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21st Century Boy - Tom Grows Up




So why '21st Century Boy' ? - Well some pundit (a journalist actually) suggested that Tom Daley epitomised all that was best in the youth of the 21st Century - and this may be true.

The 20th Century saw the creation of the concept of youth.
What we often don't realises is that concept of  'youth' - 'young people' itself is a very odd concept.
For example, before the nineteenth century there was no such thing as 'young people' - they were just 'miniature adults' (see right).



The reality of youth, and youth culture emerged at the end of the Second World War - and was very much an import from the United States.


Initially youth was in opposition to their elders, beginning with the Beatnicks, in their duffel coats and roll neck pullovers, and then with the Teddy Boys (see right above), aping their Edwardian predecessors (hence 'Teddy').
The Teddy Boys morphed into Rockers and Hell's Angels on motorbikes, and the new boys on the block were the Mods, on their scooters and dressed Italian style.

Later came the 'Punks' with their safety-pins and 'bondage', and rather more acceptable were the 'New Romantics' (see Duran-Duran left) - although their 'gender-bending' caused considerable consternation to many members of the older generation.
But what about the 21st Century - well, youth culture has radically fragmented, and includes such diverse groups as Hip Hop, Chavs, Indie and Emos (see right above), Scene Kids, Nu-Metal, Rave, Goths and Preppies (see left) to name just a few.
Most of these subgroups are peripheral, however, and do not really represent viable alternative lifestyles.
So what's all this got to do with 'our Tom' ?

Well, contrary to some reports to be found in the media, young people in the 21st Century are not all binge drinking looters and rioters.
If anything, the dominant youth style, amongst white teens, is the Preppie style, which is remarkably conservative and conformist, both in appearance and general social attitudes
Preppy, preppie, or prep (all abbreviations of the word preparatory) refers to a modern, widespread clique, originating in the United States, which is often considered a subculture.

While originally a style restricted to the wealthy upper classes, the preppy style has now filtered down to to the white working class.
Characteristics of preps include a particular subcultural speech (awesome, totally, fab, omg etc), vocabulary, accent, dress, mannerisms, and etiquette.
Preppies are depicted as a shallow and transparent group primarily concerned with extrinsic things.
Preppy fashion became popular when designers like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, and Luella Bartley added the preppy style into their clothes.
The main concerns of preppies are popularity within their own social group, physical appearance, and material possessions - remind you of anyone ?

And so we begin with our 21st Century boy - the first child of a working class couple living in Plymouth.
Tom, the first child, is taken by his doting parents to various out of school activities, including swimming and martial arts.
He's a good boy, slim and shy, - always working hard at school, attending to his homework, although he is not as tidy at home as his always immaculate appearance would make one think.
But then Tom gets up on a diving board - a fateful act that changes everything !

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TOM GROWS UP
or does he ?



Tom Daley - School Boy



Tom Daley - Wet Top




Tom Daley - Wet Top




Tom Daley - Underwater



Tom Daley - Training



Tom Daley and Pete Waterman - Training



Tom Daley - Training



Tom Daley - Training




Tom Daley at Home



Tom Daley at Home



Tom Daley at Home



Tom Daley at Home



Tom Daley Modelling Superdry



 邱波
Qui Bo - Tom Daley's Nemesis ?

At the end of 2011, Qiu was selected as the Male Diver of the Year by FINA.




 邱波
Qui Bo Diving - Tom Daley's Nemesis ?




 邱波
Qui Bo Diving - Tom Daley's Nemesis ?




邱波
Qui Bo - Tom Daley's Nemesis ?



邱波
Qui Bo - Tom Daley's Nemesis ?



Tom Daley

___________________________________________________


TOM DALEY - BRONZE MEDALIST


Tom Daley managed to win an Olympic Bronze Medal in the 10 Meter Platform Diving at the Aquatic Centre in London - 11th August 2012


Before the contest Tom said he would probably only win Bronze - and he was right !
Now is that really the attitude to go for when competing in an Olympic event - but then I suppose he wanted to let his fans down gently.



