Tom Daley promises to use his OBE to advocate for LGBT+ rights across the world

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  • Tom Daley
    Tom Daley
    British diver

Tom Daley has promised to use his OBE to advocate for the rights of LGBT+ people across the Commonwealth.

The Olympic diver was made an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, and he told BBC Breakfast that he now feels a responsibility to make the Commonwealth “a more inclusive” place.

“I’m extremely proud to be honoured with an OBE,” Tom Daley said, adding that he felt “a responsibility to make the whole Commonwealth a better place for LGBT+ people, for women, for people of colour, to make it a more inclusive and accepting environment”.

He continued: “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.”

Daley said he wants to “lift up all the people who feel like they’re outsiders” and who feel like they don’t fit in across the Commonwealth.

He pledged to raise their voices and work to improve the lives of queer people everywhere, adding: “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

Tom Daley wants to stop countries that criminalise LGBT+ people from competing in the Olympics

Tom Daley’s latest comments come just months after he said it was his “mission” to stop countries where being LGBT+ is punishable by death from competing in the Olympics.

The diver – who won his first gold medal at the Tokyo Games in 2021 – said he felt a duty to “create change” while accepting the Sport Award at the 2021 Attitude Awards in October 2021.

“So I want to make it my mission over the next, well, hopefully before the Paris Olympics in 2024, to make it so that the countries [where it’s] punishable by death for LGBT people are not allowed to compete at the Olympic Games.”

He went on to blast the organisers of the FIFA World Cup for hosting the 2022 competition in Qatar, where LGBT+ people are still criminalised.

“I think it should not be allowed for a sporting event to host in a country that criminalises against basic human rights,” Daley said.

“So, that is going to be my mission now to change that.”

However, the Olympic Committee subsequently told NBC News that it has “neither the mandate nor the capability to change the laws or the political system of a sovereign country”.

“This must rightfully remain the legitimate role of governments and respective intergovernmental organisations,” a committee spokesperson said at the time.

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