While some have dismissed Tom Daley’s coming out as bisexual yesterday as ‘no big deal’ the anti-gay vitriol he’s received on social media suggests otherwise.
The 19-year-old British champion diver revealed that he is in a relationship with another man in a YouTube video posted on Monday.
The news made international headlines and became a trending topic on Twitter in the UK.
The heartthrob received many messages of congratulations from the public and celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, who said on Twitter that Daley was “Inspiring and brave… as always!!! #RespectTom”.
Boy George wrote, “Good for you @TomDaley1994 and let that be the end of it!”, Ben Cohen commented “Congrats!! You are truly a great role model. I would love to support you!!” and Stephen Fry tweeted, “I opened the second door on my advent calendar and Tom Daley came out. Seriously @TomDaley1994 congratulations. So happy for you.”
Other Twitter users, however, were abusive in their response with the “faggot” slur being used with abandon.
Based on the homophobic comments posted on social media, it appears that a high profile athlete coming out as bisexual or gay still remains a controversial and divisive event.
In response, Piers Morgan commented: “To all the homophobes out there spewing bigoted bile about Tom Daley, I laugh in your wretched little faces. You’re losing, he’s winning.”
Daley himself ignored the negativity and tweeted: “Overwhelmed by all the support! Means the world! Thanks so much guys.”
Read some examples of the homophobic backlash against Daley below.