So why didn't Tom win Gold ?
To answer that, of course, if you want to be honest, you have to risk the police breaking down your front door - but we'll take the risk.



There are undoubtedly at least 5 reasons for Tom's failure to win the Gold medal that he should have won.

1 - He has experienced a growth spurt recently. This affects the brain's ability to judge accurately where it is in space, because the body's centre of gravity has altered. This may have been exacerbated by his recent weight loss.
2 - Poor coaching. The poor showing in both synchro and solo events point to the fact that there is a deficiency in the coaching regime.
3 - Tom's underestimation of the Chinese divers - suggesting that they were 'robots' and would 'break under pressure' - resulting in him not training sufficiently rigorously.
4 - The failure of  David Sparkes and Alexei Evangulov to bring Tom into line early enough when he was obviously spending too much time on non-diving commitments, which were being organised by Jamie Cunningham of Professional Sports Group.
5 - The initial contractual commitment to Professional Sports Group made by Tom's parents.



Jamie Cunningham has a lot to answer for in taking Tom's eye 'off the ball' in the run up to the Olympic Games.
Tom may have ended up with plenty of gold in the bank - thanks to Jamie - but he failed to get gold round his neck.



Tom Daley Celebrates his Third Place in the 10 Meter Diving



Tom Daley and the GB Diving Team Celebrate(?) in the Pool


This is the oddest aspect of the Final of the Olympic 10 meter Diving Contest.
The whole diving team, and the coaches, invaded the pool to perform an over the top celebration - presumably of Tom coming third (when he should have won gold).
It was noticeable that the Americans and Chinese, who had won Gold and Silver, did not make a splash, but behaved in a polite and respectful manner, as one would expect of professional athletes.
Tom, afterwards, said it was an "awesome moment" (awesome is 'prep-speak' for excellent or very good), and that his colleagues had planned the stunt in advance.
He said that everybody was just so overjoyed at his achievement - as we "don't normally get a medal" in the diving.
It also meant that the team had secured funding for the next Olympics.
Significantly Tom said, 'the bronze felt like a gold' - and that comment probably slipped out, as it seems that was the motivation behind the post-contest hype.
If British diving - and more importantly 'Brand Daley' are to prosper then, by using 'smoke and mirrors' the bronze must seem to be gold - and one suspects the distant hand of Jamie Cunningham's behind the supposedly spontaneous celebration in the pool.
However, the bronze was in no way a media coup for Tom, or Professional Sports Group, as Tom's poor result failed to reach the front pages of the following morning's papers.
Looked at objectively, the results of the GB Diving team were very poor, and one would hope that those responsible for the organisation and training of British divers would consider their positions very carefully, and hopefully take the honourable course of action.
Perhaps we should take a lesson from the real Olympic Games.
For the ancient Greeks there was no particular honour in taking part - the only honour was in winning, which for them meant coming first !


'Der Junge der Zukunft muß schlank und rank sein, flink wie Windhunde, zäh wie Leder und hart wie stahl !'

______________________________________________



SPLASH
It’s loud. We’re live. We’re ready to dive’.

Tom knows it's 'going down the tubes'
That was the opening salvo from Gabby Logan (cocktail dress) and Vernon Kaye ('long' shorts) to ITV’s new Saturday night stab at riding the wave of the Olympic feel good factor – Splash!

In the run up to last year’s Olympics, Tom Daley was the toast of the nation.
The cute, media-friendly diver was going to be our big medal hope: young, tanned and toned, he was bound to win gold.
Except that actually he’s not all that great a diver.
Now he is one of the best in the world, but he’s not the best.
Which is a shame, because his attempts for the gold medal got hyped out of all proportion.


Tom Daley
Addidas Advertising
Jamie Cunningham
Poor coaching by Andy Banks, and Tom's management (particularly the money grabbing, Dubai based, Jamie Cunningham) who insisted on him making endless advertising commercials (Addidas) and photo-shoots, as well as Tom's book launch, meant that he only achieved a bronze medal.

