Earlier this week I was scanning a news site when I saw the headline “Tom Daley in relationship with man”. I did a double take.
I know who Tom Daley is. He’s a lovely young lad who was one of our Olympic swimming heroes, but I couldn’t understand what the story was.
My brain tried again. Perhaps the ‘man’ was much older, some sort of sexual predator, that seemed a vaguely topical possibility, but the headline surely would have been clearer? Confused, I clicked on the link and read the story in question.
It turned out Tom Daley has posted a you tube video saying (and I paraphrase) “I have a boyfriend and I’m very happy”. That’s a story? Really? A young man has a happy relationship and that’s news? Would it be news if I said “I have a boyfriend and I’m very happy”?
Well actually of course, in some circles it would. Indeed, only the next day I found myself in conversation with someone (who knew I had a husband) saying pretty much exactly that.
In the circumstances it was the only thing to say. Anyone who has seen me with Mat can tell our relationship is a close one and rather than feel like the subject of speculation and, most likely, misunderstanding I wanted to be honest. I could have avoided explaining but such an evasion would have left exactly the sort of misunderstanding I wanted to avoid.
I was lucky, the news was received as I would have hoped with a level of humour and acceptance that allows me the freedom to be myself. It’s a pleasant relief that Tom Daley’s story appears to have been received likewise.
And that is a good feeling. So while relationship revelations shouldn’t have to be news, sometimes they really are.