Tom Daley promises to use his OBE to highlight LGBT+ rights

Tom Daley

British Olympic champion Tom Daley says he will use his new OBE to continue his work highlighting LGBT+ rights across the world.

Daley was announced as a recipient of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year Honour’s announcements.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Daley said he now feels a responsibility to make the Commonwealth a more inclusive place for LGBT+ people.

“I’m extremely proud to be honoured with an OBE, Daley told the program adding that he felt “a responsability to make the whole Commonwealth a better place for LGBT+ people, for women, for people of colour, to make it a more inclusive and accepting environment.”

“With accepting this OBE it’s now my responsibility to help create change and help create this environment where everybody can be anything they want, no matter where they came from.”

Britain has previously acknowledged that many of the strictest anti-LGBTIQA+ laws around the world stem from countries times as British colonies. While Britain decriminalised homosexuality in 1958, many of their former colonies retain laws that have their origin in the British legal system.

Daley’s no stranger to voicing support for LGBTIQA+ rights, this year he delivered Britain’s Alternative Christmas Message on TV channel ITV. While the BBC plays a per-recorded message from the Queen each year, it’s commercial rival invites a person of note to deliver an alternative speech.

In his address Daley questioned why soccer’s World Cup is being held in countries who discriminate against LGBTIQA+ people.

“In 2022 the World Cup is being held in the second most dangerous country on Earth for queer people, Qatar. Why are we allowing places that aren’t safe for all fans and all players to host our most prestigious sporting events? Hosting a World Cup is an honour. Why are we honouring them? Holding a Formula One grand prix is an honour. Why are we honouring Saudi Arabia?”

Tom Daley said he was lucky to live in the United Kingdom with husband Dustin Lance Black and their son Robert, but said sport was one area that still had a long way to go in tackling homophobia.

He highlighted that Australian Josh Cavallo, who shared that he was gay this year, is the only top-flight footballer in the world who has come out.

“Well done Josh, I mean, your courage is amazing. But just think for a moment about the number of players who are too scared to speak up, and how lonely that must be.

“Nearly 7% of people in the UK identify as gay or bisexual and there are about 500 Premier League players. That means statistically there are enough players for three football teams running out on to that pitch every week. At least one gay man at every single club in the Premier League, living a lie. So, if I had one Christmas wish it would be that next year, that changes. That one impossibly brave Premier League player steps forward and says ‘I am gay’.

“That person would inspire gay people everywhere, give hope to thousands of teenagers struggling with their sexuality and save the lives of countless young people who don’t currently feel like they have a place in this world.” Daley said in the segment.

Tom Daley also voices his solidarity with people who are transgender and praises athletes who are transgender who took part in this year’s Olympics.

OIP Staff

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