But back to 'Splash !' - The crowd was insipid for everything other than the first three minutes of the show when Tom Daley appeared in his Addidas trunks (at which point they screamed so much that you couldn't hear the actual presenters trying to read their auto-cue).
The TV audience, however, seemed unimpressed.
Twitter was aghast, with people literally not being sure whether they were part of a massive inside joke or not.
'Air-head' ? - Tom Daley Reading the Reviews
Does he ever get dressed ?
Without overstatement, it was the worst thing on television, and the crassest and most feeble attempt to capitalise on the jingoistic spirit of the Olympics.
And Tom Daley was apparently oblivious to the terribleness of it all.
Which leaves us with a question..... Is Tom Daley an 'air-head' ?
Now he has A levels, so presumably he can't be that stupid, but whenever he gives an interview his comments and answers are so vacuous that one if forced to wonder if he has any opinions about anything (apart from 'mentally ill' individuals who dare to criticise him).
And then, of course, there is his mindless biography ('My Story')!

'Splash !' sees Olympic diver Tom Daley 'train' 15 'celebrities' to dive in front of judges - but viewers said it has plunged television to “a new low”.
No bombing allowed... but that is exactly what is happening to Tom Daley’s television show.
What this is, in fact, is an attempt to exploit the public’s love affair with the shiny-toothed young twinky hero in tiny Speedos, Tom Daley, who is both 'coach' and cheer leader for the series.
It’s one of those simple formulas really... People love Tom (well, teenage girls and gay guys), and Tom dives.
Plus people love celebrities, especially when they’re being put through the wringer.
Which equals, famous people ‘going on a journey’ (of between three and 10 metres) while Tom smiles a lot and says 'well done'.

Andy Banks
Jo Brand - Diving Expert ?
Oh, and two of  the judges are nasty.
Playing the baddies are Tom’s trainer Andy Banks (why no gold for Tom ?) and fellow diver Leon Taylor.

(Now if I was Andy Banks, I would keep a very low profile, and not appear on TV, considering the appalling showing made by British Diving in the recent Olympics)

And to balance out their no doubt impending maliciousness and vitriol, Jo Brand was on hand to offer her own expertise (?).
In saying that, to be fair, they weren't actually that harsh.
But secondly, because as they continually pointed out, as one celebrity after another toppled into the drink, it really is a very difficult thing to do.
It is also, sadly, dull. It just that it totally lacks any drama.

Leon Taylor and baby Tom
Leon Taylor
Now it is a fact that diving is not an exciting sport - even when people of Olympic standard dive.
A lot of waiting around, climbing steps, and then (and don't blink, or you'll miss it) a couple of seconds for the dive.
So, not surprisingly, nobody was really interested in diving until cute, little 'twinky' Tom, in his minuscule Speedos, started diving.
Now to make 'Splash !' more 'interesting' the journey that each 'celebrity' makes from poolside to board is presented as a protracted parade of loud music, posing and high fives.
They’re padding it out.
In reality it is a diving competition featuring individuals who can't dive - which is a bit like having swimming races for people who can't swim.
Attempts to heighten the tension involved showing us some training injuries.
As sad music played, we witnessed in pre-recorded films presenter Jenni Falconer in tears with a nasty shoulder and Benidorm’s Jake Caruso outside A&E with a plaster on his nose, having banged his hooter on the bottom of the pool.

Jade Ewen
Jake Caruso
Doing his best worried face, Jake told us 'I don’t know if I’m going to do it'.
However, seeing as he was already sitting by the pool in a dressing gown (that hid a pair of red trunks nearly as small as Tom Daley's GB trunks !) as we watched the film, the odds were everything was going to be all right.
Elsewhere, Sugarbabe Jade Ewen managed to avoid being splashed all over the morning showbiz columns by dragging her skimpy, golden bikini top back into position just before she emerged from the pool after her dive.

Helen Lederer
Comedy actress Helen Lederer (hasn't she got fat !) braved it out, but was clearly having the worst time of her life - like most of the TV audience.
Not to mention having to suffer the ignominy of being captured on film during practice being slid into the water on a mat by Tom - rather like a Mafia hit man getting rid of a body in a river.
It was only comedian Omid Djalili who briefly gave the whole thing a bit of a fillip.

