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Tom Daley Comes Out – As Happy

In the affecting, intimate-yet-professional YouTube clip above, a slightly red-eyed and emotional Tom Daley, the Olympic medal winning British diver and best thing to happen to Speedos since Mark Spitz, says he was misquoted in an interview earlier this year in which he appeared to deny he was gay (albeit insisting he wouldn’t be ashamed if he was). He went on to make an announcement that you have probably already read about.

‘Now I feel ready to talk about my relationships. And come spring my life changed massively when I met someone and they make me feel so safe, happy and everything feels great. And that someone is a guy.’

Cue banner headlines announcing TOM DALEY COMES OUT!!. Millions of really witty Tweets about #TomGayley. And The Daily Telegraph informing us on the front page of their online edition that nineteen-year-old Tom has announced he is a nineteenth century medical classification: ‘homosexual’.

Daily Telegraph 'Daley announces he is homosexual'

Daily Telegraph: ‘Daley announces he is homosexual’

Though in the actual clip rather than people’s overheated minds Tom says no such thing. What he Tom Daley, the person whose sexuality we’re all pronouncing-pouncing on comes out as is: someone dating a man who makes him feel safe and happy.

He also goes on to say: ‘I still fancy girls, of course’. He doesn’t in fact define his sexuality at any point, as gay, straight or even bisexual. That may change. Or it might not. And I’m sure everyone has an opinion on that.

But frankly, it doesn’t matter. Whatever we might like to analyse or gossip or speculate – and I’m guilty of all those vices myself – in the end it’s really not our concern. It’s nineteen-year-old Tom’s concern. For all the crowing yesterday from people who ALWAYS KNEW that Tom was A GAY, currently his sexuality remains officially undefined – even though yes, he does still have pretty eyes a soft voice and a really pert bum.

Tom’s journey is his own to make. And sexuality itself is a journey that doesn’t have to have a final destination. But try telling that to the press. This excellent piece in the Guardian by Nichi Hodgson about the media’s need to label Tom as GAY said it best:

“The only facts that speak for themselves are that Daley is dating a man, and wants to be honest about the fact so the media doesn’t try to make assertions about his personal life and preferences for him. Instead, the only thing that has been outed today is the media’s rigidity – and stupidity – when it comes to reporting on sexuality.”

Perhaps Tom might have been able to tell the world he was dating a guy a bit sooner if the world, straight and gay hadn’t been yelling YOU’RE GAY!!! at him for most of his teens. If we all dialled the gaydar down a little and erred on the side of open-mindedness it would make it a lot easier for guys to be open about their interest in other guys. Or bronzer and Speedos.

Though perhaps that is to miss part of the point of gaydar – that it can be a form of surveillance. A way of policing men’s appearance, gender style and sex lives, even and especially when it’s gay men operating it. It’s a source of constant wonder to me how many gay people for all their pride in their super-accurate long-distance gaydar can’t see the sexual liberation wood for the gay trees.

This is the bit in Tom’s vid that we’re all not hearing:

“In an ideal world I would not be doing this video because it should not matter.”

tom daley

Olympic Sporno – From NBC

If you’ve been watching the noble Olympics in a slightly pervey way, treating all that lycra and fit young firm flesh on your HD screens as a form of illicit spornography then you deserve to be spanked soundly with a spiked running shoe.

But you’re not alone.

America’s prestigious NBC no less are doing it too.

With an online splurge of swim-boy nakedness called ‘Ab-Fab’ it asks you to ‘Guess the Swimmer’ – by identifying the headless topless torsos of selected Olympic totty.

In other words, it presents photos of top-flight swimmers as if they were headless naked profile pics on Manhunt or Gaydar. At the very least, it takes it for granted that you’ve been studying their bodies rather closely. They should really go the whole hog and provide a ‘MESSAGE ME!’ button to send those naughty athletes our phone numbers.

Someone with more morals than me might be inclined to huff and puff a little at this non-consensual spornographic exploitation of the golden swim-boys. But then, they are encouraging it, those devilish rascals, with their low-slung pants showing off their storm-proof ‘cum-gutters’ and saucy ‘come-hither’ pelvic tatts. They know exactly what kind of world we’re living in – and they seem determined to give it a semi.

And when you see NBC’s full-length pic of multi-Gold-medal-winner Phelps – the slim-hipped superstar whose seismic popularity might just overcome America’s deep-seated Speedophobia – you realise that, like so many young men today, he’s already practically stripping for Fratmen TV , even when he’s wearing jeans and underpants. (And why he deserves yet another Gold – for tarting.)

Meanwhile, two US National wrestlers have permanently lost their place on the team and their scholarships for actually doing just that.

Tip: D.A. Krolak