Tom Daley Comes Out

I actually find this really interesting (and well done Tom for having the courage to be open and honest).

From the transcript:

Well that someone is a guy. And it did take me by surprise a little bit. It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen. But it wasn’t until spring this year that something just clicked, it felt right. And I was like: OK.

Like I said, my whole world just changed right there and then. Of course, I still fancy girls, but right now I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier. I feel safe and it just feels right.

So what label are you going to give Tom? Is he bi-sexual? Is this one bloke the only man he’s ever really fancied? If so, does that make him a straight guy dating a man? And is that at all linked to the loss of his father at such a crucial time in his life (I’m intrigued as to why he feels “safe”)?

I would love to sit down with Tom and explore it all a bit more.

One thing’s for sure, using “gay” and “straight” as prescriptive identities means that we restrict ourselves in genuinely understanding people’s sexual identities.

Posted in Sexual Identity, UK News
  • Joe_R6

    He probably would have (seriously) dated a girl by now if he was bi. The widespread assumption has always been (based on his voice etc) that he is gay. On the other hand, Gareth Malone is married with a kid but *appears* to be totally gay. Celebrities will never escape these rumours as long as there are “innate” characteristics that other gay people can easily detect.

    • But is it as simple as that? Surely a young man growing up in a gay friendly environment becomes open to the possibility of such a relationship regardless of their sexual orientation? So saying is Tom gay or straight or bi misses the point.

      And he does say he’s interested in girls, so that just complicates it.

      • Hamlet

        Joe, your point is that he “must be gay” because he hasn’t yet dated a girl (“He probably would have (seriously) dated a girl by now if he was
        bi.”). That’s quite a fallacy; I know plenty of guys who are of a similar age who have yet to enter into a relationship with either sex.

        Peter; Why is this so complicated? Seems pretty straightforward. Regardless of his orientation, he currently says he is involved in what is bisexual behaviour. Why? because he’s dating a guy and “fancies girls”. If you’re in a gay relationship but consider yourself straight, maybe you should think again if you’re /actually/ straight, because existentially, you’re at least bi. So I don’t think your point about being open to gay relationships in today’s environment really makes sense.

        • “If you’re in a gay relationship but consider yourself straight, maybe you should think again if you’re /actually/ straight, because existentially, you’re at least bi.”

          This is the problem with your thinking. You want sexual orientation to be the same as sexual identity.

          It is perfectly possible to be “straight” and in a relationship with someone of the same-sex. It is perfectly possible to be “gay” and in a relationship with someone of the other-sex. Trying to label this as “bi” is an attempt to avoid the inconvenient consequences of accepting that these things happen and that sexual orientation does not determine sexual identity.

          • Hamlet

            It is perfectly possible to be straight and in a relationship with someone of the same sex; but in terms of behaviour, you’re “acting” gay. I

            know you have a particularly unique standpoint which is almost exclusive to a religious background; I was talking about behaviour in a wider sense, in world that doesn’t necessarily see the need for gay people to enter into straight relationships because of some inherent deficiency of homosexual relationships. I don’t think, necessarily, that such a world would comprehend what you have done (and I certainly cannot get my head around it! It confuses me no end, I don’t really feel qualified to make much of a comment). So yes, it is possible to be gay but behave straight, but at the end of the day, I suspect Tom Daley would consider himself as bisexual. Interesting that he doesn’t specify, however.

            • “I suspect Tom Daley would consider himself as bisexual. Interesting that he doesn’t specify, however.”

              Well exactly

              • Hamlet

                I’ve recently perceived a general feeling that people have gotten to the point where labels aren’t important anymore. It’s sort of become a non-issue in many ways (though it still remains an issue, paradoxically). It may have come off of the back of that.

