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On Labeling Tom Daley's Sexuality: VIDEO


When Tom Daley posted his 'coming out' video, I wrote that he had come out as bisexual, a reflexive action most likely applied in haste of getting my post up, but inaccurate, I'll admit, as Daley said he still may "fancy girls", but didn't label himself gay or bisexual, or anything.

DaleySince Daley came out I've read many pieces on this topic.

Michelangelo Signorile sees a new trend in Daley's coming out moment, and actress Maria Bello's, which didn't garner nearly as much attention but was similar in its lack of labeling:

Make no mistake: They did come out -- contrary to those who've claimed otherwise -- but simply as being in same-sex relationships right now, and as having attractions to, or having been involved with, people of the opposite gender.

This was very new, and very different from the "I don't like labels" attitude of some celebrities of yesteryear, like Michael Stipe or Morrissey in the '80s, or TV stars like Sean Hayes in the '90s, who were often just trying to keep the press at bay at a time when they believed that coming out would have alienated fans. Not only did they reject any term to describe themselves, but they never talked of same-sex relations ever, keeping it in the realm of the private. In most of these cases, particularly in the cases of actors and musicians, the individuals in question were concerned for their careers. And yet, many didn't want to lie outright, like Hollywood celebrities who are closeted and often mocked. "I don't like to define myself" was convenient, even utopian and cool.

But Daley and Bello aren't even saying that much, perhaps because, in the end, that was always a defensive stand (wrapped up in hipness), and both of them are far from defensive.

Also, vlogger John Scholl (pictured, above) has something to say about it, 

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  1. I was so proud of Tom for coming out, now I'm just totally depressed that he's dating 39-year-old Dustin Lance Black. He's going to get his heart broken for sure.

    Posted by: K | Dec 4, 2013 10:47:56 AM

  2. I had the same reaction when I saw the press trying to figure out if Tom came out as "gay" or "bisexual".... or "came out as being in a relationship with a man". Perhaps the better phrase would be "discloses" or "reveals". "Coming out" is still relevant, particularly as a political strategy, but a lot of good could also be done through people revealing the nuances of their actual sexuality (not just their sexual identity). We don't talk about all the out-of-the-box exploration that can happen as part of the development of our sexual identity, or as part of an interest in or exploration of the grey areas between identities. Tom Daley may ultimately "come out" as gay or bisexual, but for the time being I think he's revealed a moment in his life that is much more vulnerable than just this.

    Posted by: mike128 | Dec 4, 2013 10:48:15 AM

  3. i think he added the "i still fancy girls" to temper the fact that he had denied being gay in the past.

    maybe he thought it made him appear less dishonest if he threw that in there...

    but really, does it matter? "coming out" is a personal process and just because these people are celebrities we can't force them to do it on our terms.

    Posted by: dft426 | Dec 4, 2013 10:53:25 AM

  4. I know he said he was misquoted by that's a pretty extensive misquote.

    There's more to this than just some misquote.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 4, 2013 11:01:54 AM

  5. I think it's great! Hope he's happy with his boyfriend.

    Though I do take offense to anyone making a big deal or worse taking offense to Tom being labeled (by the LGBT or friendly media)

    If someone wants to label someone else or mistakenly label someone gay/bi, the really only appropriate response is "So/So is personally not into labels/has not labeled themselves but is grateful for the inclusion or such a wonderful community. Cheers"

    This in fighting is just ridiculous and sometimes downright offensive when wanting to distance from the LGBT community as a whole. It's actually a big problem with this whole "no labels" trend(not all people of course but it's very prevalent amongst the crowd)to want nothing to do with our community and show little regard for our history, yet some of them have no problems clinging to the hetero-normative but somehow have issues with every other label.

    There is nothing wrong with labeling, especially if people are so privileged to not understand other people's (LGBT or friendly) curiously and excitement for notable people coming out as something other than heterosexual.

    Posted by: Cory | Dec 4, 2013 11:08:44 AM

  6. Just because you put your penis in a vagina when you were 16 does not make you a bisexual.

    I fancy girls at times too, but then they start talking and I'm like...yep still gay.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Dec 4, 2013 11:11:52 AM

  7. I remember being 19 and I didn't have everything figured out. I still don't.

    I do think that TD and DLB's current age difference can be problematic, though. If Tom were 29 and Dustin were 49, the twenty years would feel significantly less than 19 to 39.

    Posted by: jlavoy | Dec 4, 2013 11:12:16 AM

  8. "Coming out'" belongs to the 20th century, along with "disco'" and "Castro clone". It just doesn't exist anymore, except as an old habit, like your great-grandmother referring to her refrigerator as an "icebox".

    How many more obviously not-straight people have to confirm the obvious before we let go of this antiquity? How many more people have to confirm their sexuality without putting someone else's label on it before this label gets retired?

    You've identified the problem, so now enact the solution: put "coming out" out of its misery, once and for all, and move into 2014, leaving the disco era in its place in history, not out-of-place in the present.

    Posted by: Oncemorewithfeeling | Dec 4, 2013 11:13:16 AM

  9. I really don't see a reason for him to label himself as long as he doesn't call some guy "straight acting." I rather think he wouldn't.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Dec 4, 2013 11:14:27 AM

  10. Didn't everybody go through the "I still fancy girls" phase when they first came out? In a year or two, he'll have the courage to claim the scary g-word.

