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Tom Daley: Saying 'I've got a boyfriend' still feels weird

Interview by Declan Harvey, words by Amelia Butterly
Newsbeat reporters

media captionTom still 'thinks twice' when he talks about being gay

Tom Daley says he finds it "weird" when he says: "I've got a boyfriend."

The Olympic diver first revealed he was in a relationship with a man in 2013, and says coming out as gay made him feel "more comfortable" straight away.

But 18 months on, he still "thinks twice" when he talks about being gay.

"As the months have gone on I've felt more and more comfortable saying it and give me another year and I'll probably feel at my most comfortable but it's still weird," he tells Newsbeat.

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Tom's partner is US film director and producer Dustin Lance Black and the pair are living together.

He has become an ambassador for the charity Switchboard, which aims to provide support for the LGBT+ community.

"I'm still constantly learning about the LGBT+ community and I'm just being who I am. All I can do [is] encourage other people to embrace who they are and be proud of it," he says.

"I was lucky enough before I came out to have friends and family that were so supportive and I could speak to, but lots of people aren't so lucky to have that support system around them."

BBC Advice has help and information about issues around sexuality

The first person Tom told he was gay was his best friend Sophie, who asked him: "What's the big deal?"

He says: "Instantly I felt way more comfortable. A load just off my chest. Everything seemed like it was going to be OK."

image copyrightGetty Images

The 21-year-old, who is preparing for the Olympic Games in Rio next year, says that he personally hasn't encountered any discrimination in sport because of his sexuality.

"I don't think there should be any reason for there to be any discrimination or homophobia or anything like that in sport because sport is the one place where you're judged on performance and nothing else," he says.

"More and more, especially in diving, that's the only sport I really have experience in, there's no homophobia whatsoever.

"You're judged on what you do in the pool, not outside the pool and it should be the same if it's football, if it's rugby, you should be judged on what happens on the field, nothing else.

"That's what people have to remember. You're a sportsperson and that's what you've got to go out and do.

"Whether you're a part of the LGBT community or not, it shouldn't change anything."

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