          • Mike Homfray

            If you have absolutely no attraction to the opposite sex, then it isn’t a very good idea to have a relationship with them – or for that matter, if you don’t have any attraction to the same sex, the same suggestion applies.
            Its possible for anyone to do the ‘mechanics’ of sex with anyone else, but that’s no basis for any sort of relationship.
            Surely a religiously-based switch to heterosexual relationships includes an emotional and sexual attraction to the woman you love? I’m asking this sincerely because I couldn’t do it (and at one time I did want to go in that direction…though I’m so, so glad I didn’t now)

        • Joe_R6

          I don’t know what he *really* is (he hasn’t actually used any labels). Nor do I care that much. Like everyone else I just wondered why such an attractive young celebrity didn’t appear to have a girlfriend + the gaydar went off big time the first time I heard him talk in a video clip… so I concluded “likely to be gay”. I doubt he has lacked offers in the last few years. Yes he has his diving career and some of those girlfriend offers would be golddiggers but seriously…. in this day and age.

          • Hamlet

            In this day and age? Lots of people are single…

  • Mike Homfray

    Tom is only 19 and has lived much of his life in the public eye. I think he said what he wanted to say and how he makes sense of it all is for him and absolutely no-one else – it must be difficult enough when everything you do or say is of interest to the paps and the tabloids. So good for him for doing it his way!

  • James Byron

    Glad that Daley felt comfortable doing this. It’s a sign of how far society has come in accepting LGBT people.

    Orientation and identity aren’t synonymous, but are closely connected, in that one describes another. From the small amount of info we have, the orientation Daley’s described sounds like bisexuality, and he’s currently dating a guy. Maybe he’s bi, or maybe he’s unsure as yet, and will prefer to identify himself as gay. The following ‘Guardian’ article says it well:-

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/02/tom-daley-bisexual-sexuality-diver-relationship-man

    The important thing is that people feel free in choosing how to describe themselves, a freedom that comes from existing in a safe and welcoming environment.

  • Kevin Morgan

    If Tom is in a relationship with a man and still fancies girls it’s his business. I applaud the young man’s courage. Young people today don’t seem to care so much about labels. The professional Gays do, they live in a black and white world of gay and straight. Someone who’s dating a guy and fancies girls messes up their politics. And of course the religious right must impose it’s foolishness on everyone.
    God forbid that people should be happy in ways their god wouldn’t approve. I doubt that Tom needs any preachers to “explore” this with him. He’s happy. And I’m happy for him.

    “To be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing it’s best, night and day, to make you somebody else–means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
    e.e. cummings

    • Joe_R6

      Tom has courted publicity far more than rest of Team GB. He also has traded heavily on his teen appeal – so it’s very unlikely that his relationship status and the reasons for it will ever be “his business”. If he follows up his sporting career with a television career, the professional gays will be keeping a look out for those girls he fancies. That’s showbiz.

      BTW – where did you pick out the religious angle on this story? Is Tom a Christian?

  • DavidRevd

    I’m sure his sexuality has been reported before – I was aware and I must have got it from the.media.

  • It’s a fascinating subject, with some fascinating comments (here and elsewhere).
    Two points stand out for me. Firstly, what do we mean by “coming out”? Do we mean “this is how I feel therefore this is who I am” or do we mean “this is how I feel but this is not who I am”? If it’s the first, then to “come out” is to be honest about our emotions (which is healthy) and to act on those emotions (which in this case is unhealthy). In an unjust world, anxiety about “coming out” is a response to the possibility that society might not say “this is who you are”. In a just world, the anxiety would be a response to the opposite possibility – that society might say “this is who you are”.
    The second point is one raised by you, Peter: labels. Man and Woman give us labels that pertain to physical realities. So do Heterosexual and Homosexual (if by them we mean bodies in relation to other bodies). But “Gay”, “Straight” and “Bi” are self-chosen (emotional) identities. Far from being restrictive, they abandon the body and leave us with nothing but our limitless mind. Tom Daley has unwittingly exposed the contradiction inherent to supposing there to be an equivalence between sexual difference and sexual sameness: if they are equivalent, why retain the terms??

