Tom Daley is not competing at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this year. But he’s using his platform to make an even bigger splash as he takes a stand against homophobia within the Commonwealth and beyond.
A vital new documentary will follow Daley as he travels to Pakistan and Jamaica and talks to LGBTQ+ athletes from Nigeria and Tonga – all places where LGBTQ+ people could face whipping, life imprisonment or even death – before presenting a manifesto to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) demanding it does more.
Speaking exclusively to The Big Issue ahead of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, Daley said: “The Commonwealth Games Federation has the opportunity to be at the forefront, to be the most inclusive event and the biggest power for change.”
The BBC One documentary Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me will air on August 9 and culminate in scenes of Daley taking part in this week’s opening ceremony in Birmingham, carrying the Pride flag. He hopes to be joined by competitors who live in fear in the countries they will be representing in a highly visible statement of solidarity.
“It took a lot of heated conversations and a lot of back and forth. But we’re hoping that it is going to come off and be a really powerful moment watched by 1.5 billion people around the Commonwealth,” says Daley.
“So if any kids or young people feel like they do have a place in the Commonwealth and the world, they do have a place to grow up and hope for.”