dishin' it

Tom Daley on being a daddy, crocheting, and the sexy celeb he’d gladly knit a harness for

Since his Olympic debut at age 14, Tom Daley has made headlines for his incredible diving career, marriage to screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and most recently, the release of his crocheting and knitting book, Made With Love.

To die-hard Daley fans, his hobby-turned-book comes as no surprise. During the Tokyo Olympic Games, Daley caught the eyes of audiences after being spotted knitting in the stands. Calling knitting his “secret weapon,” Daley’s “mindfulness routine” grew from scarves and hats for his son, Robbie, into a knitwear line of its own, Made With Love.

Related: 32 of the best LGBTQ books to read yourself or gift others

This past spring, the 28-year-old released his first book, Coming Up For Air. In the memoir, Daley shares his story of passion and perseverance, from overcoming childhood bullying to becoming an Olympic athlete. In his new book, the busy father pivots and shares his new hobby outside of sports, creating the perfect holiday gift for yourself or that friend in need of a healthy stress-relieving activity.

Now, before anyone accidentally stabs themselves while grabbing grandma’s knitting needle to start on their first jockstrap, Queerty stopped by to have Daley as the latest guest in our Q&A series, Dishin’ It . In the interview, the British athlete discusses his newest career venture, fatherhood, the pains of social media, and which celebrity he would make a harness for.

 Is there a piece of pop-culture—whether a movie, TV series, book, album, etc…—that you consider a big part of your coming-out journey? Why does it stand out to you?

I got Greg Louganis’ book [Breaking The Surface] when I was younger because he was a diving hero of mine. He also was a gay athlete and I remember reading it and feeling a lot less alone in the world.

Your knitting started out as a hobby and has become such a big part of your life, but have you ever tried your hand at another hobby only to find out you’re not so good at it? What went wrong?

Once I try something, I will keep trying ’til I get it right. I think the big thing for me is that I’ll only ever stick to something if I enjoy the process! Since I was young, I’ve always dived. My training schedule was intense, right up until recently when I decided to take a year out. So I never really had time to try many hobbies. Knitting is one of the first and I’m so glad I’ve found something that is on the same level as my passion for diving.


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How do you balance your social life with family life now that you are a father? Any advice for queer people looking to start a family?

Life is always about balance, but our son is the most important thing and always comes first! He’s absolutely awesome and you always make it work! One piece of advice I’d give is never to listen to other parents’ advice. You will know your child better than anyone and everyone is doing their best.

What’s your ideal at-home knitting set-up? Do you like to sit in a certain place? Are you solely focused on that, or do you like to have the TV or music on? If so, what’s your go-to comfort show or artist?

I wish I had a full-on studio, but I currently knit all over the place. I always have it in a bag so I can take it all over the house with me. I like to listen to “chilled disco vibes” on Spotify. It’s a random collection of fun disco music while I’m knitting.

Would you ever knit a harness? If so, who would you gift it to?

I have knitted all kind of things similar to this… I don’t know who I would gift it to honestly… Maybe Manu Rios?!

Can we expect Pride-themed crochet speedos in the future?

Never say never 😉 Watch this space!

What does your ideal date night with your husband look like?

We love to walk and explore! I bet it would start with an early dinner, walk to a show, get frozen yoghurt after!

How do you set boundaries on what you would like to share online and keep private? How has your relationship with social media changed as your platform has grown?

I think social media is a powerful place to get your view across but also can be dangerous for mental health. I always try to curate my social media in a way that I follow people that inspire me, make me laugh, or I’m interested in. As soon as something makes me feel anything other than that, I either unfollow or mute. I try to be as mindful as possible. I share all the things that I think are cool and we give our son privacy also, as he hasn’t made that choice yet.


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Who is a queer or trans artist/performer/creator that you think is doing really cool work right now? Why are they someone we should all be paying attention to?

Kim Petras is doing some amazing things! I love how unapologetically queer she is and doesn’t change anything about herself to fit the mold. It’s great to have more queer representation in the music charts too!

Related: Bullies once threatened to break Tom Daley’s legs. Now he’s telling the world what he’s made of


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