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      Some interesting questions. Let me suggest some straightforward, common sense answers.

      “Coming out” for a homosexual or bi-sexual person simply means being truthful about one’s sexual orientation and recognizing that, except in very exceptional situations, concealing a homosexual or bi-sexual orientation is as unnecessary and pointless as concealing a heterosexual one.

      It does NOT mean “This is how I feel, therefore this is who I am”, nor does it mean “This is how I feel but this is not who I am”. It means “My sexual orientation is one aspect, and a perfectly legitimate and positive aspect, of who I am”, just as a heterosexual person’s sexual orientation is one perfectly legitimate and positive aspect of who they are.

      In a perfectly just world, there would be no reason for anxiety about coming out. There would be no possibility that society might say “this is who you are”, any more than, in our present imperfect world, society says of a person’s heterosexuality “This is who you are.”

      Heterosexual, homosexual and bi-sexual are simply labels used to classify people’s sexual attractions. Even if there are no rigid boundaries between the categories, this does not invalidate the classification any more than the absence of rigid boundaries invalidates the classification of voice types (soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto and tenor, baritone, bass). Gay, straight and bi are, or at any rate were originally, merely colloquialisms. However, gay has acquired an extra implication: it tends to imply a fully accepting and positive attitude to a homosexual orientation, although not everyone would use it in that way. Again, in a perfectly just society there would be no need to use a word in this way, since the question of any other kind of attitude would not arise.

      I cannot usefully comment on your last two sentences, “Far from being restrictive…why retain the terms??”, since I am unable to attach any clear meaning to them.

      • “a heterosexual person’s sexual orientation”

        Tautology?

        Seriously GM, aren’t you presuming exactly what I’ve been saying? You’re making someone’s sexual orientation their sexual identity. If one is heterosexual, why does one need to have a sexual orientation as well?

        “However, gay has acquired an extra implication: it tends to imply a fully accepting and positive attitude to a homosexual orientation, although not everyone would use it in that way.”

        Good insight. Thank you.

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          Yes, Peter, I agree with you that it does seem very much like a tautology, and I was in fact aware of that when I wrote the phrase “a heterosexual person’s sexual orientation”. I was being deliberately over-precise in an attempt to forestall anyone who wanted to derail the discussion by some irrelevant objection, e.g. “There are other kinds of orientation that a person can have besides a sexual one.”

      • That is a reasonable analogy, so let’s examine it. What is the context that defines the difference between, say, Bass and Tenor? Pitch. If we were to declare Bass and Tenor to be equal within the context of Pitch, would we need to retain the terms Bass and Tenor? What is the context that defines the difference between sexual difference and sexual sameness?

        The point I make (and i believe Peter made) is that Tom Daley “ignoring the rules” on labelling is no surprise, since those labels no longer make sense. If every choice is equally valid, then all choices are the same choice. So why give them names?

        • James Byron

          Even if we’d escaped 2,000 years of Christendom-backed homophobia, we’d still use labels for the sake of clarity.

          As that history does exist, the labels assert an identity against a presumption of heterosexuality. Even if there’s no negative judgment, LGBT people are still assumed to be something they’re not, which carries its own weight. “Coming out” is an ongoing process. Hopefully, with the introduction of equal marriage, the presumption of heterosexuality will be eroded.

          And as Guglielmo Marinaro says, “gay” also implies affirmation, which is why non-affirming groups prefer labels like “same-sex attraction,” or Victorian medical terminology like “homosexual.”

          • “Even if we’d escaped 2,000 years of Christendom-backed homophobia”. The Bible is the truth, and truth is love.

            “Hopefully, with the introduction of equal marriage, the presumption of heterosexuality will be eroded”. Recognition of the concept of Heterosexuality will not be eroded. Instead, it will have to entirely disapear from law. Why do names exist? To identify difference. Why are existing names (like Father and Mother) legally disappearing? Because existing differences are being legally denied.