Omid Djalili
Dressed like a Victorian strong man, his sheer exuberance coupled with his gutsy approach to the task in hand managed to brighten things up.
However, even a man of Omid’s generous proportions could make barely a ripple on the surface of this damp squib of a show.
Another point that none of the ITV producers seem to have considered is the fact that a swimming pool is a very dull place - (the author of this blog knows, as he spends a couple of hours in a [very upmarket] pool, training, every day).
Even tarted up, for the competition, a pool is not a romantic or tantalising place, and as has been suggested before, diving is not the most compelling of sports.
In addition, swimming pools have a habit of bringing back childhood memories of unpleasant school swimming lessons, or junior swimming club sessions.
Unlike Tom, many people have an aversion to swimming pools, unless it's part of a five star hotel - preferably somewhere very hot.
A show which is supposed to be a 'diving contest', that consists of people who, either can't swim, are frightened of water, or are frightened of heights, are too fat or too old, and who (and this is important) can't dive, is unlikely to be worth watching.
Of course, like so many TV programs, 'Splash !' required sponsorship - in this case Domino’s Pizza 
The fully integrated sponsorship package was negotiated by ITV Commercial and Arena Media on behalf of Domino’s Pizza.


Tom Daley and Domino’s Pizza
Tom Daley and  Nestle
The package has included broadcast, on-line and mobile, and commences 5 January 2013.
An ITV Commercial spokesperson said: "We are very excited for our new entertainment show Splash! to hit screens and entertain families all over Britain. (entertain ?)


Tom Daley - Posing
Tom Daley - 'Six-pack'
We are delighted to welcome Domino’s Pizza on board as the sponsor of the programme, as we believe it will be an ideal platform for the brand to engage with their target audience.
Simon Wallis, sales and marketing director at Domino’s also added: “Our decision to sponsor this brand new show fits perfectly in line with our target audience, promoting Domino’s at the ideal time and in the right place.
The 'target audience' is obviously big fat slobs, glued to their L Z Boys (that's a chair for those not in the know) in front to the TV.
So once again Tom gets associated to purveyors of fattening, unhealthy food - Tom Daley is already associated with Nestle.
So much for the Olympic legacy !
And in case anyone's missed the point - you don't get a 'six-pack' (abdominals) like Tom Daley by eating Pizzas and chocolates.

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China takes silver - at the Olympics

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Tom Daley takes bronze - at the Olympics - Celebrating defeat ?

After the programme Tom said that he may be going to drop a university career for the bright lights of Luton swimming pool’s studios.
Ignoring the massively negative public reaction, and living in cloud-cuckoo-land, Daley said :
'Hopefully it will run for ten years like 'Dancing on Ice' and I can take Vernon’s spot. (I wonder how Vernon feels about that).
But I’d love to do anything like Dermot O’Leary or Ant & Dec, (as far as Ant and Dec are concerned this would involved Tom being cloned - and do we really want two Tom Daleys).
I’d like to present Saturday night TV, that is what I’d ultimately like to do once I’ve finished diving.
I’d like to host 'Splash !'.
That would be my dream job because it is a diving show, a reality show and on Saturday night prime-time'.
Unfortunately for Tom, however, he will have to do much better.
A poor effort at the Olympics (only third), has now been followed by a poor effort on TV.
The only thing that Tom really seems to work at, and succeed at,  is presenting himself as a 'soft porn' twink.
Even his advertising forays have proved less than successful, with his Addidas range now available in 'budget stores' at half the original price, and his biography selling at an equally low price.

