lot of grief simply because I didn’t fit under any of them. Luckily I had a great support system to help me find my way and learn that labels aren’t the end all and be all of sexuality. If you want to slap a label on yourself, that is fine, just don’t slap one on me.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyler100
      Tyler100

      @jimbryant: Spare my your literal psycho babble. Crazy troll opinions deserve nothing but criticism and derision.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mododavid
      mododavid

      “He’s only 19″???!!! I’ve been queer as the day is long since I was in Kindergarten. The only thing that preventing anyone from (the author included) from realizing their own sexuality well before the LUDICROUSLY-BEYOND-PUBERTY age of 19 is self-repression and fear. Gimme a break, “He’s only 19″??!! REALLY!!

      Dec 11, 2013 at 10:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      I definitely get the author’s point. It’s a little presumptuous to say Tom has come as out at 100% gay. And your journey to coming to terms with your sexuality is not necessarily his, so to say “That’s how I was when I came out,” is a silly and ignorant statement when discussing human sexuality. I didn’t come to terms with my sexuality until college. I have a friend who knew when he was a kid. Tom Daley is not YOU.

      I’m not “fluid” in my sexuality; but who am I to say other people aren’t. And just because they are, it does not threaten my identity as a gay man. Nor do I possess a fear about it lending credence to anti-bigots. Ya know the same people who say we eat our waste en masse. They’ll look for anything to justify their hateful position, so what’s one more. I know bisexual people. I know bisexual people who vary in their tastes. I believe in the Kinsey scale due to a combination of logical thought and personal experience. Who knows what Tom is? Probably, Tom. So if Tom wants to put a label on himself, great. If not, great. There’s a significant difference between a gay politician or celebrity

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      Oops…There’s a significant difference between a gay politician or celebrity coming out and someone who is not comfortable with putting a label on their sexuality; but who acknowledges their gay relationship(s.)

      Why anyone would refer to this in regard to a history lesson or an attack on the LGBT community is beyond me. I thought this level of understanding is what we are fighting for. Certainly, to the extent that we don’t believe other people should be allowed to define our sexuality or tell us what we are or aren’t. The same rhetoric I see in some of these comments is the same I hear from our enemies who tell us that we can change, or are going through a phase, or that they themselves felt exactly as we did and then the found Jesus or “Barbara.” I know some desperately want to Tom to identify as gay to the extent that they have put words in his mouth. Either for the purpose of drafting him into the gay rights movement or their fantasies. He should be allowed to live his life as defined by him. And, in this context, no one should be able to tell him what he is or isn’t.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      @tazz602: Love your comment!

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thebutterflycatcher
      thebutterflycatcher

      Not too long ago, the journal Sexological Research ran a test on roughly 500 self-identified gay men in Denmark who were over the age of 35 years old. The aim was to assess the degree of their sexual arousal for men of different ages. They equipped each man’s penis with an “erection meter” and screened video clips of nude solitary men in four age brackets (the youngest bracket was 18-21). Each man in the video clips were depicted masturbating within pronounced states of sexual arousal until the man in the clip ejaculated. 87% of the men in the test who watched the clips became erect while watching all of the clips. 56% of the men gained the strongest erections from watching the men in the 18-21 year old range. The most erect–full blood flow that swelled the men’s penises to the most pronounced extent possible–came from 56% of the men when they viewed the teenage men of 18-19 years of age masturbating and ejaculating. Of these test subjects, 14% climaxed without ever touching themselves–they were so intensely aroused by the 18-19 year olds. This by now fabled experiment has been called the “Twink Study” and it is often used to document many gay men’s deep, penetrating desire for legal aged yet still quite young men.

      Dustin Lance Black is no doubt among these men. With his uniquely mushroom capped erect penis measuring 7¾x6 inches when fully tumescent (if the photographs of him engaged in a sex act whilst laying on his back are any indication), Dustin Lance Black is likely to become particularly sexually aroused when interacting with the 19 year old Tom Daley. In fact, the intensity of Dustin Lance Black’s arousal for his teen paramour harkens back to an ancient, mythic lust forged between Zeus and Ganymede, the trojan youth. Zeus was so taken with Ganymede that he kidnapped him (or “boynapped” as pornographers say today) and, as legend has it, Zeus’ member swelled so tremendously when he entered Ganymede’s puckering pinhole (so great was his desire for the teen) that bolts of lightning emitted from the god’s lordly tool when he exploded inside of the youth penetrating Ganymede’s spirit in a way that gives us the meaning of the youth’s name: shining joy.

      Dec 11, 2013 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwtraveler
      jwtraveler

      @thebutterflycatcher: Really? The “Twink Study”?