            • James Byron

              I disagree that the Bible is truth — I view it as a series of human texts selected and canonized by human judgment — and a pluralist state certainly can’t take a theological line.

              Of course heterosexuality won’t be eroded. It isn’t going anywhere. What I hope will be eroded are the assumptions that it’s normative or preferable. Instead of people growing up thinking they should be straight, they grow up thinking that they could be anywhere within the LGBTI spectrum, and that’s fine.

              • ‘I view it as a series of human texts selected and canonized by human judgment’

                What possible purpose could such a statement serve when the same could be said of the laws we live by and even the very best that you could ever write? On what basis can you ascertain the veracity of anything Christ is reputed to have said?

                BTW, heterosexuality is the normative mechanism by which children are naturally conceived (and orientation-free IVF cycles are too expensive to predominate), so the assumption that it is normative is a fairly safe bet. It is also preferable for the majority of society to be heterosexual as this maintains the gene pool variety needed for society to survive biological catastrophe. Natural fecundity is chiefly an outcome of health and heterosexuality which advantageously balances age distribution within society in favour of youth. The low birth rate is a major concern for western societies, not because of population size, but rather the impact on age distribution.

                I can only hope that you’ll discover precision of expression in this comment thread that escaped you in our last encounter.

                • James Byron

                  Few people treat laws as the inerrant word of God (it’d create wicked bad cognitive dissonance if they did). Since you’ve yet to relay your position on biblical inspiration and authority, I don’t know where you stand on this.

                  I assume you know the criteria used by biblical studies to test the authenticity of Jesus sayings. The original words behind the Greek translations are of course lost.

                  “Normative” typically carries ethical connotations. That heterosexuality is more common, and necessary to procreate, are both statements of the obvious. You express it precisely, but the purpose behind that expression is a good deal less clear.

                  • Considering that the church has been around for over two millenia, I think that the discussion of biblical inspiration and authority is one of relatively recent vintage.

                    The purpose of canonising scripture was never to confer inerrancy, but to establish an authoritative framework of consensus for the church to avoid major schisms. Scripture may inform our teaching, but it takes a bit more mental tenacity than mere quotation to elicit the truth that it can convey.
                    As a Christian, I value whatever I can discover of the history of Israel, the eye-witness accounts of what Jesus said and did, and also those whom He wisely appointed to convey His body of thought. The scripture is the principle means of doing this. I spend more time reading scripture as a challenge to my own thought-patterns and personal choices than as a means of evaluating its historicity. We probably all know right from wrong, what we need is a means of challenging our propensity for self-deception about consequences, our self-righteousness when we do right and hopeless despair when we do wrong.

                    If we look at Christ’s example, in order to practise as an itinerant rabbi, He would have had a thorough grounding in the law and the prophets. He would have accepted their version of events as authoritative. However, what appears most striking in the gospels is the remarkable lack of Old Testament quotations in direct speech. The gospels are all about His miraculous encounters, His probing insights about human nature and explanations about God through stories about practical life experiences and choices.

                    In fact, Jesus’ most familiar oratory device is the parable, rather than quoting from authority. In contrast, it’s His opponents who cherry-picked scripture to condemn Him.

                    • James Byron

                      I agree with much of that, but, as 4th century realpolitik isn’t truth, I don’t believe that we’re bound by it today.

                      The Jesus of the gospels teaches against allowing the letter of the law to crush the spirit of the law. The letters of Paul replace the Law of Moses with the law of the Spirit. Affirming LGBT relationships fits within that line of thinking.

                      Is there a good reason to withhold affirmation?

                    • The issue is whether affirmation is the primary purpose of marriage. While it can confer social affirmation, it cannot be said to produce this consistently. Some perfectly legal marriages can scandalise society producing the opposite effect.

                      Nevertheless, your chosen definition does reveal the priority for supporters of same-sex marriage. Marriage is viewed as a vehicle for replacing social stigma with social acceptance.