Waterstone Book Launch
'Jonathan Ross Show'
On the 'Jonathan Ross Show' Tom made a huge faux-pas when he appeared in a collar and tie and tiny Speedos.
Supposedly intended as a 'joke', I think if most guys appeared in public dressed so totally inappropriately, (not in a swimming pool, at the beach, or at a body-building competition), they would be summarily ejected, or a police constable would be called.
And this is not the first time that Tom has pranced around in just his minuscule Speedos for no good reason.
He performed the same trick at his 'book launch', and for a number of previous TV interviews.
However, it seems likely that someone has had a quiet word in Tom's ear.
Tom in shorts
For 'Splash !', when Tom was wearing trunks, he wore his blue Addidas trunks, which actually seem to be the correct size - and not his Addidas Team GB trunks, (a couple of sizes too small) which barely cover him, or his equally revealing blue Speedos.
What was really strange, though, was Tom, 'preppy' style, appearing in 'long'  grey shorts and a white and green training top, at a swimming pool, when he would actually be justified in wearing trunks.

Tom practices for his male strip show
This was doubtless a huge disappointment to his teen female fans, and his gay male fans, but then possibly someone has decided that Tom is not going to be taken seriously if he continues to present himself and be seen as a 'soft porn' exhibitionist.
Perhaps if 'Splash !' folds, as it probably will, Tom might take up a career as a male stripper, after all he already seems to be practising - (see the pathetic video clip - left)
And as an aside, what has Tom done to his hair ?
He's beginning to look like an un-dyed Jedward !

_______________________________


David Sparkes 
ITV's woeful new peaktime Saturday night reality show Splash! has re-ignited anxieties in British Swimming about Tom Daley's commercial commitments away from diving.
Olympic bronze medallist Daley was heavily criticised before London 2012 for not concentrating enough on his sport.
Now British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes has raised concerns over 18-year-old Daley's role as a mentor for the celebrity divers in Splash!

Sparkes said: 'Tom is an incredibly talented young man, but he's yet to achieve his full potential and it's only going to get harder to achieve that Olympic gold medal as he gets older.
'You can rest assured the next Chinese diving superstar will not have such distractions from training.
Jamie Cunningham
'He should look at the example of skaters Torvill and Dean who waited until the end of their competitive careers before doing such programmes. I'm concerned Tom is putting the cart before the horse and I've expressed those concerns to his agent.' (Tom's agent is Jamie Cunningham - see above)


Agent Jamie Cunningham said: 'Whatever people think about the show, Tom has come across incredibly well. We would only agree to such an undertaking at a quiet time of the year.


British Diving performance director Alexei Evangulov had warned last February that Daley faced missing out on an Olympic gold medal unless he reduced his media and sponsorship work.
He said: 'If I had power over this, I would restrict it. If you look at the Chinese, they work three times harder. That's the only secret. Just work hard.'

_______________________________________

Tom Daley - Something I Want to Say
  

     
Tom Daley - Something I Want to Say
    


Anthony Ogogo - Gold Speedos
'Numerous variations of this screen-grab from 'Splash !' were pinged around the virtual world.
It's 'our Tom' with Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo.
While some might think it amusing - it's also rather sad.
Tom sexuality has been up for debate for a long time - and I wonder if he even knows himself - even now ?
And perhaps one should worry about Tom, now he's become a Saturday 'teatime' TV 'superstar', and is regularly 'exposing himself' - meaning just by being himself - he'll just be the subject of ever more scrutiny - check Twitter for endless comments just on how he walks and talks.

Tom Daley 'checks out' Anthony Ogogo
And PR feeds and 'paparazzi shots' to the press about his possible 'friends' will ultimately only make it worse. 
It's already seeping in, slow as sludge - for now.
And who do you think writes the 'celeb mags' and tabloid gossip pages ? 
It's gay guys, who think that being 'gay' is almost boringly normal - and that now it's being 'in the closet' that's a little 'queer' - or should we say 'odd'.  
And meanwhile the poor boy is probably still dying inside, and silently 'screaming' - even although he deludes himself that he is 'happy' and 'safe' - after all, who is really 'happy' or 'safe'.