      Dec 12, 2013 at 1:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Spotlight,

      You can’t be serious when you suggest that women aren”t homophobic. A cursory glance at any gay news site proves that women are behind many homophobic incidents. The person who wrote Russia’s anti-gay laws is a woman.

      Dec 12, 2013 at 3:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • etseq
      etseq

      This is the same Zack Rosen who started the hipster gay blog that that hated “gay stereotypes” but ended up being just a circle jerk with homophobic undertones. He whole Schick is shock – like the time he won used a picture of his hard c**k to win a free scholarship to that useless Creating Change conference.
      So, after wading through what seemed like endless blather with the word d**k thrown in for some reason, the only sense I can make of this is that hot straight guys wouldn’t have sex with Zach in high school because they are homophobic and picture all gay guys as nelly sissies. So, he infers that gay identity is somehow tainted so the solution is to stop identifying as gay and just say you “like d**k” and this will somehow fool otherwise straight guys into having more gay sex. Also, Tom Daley is an “athlete” and by saying he is having sex with men but is not gay, this will somehow reassure straight hot jocks that they can have all the gay sex they want (with people like Zach) without having to identify as gay. He thinks this is much more important that legal equality and he also thinks that there is this huge population of young gay, oops I’m sorry, “non-straight” people that are rejecting gay identities for this wonderful utopia filled with hot gay sex.
      I guess if your goal in life is to sleep with hot straight guys and you think that this somehow reduces homophobia, then this is a great strategy. Problem is – this concept of straight men having gay sex is hardly liberating – its the very definition of closet cases. And these closet cases are usually extremely homophobic so how is this improving on the status quo?

      Dec 12, 2013 at 3:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • etseq
      etseq

      Also, Tom Daley may be a great diver but he isn’t exactly a shining example of uber straight masculinity. One of the reasons no one is surprised that he is “dating a man” is that he screamed gay! If anything, his refusal to identify as gay is just another example of internalized homophobia and when he does eventually say he is gay, no one will be surprised. Finally, Zach seems to be arguing that there is something wrong with existing gay identity because it triggers homophobic reactions in these hot straight guys and his solution is to reject gay identity in some weird strategy to reduce homophobia. That’s like saying black people should have never demanded civil rights because it stoked white supremecist backlashes.
      But really this is just another attempt by Queerty to piss off its readers and generate lots of comments and give Zach Rosen a platform to engage in his narcissism.

      Dec 12, 2013 at 3:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Herlinda S. Osorio
      Herlinda S. Osorio

      Bernard answered I’m alarmed that any one can profit $4765 in four weeks on the computer. you can look her>>> http://bit.do/e4s2

      Dec 12, 2013 at 8:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OSUBuckeyes4
      OSUBuckeyes4

      Dear Queerty,

      Tom Daley came out of the closet. We all got it after the 15th story you posted about it. It’s time to let it go. Please.

      Dec 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jar
      jar

      @tazz602: I don’t personally feel burdened by the label gay. And I don’t think that label defines me. Is it possible that some of us have reached this nirvana you long for?
      It is one thing to long for a day when sexual orientation labels do not come with negative value judgments, but that is very different than longing for a world in which there are no labels. The anxiety about labels, IMO, reflects an anxiety about one’s sense of self and self worth. As others have pointed out, the label gay is what has made it possible for us identify ourselves and others in the service of forming social and political connections.

      Dec 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @jimbryant:

      Jim,

      I’m really not trying to be a dick but I have to ask. Have you ever posted anything on here that wasn’t in some way making a statement that women are bad?

      Again, not to be a dick, but forgive a little bitchiness…..did somebody’s mommy not give them enough hugs?

      Dec 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • etseq
      etseq

      @Cam: I have a suspicion that this troll is just a variation on a theme – the misogynist “gay” man who claims to be uber-masculine and “straight-acting” and constantly denounces any gender non-conformity in gay men as “perpetuating stereotypes” and thus preventing accepting by heterosexuals (you know the type – ranting about how the “queens” are actually responsible for triggering homophobia in the idealized “straight guy” that they secretly long for). On this site in the past, there was a similar troll named “Jason” and he goes by the name of “Rick” on towleroad. They are probably all the same pathetic loser who just recycles these different pseudonyms. He may or may not believe this BS he posts – it could all be an elaborate trolling by some 4chan type. Hell, it could be a straight guy in Japan for all anyone knows. I just ignore them because its all just a game to them anyway…

      Dec 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sxschulz
      sxschulz

      @etseq: Well stated. Glad to read others on here calling out no-labels theme for what it is: cowardice. Unfortunately this view isn’t what’s pushed in the right circles. “No labels” was the popular theme when I hit the bars in the mid 90s. For someone happy to finally be around his fellow gay males, having those same gay males refute labels was a slap in the face. Getting to know those men I also found it self serving. And all of this so that we can live in a fantasy world where we can finally have sex with straight males whose only issue was calling it gay. So a gay porn director is actually the author of this meme? ;)

      Dec 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sxschulz
      sxschulz

      @TheMarc: @mododavid: LOL. Thank you. I’ll at least say it was when I was 12 that I figured it out. To not be in touch with something so basic seems like a person has no self awareness whatsoever.