                      Unfortunately, the law doesn’t really intervene in people’s private choices and mutual arrangements to apply a complex framework of regulations unless there is a significant public purpose served in doing so. That purpose is no to undo discrimination. The reality is that without marriage, couples can still live together in loving permanent, faithful and stable relationships, build informal relationships with each other’s families and make joint decisions to the betterment of their shared lives without any recourse to legal recognition.

                      Marriage is an estate, meaning that it formally recognises a sexual relationship with a specific set of outcomes by according them a set of permanent mutually held rights, privileges and responsibilities that will be upheld and defended through consistent set of defined legal consequences.

                      Christ harks back to the Genesis in man’s innocence long before law-giving to describe God’s intent for marriage. Even in man’s innocence, while the whole of creation is viewed as good, what is not good is that Adam is alone. While he is made in God’s image, he lacks the co-equal mutuality in the Godhead. The sexual differentiation that results in Eve is the solution to that.

                      So, the basis of Christian marriage is not an imposition of law (there is no positive law commanding marriage), but the unrevoked God-given impetus for a man to become ‘one flesh’ with his wife by rejoining what was parted and differentiated by God in creation. There is no reason why the church should consider this to be revoked, any more than Christ considered a marriage to be revoked for any and every cause of divorce.

                      It leaves us as upset and with as stark a choice as those who probably for personal reasons questioned Jesus on divorce.

                    • James Byron

                      While the “back to Eden” approach is internally consistent, it is unpersuasive when you take into account that Eden is a myth, and humans evolved primates. Internal consistency isn’t a foundation.

                      You could, possibly, rejig “one flesh” to encompass our evolutionary heritage, but even if you succeeded, you’d meet the aforementioned problem — a pluralist society can’t take a theological line on same-sex marriage, anymore than it can take one on divorce. Absent theology, some other justification must be found. My “social affirmation” line is as descriptive as it is proscriptive.

                    • Unfortunately, dispensing with the Eden ‘myth’ entirely poses two problems. Firstly, if we are part of a continuum of primate evolution, it undermines the ideal of permanent monogamy that Christ endorsed. Gorillas are polygynous, while other species are polyandrous for very good reasons.

                      Secondly, Christ harks back to this ‘myth’ in endorsing the permanence of marriage to those who interpreted the provisional Mosaic injunction as licence to divorce for any cause.

                      Of course, you’re not talking about marital permanence because you’re happy to turn a blind eye to this aspect that Jesus endorsed in. In the great tradition of substitionary parallel argument, you could possibly rejig ‘what God has joined together’ to encompass our evolutionary heritage, but as you say, that wouldn’t work in a pluralist society.

                      Ultimately, you only abandon the ‘myth’ in order to accommodate same-sex couples. It’s as much a special pleading as any other you’ve advanced.

                      Finally, I must remind you of your question that asked in the context of ‘the Jesus of the gospels’ and ‘Paul’s letters’, ‘is there a reason to withold affirmation?’

                      You can’t rebut my answer to this, by removing the context you’ve provided, saying ‘absent theology’. That’s just lame logic for duller minds than ours…and you know it!

                    • Guglielmo Marinaro

                      I think that what you say exemplifies very clearly the disadvantages of tying one’s religious beliefs to the legends of ancient mythology.

                      “I can only marvel that any man should seriously suppose that all that is most precious and elevating in his beliefs should be held on the tenure of the acceptance as historical facts of legends only to be paralleled by the stories of folk-lore.”

                      – SIR LESLIE STEPHEN, The Scepticism of Believers

                    • James Byron

                      As there’s no “if” about our evolved heritage until the mountain of evidence in favor of evolutionary theory is overturned, your position must either incorporate it, or walk the well-traveled path of denial.

                      Since we can overcome our instincts (mislabeled “original sin” by those who lacked subsequent discoveries) we’re not enslaved by them.