So many people will be saying 'Finally !' - or 'I told you so !' or something similar.
But Tom's little video bombshell is not really all it seems to be.
It gives the impression, with its 'wobbly' framing - and impromptu, of the cuff style, that it's Tom just having a personal chat with you.
In reality, of course it's a carefully crafted piece of publicity utilising an autocue.
Realising that Tom was inevitably soon to be 'outed' with a vengence, the video is a pre-emptive strike aimed at damage limitation.
Notice that Tom does not use the words 'gay' or 'coming out'.
He simply states that he has a relationship with a 'guy' - and he adds that he still 'fancies' girls.
Now it was obvious to many, from when Tom was a boy, that he was 'fay' and effeminate - and the bullying at school was from the other boys who perceived Tom as 'gay'.
In addition Tom never had a 'real' girlfriend - just girls who were friends.
Yet Tom (wisely) refuses to allow himself to be given a 'gay' label.
Career-wise, (in terms of advertising) of course, the 'gay' label would be financial suicide.
Only a small percentage of the population would describe themselves as 'gay', and so, for the advertiser, a 'gay' media/sports star would not have sufficient general appeal for them to be a profitable proposition.
However, an even smaller percentage of the population would label themselves 'bi-sexual' (although, in fact, bi-sexuality - to some degree is the normative sexual position), and so Tom is careful to avoid that term as well.
With great skill, he has obviously been advised to present his sexuality in terms of a positive 'relationship' - which just happens to be with a 'guy'.
In addition, the form of the relationship is not specified.
Comment in the media indicates that most people have taken the relationship to be a sexual one - a 'gay relationship', but Daley dosen't use the word 'gay' or sexual in the video.
The way is, therefore, open for him to 'flip-flop', and if things become problematic, to indicate it that the relationship in question was a 'platonic' (non-sexual or non-physical) relationship.
Daley admits in the first part of the video that he has been 'vague' when talking about some 'intimate' matters.
Probably the word 'devious' or 'misleading' would be more suitable.
In this video, however, which puportedly clears everything up, he is equally vague.
All he reveals is that he is having a 'relationship' with a 'guy', and that he feels happy and 'safe'.
The true nature of the relationship is not made clear, the identity of the 'guy' is not given (although his identity is obviously known), and the actual nature of Daley's sexuality is not indicated.
So everything is still very 'vague', and the video is a 'red herring' - a false trail intended to put to right the so called 'misquote'.
It would have been refreshing if Tom had simply said 'I'm gay (or bisexual), and having a gay relationship with .........' (and we all know who), rather than this carefully scripted ramble intended to make the event as anodyne as possible.
During an interview on 'The Jonathan Ross Show' to be aired on 7 December, Daley chose not to identify his lover - despite the fact that everybody knows his identity.
Daley gushed:
"I'd never felt the feeling of love, it happened so quickly, I was completely overwhelmed by it to the point I can't get him out of my head all the time."
In the words of the song - 'There may be trouble ahead.'

Tom Daley 'coming out' was the top trending topic on Twitter moments after the Youtube video appeared.  While the 19-year-old athlete has received supportive tweets – including from such famous gays as Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Collins and Stephen Fry – there has been an onslaught of negative feedback ranging from 'snarky' to homophobic slurs.

Here is a sampling:

@mashhorne: Told you all Tom Daley was a dirty fag !
@DrugFeud: I can’t believe Tom Daley is gay I’m not a fan of his anymore! he’s going to hell it’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.
@DopeBieber: we all knew Tom Daley was a fag
@Brit_Probs: Tom Daley has announced that he likes men. In other news water is wet
@sickipedia: Tom Daley revealed that when he met his new boyfriend that something just clicked. Probably your knees on the way back up Tom.

@Official_Craig: Tom Daley came out as gay ? That’s like the Pope declaring that he’s Catholic ! #WouldNeverHaveGuessed
@revelectrique: Tom Daley coming out as gay, is like hitler coming out and saying, guys, I don’t really like them Jews that much
@Skobisco: Lmao ahahaha tom daley was a fag before he came out of Narnia, he’s a bigger fag now


For his part, Daley chose to address the support he has received tweeting:
@TomDaley1994: Overwhelmed by all the support ! Means the world !

Dustin Lance Black

Dustin Lance Black
Dustin Lance Black (born June 10, 1974) is an American screenwriter, director, film and television producer, and LGBT rights activist. He has won an Writers Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for the 2008 film 'Milk'.

