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Tom Daley described coming out as gay as “traumatic” but "liberating".
The four-time Olympic-medal winner - who broke the news to fans nearly eight years ago in a candid YouTube video - admitted he wished he'd been open about his sexuality sooner because there is less "pressure" on him now, though he also knows it would have been a different experience if he wasn't famous.
Speaking to the new issue of Britain's GQ magazine: “It was kind of traumatic, but then [also] a very liberating experience. To be honest, I wish I had come out earlier.
“I don’t know what that would have been like for me or whatever, but since coming out I’ve felt like I could be myself; all of that pressure comes off. I look back and think, ‘Imagine if I was out when I was 16, 17, when I first started exploring?’
"One thing that’s hard is exploring sexuality in the public eye. I think if I wasn’t in the public eye maybe things would be different. It’s a very surreal thing to have to go through that in the public eye.”
Tom - who has three-year-old son Robbie with husband Dustin Lance Black - believes countries which criminalise LGBTQ+ people shouldn't be allowed to host events like the Commonwealth Games.
Asked if he knows if UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has raised the issue, he said: “Not that I’ve heard, no. I know two countries since then have decriminalised LGBTQ+ people. I don’t know if Boris Johnson has any control over the Commonwealth in that sense, but, you know, especially for the Commonwealth Games, they should not be allowed to host any of those major events if they have those laws.”
Following his success at Tokyo 2020 - where he took home Gold in the 10m synchronised dive and Bronze in the 10m platform - the 27-year-old diver is now deciding whether to compete at the Paris games in 2024, as he's achieved what he wanted to but thinks he's in great shape and has rediscovered his passion for the sport.
He said : “It’s difficult, because I know that I’m getting better. I always said that I’ll keep going until my body gives up or until I get the gold medal. And I’ve got the gold medal. But my body’s getting better. So there are lots of decisions to be made in the next year or so.
“This time that I’ve had since the Olympics, when I’ve not been diving, I’ve realised, you know what? I actually miss it. I actually do like diving! It’s something that I would probably do recreationally anyway.”
Read the full feature in the GQ Heroes issue available on digital download and in print on 5 November.
Visit https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/sport/article/tom-daley-interview for more.