                      My distinction between theological and secular justifications for equal marriage preceded your posts. I believe marriage equality can be defended on both grounds.

                      Unless you treat the Bible as authoritative, there’s no reason we can’t disagree with Paul’s letters and the synoptic portrayal of Jesus on issues, marital permanence among them (I have no problem with divorce if a marriage has broken down).

                    • As you are aware, the ‘if’ merely introduces a logical condition.
                      I’m glad you agree that our instincts can be overcome: that we are not hostages to genetic determinism as some gay activists think. How refreshing!
                      Regardless of whether you consider assertions of marriage equivalence to be defensible from both standpoints, the comment thread shows that you asked me a specific question about affirmation within a theological context. Your former reference to secular justification cannot erase this. Of course, you could continue to cheapen your argument with an obvious trademark ‘win every point’ sophistry. Or you could do something unexpected.
                      You can disagree all you want with Paul’s letters and what you term ‘the synoptic portrayal of Jesus on issues. Your own reading of scripture becomes nothing more than an indulgence in self-affirmation.
                      Unless, you can present objective, consistent theological authority for doing so, you are merely cherry-picking those passages that you adopt in favour of your debating position and setting yourself up as an arbiter of where the Bible gets it right.
                      Guess what? You’re not and with everyone else here knowing that you feel compelled to deliver the last word in every comment thread, I can rest my case. I bet you can’t, but you’re welcome to prove me wrong.

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          “If every choice is equally valid, then all choices are the same choice. So why give them names?”

          I’m not sure what particular kind of choices, if any, you have in mind, but that does not matter particularly, since the statement is arrant nonsense anyway. “Equally valid”, no matter what “valid” is understood to mean, does NOT mean “the same”. Tonight I am free. I can stay in, or I can go out on the town. No sane person will suggest or imagine that if both of those choices are equally valid, then they are the same choice.

          It sounds to me as though someone, through striving to seem subtle and smart, is succeeding simply in being silly.

    • Hamlet

      “to act on those emotions (which in this case is unhealthy)”
      Why? Why is acting on emotions unhealthy? You seem to be mixing your ethical and moral viewpoints with medical science…without giving any real evidence.

      • Guglielmo Marinaro

        If they’re emotions that “gentlemind” doesn’t approve of and doesn’t like people acting on, then that clinches the matter: it must ipso facto be unhealthy to act on them. How could it possibly be anything else?

        • Hamlet

          Yes, that was what I was thinking, which is of course utter tripe as “healthy” is not related to morality.

        • Emotions, by virtue of their very nature, can neither be approved of nor disapproved of – our emotions are unknown to others until we act on them. It is the actions that are disapproved of. That is the basis of man-made law.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            More nonsense. Let us take, for example, an emotion such as wanting to smash someone else’s face in. One does not need to know who is experiencing this emotion, or even that anyone currently is, to disapprove of it, i.e. to regard it as undesirable. (Such disapproval does not necessarily have to imply moral culpability on the part of any person experiencing the emotion.) If the emotion is acted upon and someone’s face is actually smashed in, the disapproval will naturally be all the greater, but the emotion itself can meaningfully be disapproved of whether or not it issues in corresponding action.

            You are right; man-made laws do not punish people for their emotions or thoughts, only for their actions; but that has no bearing on the question.

            • Hello again Guglielmo. There is a difference between an emotion and an action, and there is a difference between a motivation and an outcome. A painter might have a picture in their mind, but by the time they put it on canvas it might not look like it did in their mind. So it is with our emotions. We might have a vision of a beautiful painting named Love, yet the canvas of our life might be coloured with suffering. The positivity and negativity of our emotions does not reside within the emotions themselves, but within the acts that are motivated by those emotions.

              • Hamlet

                This is largely irrelevant: my point is that you called acting on an emotion (presumably taking a male lover?) as “unhealthy” – without supporting that case. You presented it as an ethical argument, which it isn’t. It’s a medical one.