'Milk' is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Dustin Lance Black, the film stars Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as Dan White, a city supervisor who assassinated Milk. The film was released to much acclaim, and earned numerous accolades from film critics and guilds. Ultimately, it received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, winning two for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Penn, and Best Original Screenplay for Black.

Black is a Founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and writer of 8, a staged re-enactment of the federal trial that led to a federal court's overturn of California's Proposition 8.

Early Life

Black was born in Sacramento, California, and grew up in a Mormon (?) household, in San Antonio, Texas and later moved to Salinas, California when his mother remarried.
His father had been the Mormon missionary who had baptised Black's mother earlier.
Growing up surrounded by Mormon culture and military bases, Black worried about his sexuality.
He told himself, "I'm going to hell. And if I ever admit it, I'll be hurt, and I'll be brought down" .
He found himself attracted to a boy in his neighbourhood at the age of six or seven.
He says that his "acute awareness" of his sexuality made him dark, shy and at times suicidal. He came out in his senior year of college.
While attending North Salinas High School, Black began to work in theatre at The Western Stage in Salinas-Monterey, California, and later worked on productions including 'Bare' at Hollywood's Hudson Main Stage Theater.
Black attended the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Theater, Film, and Television (UCLA) while apprenticing with stage directors, taking acting jobs and working on theatre lighting crews.
He graduated with honours from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television in 1996.

Career

In 2000, he wrote and directed 'The Journey of Jared Price', a gay romance film, and 'Something Close to Heaven', a gay coming-of-age short film.
In 2001, he directed and was a subject in the documentary 'On the Bus' about a Nevada road trip and adventure at Burning Man taken by six gay men.
Raised as Mormon, he was hired as the only such writer on the HBO drama series 'Big Love', about a polygamistic family.
He has written for all seasons, serving on season one as a staff writer, executive story editor in season two, and was promoted again, to co-producer, for season three.
Black had first visited San Francisco in the early 1990s, while AIDS was devastating the city's gay community.
Black said that, "Hearing about Harvey was about the only hopeful story there was at the time."
He had first viewed Rob Epstein's documentary 'The Times of Harvey Milk' when he was in college, and thought, "I just want to do something with this, why hasn't someone done something with this ?"
Researching Milk's life for three years, Black met with Milk's former aides, Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg, as well as former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, and began to write a feature film screenplay encompassing the events of Milk's life.
The screenplay was written on spec, but Black showed the script to Jones, who passed it on to his friend Gus Van Sant, who signed on to direct the feature.
Black is an old friend of 'Milk' producer Dan Jinks, who signed on to the biopic after he called Black to congratulate him and discovered that the project did not have a confirmed producer.
Black's film 'Pedro', profiling the life of AIDS activist, and reality television personality Pedro Zamora, premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.
Coming up, Paris Barclay is slated to direct his screenplay 'A Life Like Mine' and Gus Van Sant is set to direct his film adaptation of Tom Wolfe's book 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test'. Black directed his own script Virginia, starring Jennifer Connelly.

On February 22, 2009, Black won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for 'Milk' at the 81st Academy Awards.
He wore a White Knot to the ceremony as a symbol of solidarity with the marriage equality movement.
In his acceptance speech at the Oscar ceremony, he said:
... When I was thirteen years old my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk and it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day I could live my life openly as who I am, and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married...'
"I want to thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to...'
"But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, or by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon I promise you, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours.'
"Thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk."
Black marched in the National Equality March and delivered a speech in front of the Congress Building to an estimated crowd of 200,000 LGBT rights activists on October 11, 2009.
In 2010, Black narrated 8: The Mormon Proposition, a documentary about the involvement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in California's Proposition 8.
Black accepted the award for best documentary for 8:The Mormon Proposition at the GLAAD Media awards in San Francisco and spoke out on discrimination in the LDS Church and meeting with the church to make it more LGBT-inclusive.
Black wrote the screenplay for J. Edgar, a biographical drama released November 11, 2011, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
In 2011, Black wrote the play 8, which portrays the actual events in the Hollingsworth v. Perry trial and the testimony which led to the overturn of California's Proposition 8.
He created the play due to the federal court's refusal to allow release of video recordings from the trial and to give the public a true account of what transpired in the courtroom.
It is written and performed using original transcripts from the trial and journalist records, along with first-hand interviews of the people involved. "8" first opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City on September 19, 2011, and later broadcast to a worldwide audience on YouTube from the Ebell of Los Angeles Theatre on March 3, 2012.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, sponsors of "8", have now released and licensed the play for readings nationwide on college campuses and in community theatres free of charge.
Black appears as himself in the documentary film 'Hollywood to Dollywood' (2012).

