I never knew your late father Rob of course, but through even the distorting prism of media reports and as a Dad myself I can appreciate his outstanding paternal commitment to you. He clearly spotted and supported your talent on the diving boards well before your age was in double digits (here), he was rightly protective of you (here), he sacrificially gave up his business to mentor you, to accompany you to events and to support you when you were under the pressure of national and international competitions. He even gained the sympathy of hard-bitten journalists for fulfilling his difficult parental role in your developing teenage celebrity life (here).
The cost to him of your career was high, but his love for you was such that he will hardly have noticed. Instead he will have been full of fatherly pride in you and your achievements, and relished the close affectionate and bantering relationship between you. Your words “my best friend, sounding board, taxi driver and biggest champion” (here) would have meant the world to him.
When he finally succumbed to cancer aged 40 just a few days after your 17th birthday, the hole in your life no doubt was massive. Your anguished tweet “I love you so much Dad” moved many hearts. Your prime source of support and security had gone. He’d been solidly there for you for all your life and, away from the bright lights of your burgeoning celebrity and diving fame, your feelings of emptiness and vulnerability must have been gut-wrenching.
But nature abhors a vacuum and vultures pounce on the vulnerable. So, a matter of months later, onto your personal stage steps gay activist and glittering Oscar-winning Hollywood screen writer/film producer Dustin Lance Black aged 39, just about the same age as your father.
You’ll know by now that Black is obsessed with MSM (men who have sex with men) issues and has written the script for and/or produced a number of gay films including The Journey of Jared Price, Something Close To Heaven, On The Bus, Pedro and, famously, the award-winning Milk. He campaigns too; provocatively he wore the pro-gay marriage White Knot (here) on stage at the sumptuous 2009 Oscars awards where he won the Best Original Screenplay prize. He’s right up there with Tinseltown’s top glitterati although regrettably, Tom, all that glitters is not gold.
You’ll also acknowledge that even before your Dad died you had become a major gay icon and focus of sexual interest in the gay community. You have been named ‘Sexiest Man of the Year’ by Attitude gay mag, ahead even of David Beckham (here). And to your credit you took it in your stride; the award is “very cool“, you said amiably. “I’m not (gay) but I wouldn’t be ashamed if I was… I’d love to have a girlfriend.” (here). It was a warm and presumably honest response.
Certainly I’ll defend your right to choose whatever friendships and relationships you like – even when you are vulnerable on the rebound from the loss of your Dad.
But it is relevant for you – and, given your national sporting and celebrity status, for the rest of us too – to wonder about Black’s intentions. Does he, like your Dad, have your interests at heart?
Or let me put it less delicately. When daily you were strutting your stuff poolside in your skimpy Speedos, freshfaced, athletic and focussed, your father would have watched over you full of paternal pride, protection, concern and support.
How, in comparison, do you think Black viewed you on the diving boards? Was his interest in you selfless and sacrificial like your Dad’s? Was he concerned for your diving career and sporting development like your Dad? Was he motivated by self-giving love like your Dad?
Or rather was it by something altogether more self-centred, recognised universally as carnal desire?
One day you will discover for yourself the true answer: Despite protestations that he is besotted with you (here), his ‘love’ is not sacrificial like your Dad’s love. It’s much more sinister and selfish.
And now as you climb into his bed, note well that you are no longer just a gay icon; you’ve become Black’s gay trophy too. Not just a personal trophy as he delightedly deflowers your virginity and teaches you gay sex, but a massive trophy for gay ideologues and activists around the world.
You see, your diving success and fame have made you a role model for many ordinary teenage boys. This is an awesome responsibility that you have actively sought by publishing your autobiography (here) and promoting your personal TV series Splash! (here).
Many of these teenage boys too are subject to advances from older gay men; gay writers from Michelangelo Signorile (here) to Kirk and Madsen (here) indicate that gay men’s attraction to boys is intrinsic to the gay scene.
At a stroke you have both emboldened predatory gay men and encouraged many boys to submit to them. So we must have a look at the hedonistic unhealthy adult gay world which you yourself have now entered and into which, unwittingly, you are leading others:
First read what gay businessman Ivan Massow wrote with riveting honesty earlier this year (here)?: “Am I the only one to notice that the gay scene today seems obsessed with drugs? Obsessed with sex. Unable to take responsibility for its part in the spread of HIV. Inhabiting a soulless and empty world of hedonism… We the gay community are becoming a group of people who suddenly have everything and nothing, all at once… It’s a miserable way to live. Chemically-induced highs and kids addicted to ‘chem-sex’ is all fake b****cks. B****cks that leads to depression and, frequently, death. B****cks that is just plain boring and ultimately empty.”
Then, to show things were just the same on the gay scene yesterday, read After The Ball published before you were born by gay authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen (here). With similar searing honesty they tell us “the gay lifestyle – not our sexuality but our lifestyle – is the pits” (p 276), and then for 60 pages give us chapter and verse exactly why – the pathological lying (p 280), the rejection of morality (p 289), the narcissism and self-centred behaviour (p 295), the HIV/AIDS-inducing contempt for ‘safe sex’ (p 299), the self-indulgence and self-destruction (p 302), the fear of aging and loss of youthful looks (p 317), the transience of relationships (p 318), the drugs and heavy drinking (p 336). “(T)he fast-lane lifestyle leads to exhaustion and dissatisfaction, loudly expressed, by gays who feel that ‘something is missing’, that their lives are ‘empty’ – as indeed they are: of health; of peace of mind; of contentment; of love; of genuine interconnection with others” (p 305).
Is this really the world into which you want to lead your young fans Tom?
With much concern for you and for other young people, and wishing you a really happy Christmas whether you are at home in Plymouth or with Dustin Lance Black in Hollywood,