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Wayne Dhesi
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Wayne lives in London, is Youth Coordinator at the gay, lesbian and bisexual charity Stonewall and founder of the website RUComingOut.com. He was born in Burton on Trent and graduated with honors from Staffordshire University with a B.A. in media and cultural studies. As well as working with unemployed and disadvantaged young people, Wayne was a youth worker for five years for the National Health Service (NHS) where he worked with 14 - 19 year olds with emotional health and well-being issues.

In March 2012 he set up rucomingout.com, a website that supports and inspires gay, lesbian and bisexual people by sharing real life coming out stories and features. The site has been featured in The Advocate, Attitude, Cosmopolitan (UK), The Gay UK, The Kentish Towner, Gay Times, Gay Star News, Diva Magazine, When Sally Met Sally, and 429 Magazine. Wayne has written for The Kentish Towner's Life Tips series and on the rucomingout.com blog. Follow Wayne and rucomingout.com on Twitter @WayneDavid81.
@rucomingout.

Entries by Wayne Dhesi

Why Tom Daley's Coming Out Video Was Pretty Much Perfect

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 3:19 PM

We live in strange world, don't we? On Monday, British Olympic diver Tom Daley posted a YouTube video in which he revealed that he is dating a guy:

Within minutes the clip had been shared around the world, and within the hour numerous blog posts had popped up discussing the relevance of his announcement: Was this really news? Does anyone really care? Didn't we all assume Tom was gay anyway? We had the obligatory Buzzfeed roundup of negative tweets in response to the video, followed by the obligatory Buzzfeed roundup of positive tweets in response to the video. Kylie tweeted at Tom. Tom retweeted Kylie. Stephen Fry tweeted at Tom. Tom replied to Stephen Fry. Lady Gaga tweeted about Tom. Tens of thousands of others read, shared and favorited the exchanges. As of this post's publication, Tom's original tweet had been retweeted over 70,000 times and favorited by over 84,000 people.

Twitter (and social media in general) has completely changed the way we find out about news stories, comment on them and discuss them. What a lot of people failed to understand was that although Tom Daley posted that message on a video sharing website, he didn't do it for Lady Gaga or Stephen Fry or Kylie Minogue or me or you. He did it for himself.

Unlike Tom, when I came out almost 12 years ago, I didn't have Facebook, Twitter followers or a legion of adoring fans to consider. I told my close friends, family and people I worked with, and the reaction I got was great; in fact, I couldn't have asked for better. I told people I'm gay not because I felt that it was my duty to let them know but because I did not want to continue living a life that wasn't really mine. Of course, by being open and honest with those close to me, I was able to build closer bonds with people, because I felt that I wasn't hiding anything anymore.

Tom Daley's life is a life in the public eye. We have seen him grow up on our TVs and computer screens. We've read about him in magazines and cheered him on at London 2012, where he picked up a bronze medal. You may remember the awful Twitter trolling that took place at this time, when someone tweeted at Tom saying that his father (who had passed away from cancer) would have been ashamed of him for collecting only a third-place medal. Vile. Inexcusable. Just awful.

Tom is 19 years old. Anyone who has been through the process of realizing they're somehow different from their friends and questioning their sexuality knows how difficult it is. Some people find it so emotionally challenging that they choose to ignore it and lead a life that suits those around them. Others come out. At a young age, Tom has also had to deal with the death of his father, which can completely derail some people. The death of a parent becomes a defining moment in your life, with all other events taking up a place either before or after. Tom may very well have been struggling to understand his feelings toward men at the time of his father's illness and death. Or he may not have struggled at all; I know that for some people that process of self-realization isn't as earth-shattering or as traumatic as it is for others. Either way, the fact that he has now decided to be open with his friends, family and the public is something that we should either respect or keep quiet about.