Personal life

Black was the top entry on a list of openly gay influential people in The Advocate's "Forty under 40" issue of June/July 2009.
He was featured on the cover of the magazine.
He was one of the Official Grand Marshals in the 2009 NYC LGBT Pride March, produced by Heritage of Pride joining Anne Kronenberg and Cleve Jones.
On January 24, 2012, Black's brother Marcus died of cancer.


So many people will be saying 'Finally !' - or 'I told you so !' or something similar.
But Tom's little video bombshell is not really all it seems to be.
It gives the impression, with its 'wobbly' framing - and impromptu, of the cuff style, that it's Tom just having a personal chat with you.
In reality, of course it could be seen as a carefully crafted piece of publicity utilising an autocue.
Perhaps - realising that Tom might be soon to be 'outed' the video can be seen as a pre-emptive strike aimed at damage limitation.
Some have commented on the fact that Tom does not use the words 'gay' or 'coming out'.
He simply states that he has a relationship with a 'guy' - and he adds that he still 'fancies' girls.
Now it was obvious to some, from when Tom was a boy, that he could be described (maybe unfairly) as 'fay' and effeminate - and the bullying at school was quite probably from other boys who perceived Tom as 'gay'.
In addition, as far as has been generally reported,  Tom never had a 'real' girlfriend - just girls who were friends.
Yet Tom (wisely) refuses to allow himself to be given a 'gay' label.
Career-wise, (in terms of advertising) of course, the 'gay' label could be financial suicide.
Only a small percentage of the population would describe themselves as 'gay', and so, for the advertiser, a 'gay' media/sports star might not have sufficient general appeal for them to be a profitable proposition.
However, an even smaller percentage of the population would label themselves 'bi-sexual' (although, in fact, bi-sexuality - to some degree is the normative sexual position), and so Tom was probably carefully advised to avoid that term as well.
With great skill, he has obviously beensuggested to him that he should present his sexuality in terms of a positive 'relationship' - which just happens to be with a 'guy'.
In addition, the 'form' of the relationship is not specified.
Comment in the media indicates that most people have taken the relationship to be a sexual one - a 'gay relationship', but Daley doesn't use the word 'gay' or sexual in the video.
The way is, therefore, open for him to 'flip-flop', and if things become problematic, to indicate that the relationship in question was a 'platonic' (non-sexual or non-physical) relationship.
Daley admits in the first part of the video that he has been 'vague' when talking about some 'intimate' matters.
Probably some would consider the the words 'devious' or 'misleading' more suitable.
In this video, however, which purportedly clears everything up, he could equally be seen to be vague.
All he reveals is that he is having a 'relationship' with a 'guy', and that he feels happy and 'safe'.
The true nature of the relationship is not made clear, the identity of the 'guy' is not given (although his identity is obviously known), and the actual nature of Daley's sexuality is not indicated.
So everything still seems to be very 'vague', and the video may be seen to be a 'red herring' - a false trail, possibly intended to put to right the so called 'misquote'.
Some would suggest that it would have been refreshing if Tom had simply said 'I'm gay (or bisexual), and having a gay relationship with .........' (and we all know who), rather than this carefully scripted ramble intended, apparently to make the event as anodyne as possible.

________________________

This post has now been superseded, as Daley appears to have taken the plunge (no pun intended) and has decided to 'marry' his 'guy'.........

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