Tom Daley is ringing in the new year by proving, once again, why we all love him so much!
The 27-year-old Olympic gold medalist, hubby, father, and knitwear enthusiast was just granted a spot in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (or OBE, for short) as a part of the Queen's New Year Honors List for his contributions to British culture as a world-renowned diver, and while that is a big deal in and of itself, Daley is using this opportunity to advocate for inclusivity, especially when it comes to his fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community.
"I’m extremely proud to be honored with an OBE," Tom Daley said in a recent interview about the news with the BBC Breakfast show. "Now, being an OBE, I feel it's almost like a responsibility to make the whole Commonwealth a better place for LGBT+ people, for women, for people of color, to make it a more inclusive and accepting environment."
"With accepting this OBE it’s now my responsibility to help create change and help create this environment where everybody can be anything that they want, no matter where they came from," he continued.
If you know anything about Daley, you know this isn't the first time he's used the spotlight that has been cast on him as a world-class athlete to advocate for change.
In October of last year following his gold-medal-winning run at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Daley called for an Olympic ban on all countries that criminalize same-sex relations.
"These past Olympic Games, there were more out LGBT athletes than any of the previous Olympics combined, which is a great step forward," Daley said in a speech while accepting the Sports Award at the 2021 Attitude Awards. "Yet there are still 10 countries that punish being gay with death, that were allowed to compete at the Olympic Games."
Daley went on to say that while words were "all well and good" in confronting homophobia, he also thought that it was "really important to try and create change rather than just highlighting and shining a light on those things." He then pledged to make it his mission to "make it so that the countries that criminalize and [make it] punishable by death for LGBT people are not allowed to compete at the Olympic Games."
"Accepting an OBE is one thing, but accepting it and doing something with it," Daley concluded to BBC Breakfast about what he hopes being recognized with this honor helps him do. "Taking it from just being an OBE, to being something where I can help people, no matter where they're born or where they come from, that they can feel like they can be whatever they want to be. If you can't see it, you can't be it. At the end of the day, I think that it's really important to be able to lift up all of the people that feel like they're outsiders, that feel like they don't fit in, and feel like they have been less than for so many years, to support them in being whatever they want to be and now as an OBE, to be able to lift up their voices."
Watch Tom talk his OBE, and the platform it gives him, in the video below.
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