    Posted by: crispy | Dec 4, 2013 11:16:22 AM

  11. Personally, I think Daley is Gay. No that's not me trying to demonstrate some sort of erasure towards bisexuality or any other form of sexual attraction, but just my gut feeling and I think the " still fancies girls" part was just an extra bit to placate his brand.
    I am pretty sure we're never gonna see Tom Daley dating a woman ever again. Though, of course that's not proof he's actually gay, he could still be bi.

    Posted by: Bryan | Dec 4, 2013 11:17:47 AM

  12. Regarding Once More With Feeling:

    Possibly if you live exclusively in an urban area in United States or the UE "coming out" is an outdated 20th century term. But, put aside your narrow vision of the world and try and take into account that folks in 90 percent of the rest of the globe may still have to actually "come out."

    Have you been following the events in Russia, Africa, the Middle East?

    And as for what to label Mr. Daley. LGBT seems to cover it. That's why we have it isn't it? To cover all the bases.

    Posted by: Jon | Dec 4, 2013 11:20:22 AM

  13. I love how people get all excited about celebrity sexuality.... when the chance of ever hooking up with that celebrity is so close to zero as to make no difference.

    Relationships are what matter, sexuality... not so much.

    Posted by: jexer | Dec 4, 2013 11:25:21 AM

  14. Just how many angels can dance on the head of this pin ?

    For f***'s sake stop navel gazing and let him get on with dating Pope Francis or whoever he wants to date.
    we don't have to make it an obsession.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 4, 2013 11:27:55 AM

  15. Who cares how he labels himself. I don't care about the private lives of "celebrities". I will get a good laugh when Daley starts complaining about people intruding into his personal life after he posts this video to "come out" and talk about his private life.

    Posted by: Perry | Dec 4, 2013 11:29:32 AM

  16. Many of us remember when Elton John insisted that he was a "bisexual" too. Bisexual seems to be a way of saying, "alright, I'm gay, but I'm not TOO gay."

    Posted by: Kieran | Dec 4, 2013 11:43:14 AM

  17. We have to remember tha Tomt Daley was Britain's great Olympic hero just a couple years ago. Daley was the "Golden Boy" of the London Olympic games. You think the newsmedia is now going to hold this beautiful specimen of a male up as the poster boy for gay men around the world just like that? Not likely.

    Posted by: Wally | Dec 4, 2013 11:48:32 AM

  18. You never hear heterosexuals say that they don't like labels.

    Posted by: db | Dec 4, 2013 11:55:01 AM

  19. He may not call himself bisexual but he is bisexual. If a heterosexual man, on his death bed, only ever talked about the wives he's had - then yeah, he would be a heterosexual, and everyone would agree as much.

    Why is it that homosexual and bisexual people are only ever labeling themselves, but the breeders never are? If you care about the "label" then you have a problem with your life.

    Posted by: Telly | Dec 4, 2013 11:55:33 AM

  20. @DB - Seriously ! You are right. It's weird that some homo/bi people get upset over labels. Duh, self hatred or denial...or some kind of crazy distancing from reality.

    Posted by: Telly | Dec 4, 2013 11:57:17 AM

  21. @DB I never hear of heterosexuals being beaten,fired,disowned,killed for being heterosexual either

    Posted by: Kim | Dec 4, 2013 12:01:33 PM

  22. I am a happily bisexual man who at 36 years old is very sure of my bisexuality: two multi-year, very sexual relationships with women that I considered marrying and two two-year emotional and highly sexual relationships with men who I considered marrying. I've also dated both men and women casually (more men than women on that score--2 to 1, but mostly because at my age more men are interested in casual dating vs. women who are interested in relationships only as they near 40; and gay men have a higher tolerance for dating bisexuals than women, because of societal perceptions) between relationships since I was 17. I am proud to be bisexual and open about it even in the face of a lot of negative reaction because I want to raise visibility. But it makes me sad that if I ever am lucky enough to find someone to marry and stay faithful to for the rest of my life that people will say "see I told you he was just pretending to be bi on the way to realizing he was gay" if it's a man or "see, never date a bi guy because he will always leave you for a woman/of course he went back to being straight now that he got over that phase" if its a woman. I will always be bisexual and I will always know that and love that about myself. But the labels othere insist on putting on me to somehow clarify that bisexuality are exhausting. Tom Daley may or may not end up straight, gay, or bisexual and if he's lucky he'll find the "one" early on and be happy for the rest of his life. If that person is a man or woman it doesn't make him a liar about liking the other. When I am with a man, I am 100% faithful, but sometimes m@sturbate thinking about sex (oral and vaginal) with women and still check out porn featuring women...and vice-versa when I am with a woman. But if I marry a man and never eat out a woman again, it will not make me gay. I will still be bi. This is why assigning labels from the outside is futile.

    Posted by: BreckRoy | Dec 4, 2013 12:06:44 PM

  23. @Kim

    So homosexual and bisexual people should define their lives based on the bigotry of others?

    Oh hell no.

    Posted by: Telly | Dec 4, 2013 12:07:50 PM

  24. is very easy to say something about the young boy Tom sexuality but he has the best opportunity to share who he really!

    Posted by: GayVideos | Dec 4, 2013 12:11:52 PM

  25. @Gayvideos

    He's really bisexual. Case closed. I don't see the big deal in saying that.

    Posted by: Telly | Dec 4, 2013 12:13:38 PM

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