      Dec 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • etseq
      etseq

      @sxschulz: Thanks for the feedback. My experience coming out in college in the 90s maybe colors my view on these matters. Back then, this discourse of “no labels” was promoted by a very narrow clique of academic queer theorists found mainly in the academy and after graduation, I never met anyone in real gay urban life that corresponded with these post-gay predictions – most gay men embraced their gay identity with pride and enthusiasm! Labels were in no way restricting or anachronistic – they were liberating and created solidarity to fight homophobia. Of course, there were always self-loathers and closet cases and those like Zach who were bitter for some reason (some people think they are special snowflakes and rebel when people disagree). His website thenextgay.com seemed to attract those hipster types who loved to trash gay men but came off as pathetic wannabees who worshiped their fellow straight hipsters. The recurring theme on that website was essays like the above mixed in with denunciations of Lady Gaga (they were more obsessed with GaGa then any gay men I ever knew).

      Dec 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • etseq
      etseq

      @jar: Amen – these “no label” queens are either grad students in queer theory or gay guys who think that every straight man can be seduced like a bad Sean Cody porn. This post-gay nirvana they hope for is delusional and is grounded in an ahistorical nostalgia for the days of the closet, which is exactly what a world with “no labels” would quickly revert to. Homophobia and heterosexism is still a huge problem that still causes many gay men to still pretend to be straight, marry women, or just remain in the closet. All these people praising Tom for what they interpret as him rejecting his gay identity and representing some new post-gay pansexual fluidity are just projecting their own fantasies, rooted in their own internalized homophobia, onto a young gay kid. I don’t blame Tom – most gay men go threw the same phase when they first come out – but I do detest the usual suspects latching onto to him to push their own pet theories and delusions.

      Dec 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • etseq
      etseq

      “No labels” and “sexual fluidity” = closet cases and “down low” who want all the perks of hot gay sex without giving up heterosexual privilege.

      Dec 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sxschulz
      sxschulz

      @etseq: I rarely read about these trends being refuted the way you’re doing here. Usually they’re ignored or they’re slipped into articles in a matter of fact way as if to say it’s accepted truth.

      “these “no label” queens are either grad students in queer theory or gay guys who think that every straight man can be seduced like a bad Sean Cody porn”

      My first introduction to gay life was an American outpost [Panama Canal Zone] ’94/’95. I think American trends such as “no labels” make it to foreign countries or outposts and perform better than they do domestically (like some movies). Many of the gay males I met (both American and Americanized) while in this part of the world never seemed to lose the hope that some friendly attractive straight male they knew might actually be bisexual and he’d eventually get him. My crushes on straight males found a healthier outlet with access to gay bars. I was surprised to meet males who didn’t outgrow this. Some of them were men in their 30s. I think the no labels meme is conducive to mistrust among gay men and definitely not helpful toward encouraging relationships.

      A comment above by DarkZephyr: I am actually kind of tired of hearing that as well meaning as it may be by those who say it. I think that “fluid” is actually a terrible term when applied this way and gives credence to ex-gay ministry types who keep insisting that you “can change”.

      I’ve posted on social conservative sites. They’ve already started to use our language.

      Dec 16, 2013 at 9:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sxschulz
      sxschulz

      @Pistolo: @redcarpet: @Pistolo: Spot on. Choosing not to label ourselves to accommodate others’ contempt for us. Isn’t that counterrevolutionary? So the new revolution is based on not scaring off the “straight” guys who might occasionally want to have (lousy) sex with other men.

      I called it a revolution but I don’t see it taking hold. When I first heard the no-labels thing in the 90s it failed. In 2013 there are too many voices on the internet with real life experience. Fantasy worlds where straight males could potentially sleep with them never materialized. When I’ve read comments by those who were buying it, it sounded more like they were interested in how straight males’ sexuality could be fluid. Yes, delusional and unhealthy. But those people will always exist in the world and among us no matter how hard we try.

      Dec 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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