Many people, upon hearing that Daley is now dating a guy, predictably threw around the "in other news the Pope is Catholic" line. Whatever we thought about Tom Daley before Monday in regard to his sexual orientation, no one can say that they "knew he was gay all along." No one can say this because Tom himself hasn't even come out as gay, something else that a huge number of people don't seem to want to accept. I've read many comments suggesting that he is making his coming out as gay easier by utilizing the "bisexual" label. But Daley didn't use the words "gay" or "bisexual" in his video, so who are we to create gaps and then proceed to fill them in ourselves?

I think that Tom Daley's video is a beautiful, honest, personal, inspiring and emotional 5 minutes and 26 seconds. He told us on YouTube because, whether he likes it or not, his profession dictates that he have a personal profile. The fact that some people feel that they have the right to disrespect someone who has decided to share something so personal confuses me. Some people have once again asked why people still need to come out. The reason is simple. As long as society assumes that someone is straight until they know otherwise, people will have to come out. Tom Daley could have come out by doing a magazine interview, holding hands with his boyfriend in public or writing a book. It doesn't matter how he did it; he did it in the way he wanted to, and in my opinion he did it really well.

I'll watch this video again and again, because I think that the words Tom uses are perfect. He refuses to label himself (he says he still likes girls), but he is open about feeling safe and happy being with a guy. I know how hard coming out is. I know how hard losing a parent at a young age is. Neither experience is easy. And so for that I wholeheartedly take my hat off to Tom Daley for being such a brave man. He may not realize it at the moment, but as well as making his own life much easier, his maturity and honesty have also just helped thousands of other people...

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Why National Coming Out Day Still Matters 25 Years On

(1) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 10:00 AM

This year marks the 25th National Coming Out Day (NCOD) and to celebrate the milestone the theme for this year is 'Coming Out Still Matters'.

When I first found out about NCOD a few years ago I soon realised that the idea behind it wasn't to encourage closeted LGBT people...

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True Equality Is Never Having to Come Out

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 5:17 PM

I turned 32 a couple of months ago. I've been out for 11 years now and with each year I become more and more comfortable in my own skin. I'm not ashamed to be gay, in fact I'm happy to be gay. I've always said to my straight friends that...

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The British Obsession With Gay Footballers

(8) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 5:35 PM

It's often referred to as one of the last gay taboos in Britain: an out gay professional footballer. But why does a large proportion of the British gay (and straight) media, as well as a large section of British society in general, seem to be obsessed with the prospect of...

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Jason Collins -- Why His Coming Out Matters

(6) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 4:56 PM

As soon as I read the news that NBA star Jason Collins had come out as gay, I found myself preparing for the torrent of comments that will no doubt swamp message boards and social networking sites across the globe in the coming hours, days and weeks. Whenever a public...

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What Would Jesus Say About Being Gay?

(133) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 8:33 PM

"For while some are incapable of marriage because they were born so, or made so by men, there are others who have themselves renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven. Let those accept it who can."

What does this Bible passage mean? To some it would...

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Jodie Foster Deserves Our Respect, But Not for 'Coming Out'

(27) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 8:14 PM

A few things crossed my mind when I watched Jodie Foster's speech at this year's Golden Globes, where she was handed the Cecil B. DeMille award for her career in film. The first thing that took me by surprise was that she is 50 years old; she's certainly looking good...

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I Finally Understand Gay Conversion Therapy!

(112) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 12:57 PM

This week I watched a documentary on the British television channel BBC Three about the controversial subject of gay conversion therapy. The documentary caused an outpouring of anger, frustration and, above all, disagreement amongst gay, lesbian and bisexual people on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. I was angry. I...

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Are Two Dads Better Than None?

(30) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 2:56 PM

In The Sunday Times Magazine last month, gay film actor Rupert Everett said he "can't think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads." Everett wasn't misquoted, and he even went on TV to defend his views, saying:

I'm not against anybody doing...
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The Vital Importance of Sharing Our Coming-Out Stories

(0) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 10:11 AM

I'm 31. I came out when I was 21. I admitted to myself that I was gay when I was 19. I guess I was 14 when I flirted with the notion that I might be gay. Numbers, lots of numbers that will always remain an important part of who...

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