                • No, I did not call “acting on an emotion” “unhealthy”. I said “which in this case” ie in relation to acting on a homosexual sexual desire. Our mind, body and soul all have a health. Homosexual sexual activity is unhealthy on all three counts. It is subject to ethics/morality and medicine. The divide is between what we experience with our mind and what we experience with our body. As Peter repeatedly helpfully points out, our sexual identity is inherent to the physical reality of our body, either Male or Female. What we have come to call “sexual orientation” resides purely at the level of the mind. The question is “what are we to make of instances where the emotional and the physical clash?” The Catholic Church expresses that as a disorder, because the body is understood to have an inherent nature. If that is so, then – as Guglielmo recognises above – any actions motivated by that disorder cannot possibly be regarded as being anything other than also disordered.

                  • Guglielmo Marinaro

                    The problem with that argument is that neither “homosexual sexual desire” nor “homosexual sexual activity” is an instance in which “the emotional and the physical clash”.

                    • No, both are clashes. You recognise the position logically necessitated by the view that homosexual sexual desire is disordered – acting on that desire is disordered. So, what position is logically necessitated by your supposing that the body has no physical sexual nature that exists independent of human will?
                      I used the word “clash”, and the clash is possible only because of the nature of the body. If there is no nature of the body, then no state of mind can clash with that nature, since there is nothing to clash with! :)
                      Put simply, we either do the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, or we do anything and everything. There is no half-way house between truth and nihilism.

                    • Guglielmo Marinaro

                      “You recognise the position logically necessitated by the view that homosexual sexual desire is disordered – acting on that desire is disordered.”

                      Certainly the logic of that seems to me unassailable. That is of no particular importance, however, since the premiss, viz. that homosexual sexual desire is disordered, is not logically necessitated to start with, nor do I see any convincing empirical ground for supposing it. I don’t think that unquestionably logical deductions from highly questionable premisses are of any value.

                      “…what position is logically necessitated by your supposing that the body has no physical sexual nature that exists independent of human will?”

                      I suggest that you thrash that out with someone who supposes that the body has no physical sexual nature that exists independent of human will. I don’t suppose it.

                      “I used the word ‘clash’, and the clash is possible only because of the nature of the body.”

                      What particular characteristic of the nature of the body does either “homosexual sexual desire” or “acting on that desire” clash with? I perceive none.

                    • Very interesting. Thank you. I suggest the best way to understand the point that Peter often makes (about sexual identity and sexual orientation) is to ask a quite strange-sounding question: what is sex?
                      If, say, a woman wishes to go through the whole of her life never “having sex”, she can do so. But she cannot do so without simultaneously going through the whole of her life “having a sex”. Sex, then, is not what we do – it is what we are. What we do with what we are is indivisible from what we are.

                    • Hamlet

                      This makes no sense to me. Either a woman is a virgin or she is not. How can she be both?

                  • Hamlet

                    “The Catholic Church expresses that as a disorder, because the body is understood to have an inherent nature”
                    The Catholic Church isn’t exactly an accredited scientific foundation, either. The notion of order/disorder is irrelevant. I want to see your medical (for it is medical – whether physical ailment or psychological) evidence to say that “homosexual activity is unhealthy” in “mind, body and soul”. You can leave the “soul” bit out though – it’s such a vapid term, used for so many different conceptual ideas.

              • Guglielmo Marinaro

                Very possibly, but quite beside the point.

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  • Well I don’t want to go “I told you so”, but I told you so. Misses his father, feels safe with a 39yo.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/tom-daley-boyfriend-dustin-lance-2891153

    • Hamlet

      “Although he did not name his boyfriend, it has been widely reported to be Black.” Though let’s be honest, it probably is.

      • Joe_R6

        The other rumour is that Black is just a (long distance) cover and that Tom’s real boyfriend is another young athlete who doesn’t want to come out.