Diving great Tom Daley will campaign for gay rights when he competes at next month’s World Series in Russia.
Daley, who combined with Dan Goodfellow to win gold at the Games on the Gold Coast, has called on the Commonwealth Games Federation to do more to pressure those nations where homosexuality remains illegal.
Thirty-six of 53 member states still outlaw gay sex.
Speaking to the BBC, Daley, 23, said he intended to maintain his campaigning when competing in Russia.
“I think the one thing that is the most powerful thing to do is go and compete and do the best I can, and just be who I am and compete at the highest level that I can,” he said.
“Speaking out can only do so much, but for me going there competing is a message that I want to urge other LGBT people to go and compete in Russia.
“It doesn’t matter about our sexual orientation.”
Daley, who held a baby shower with husband Dustin Lance Black last weekend, said becoming a father has inspired him to be more forthright in his activism.
“You want your child to grow up having an equal opportunity as everyone else that is born, whether they’re gay, straight, male, female, whatever religion you are, whatever ethnicity you are,” he said.
“I think that everyone should have the equal opportunity to do the best you can.”
?G O L D ? • • • ?ﾸﾏ? 37 of the competing nations criminalise being LGBT+. I feel so lucky to be able to be openly who I am without worry. I hope one day every athlete from every nation in the commonwealth will be free to compete openly as who they are too! ?ﾸﾏ? • • • The journey to these commonwealth games has been a rough ride! I am so happy to come away with @dannielgoodfellow as COMMONWEALTH CHAMPIONS ?ﾟﾥﾇ Now time to CELEBRATE! ? • • • #Gold #Champions #gc2018 #Australia #Diving #TeamEngland
Daley told the BBC it struck him while he was sitting with his gold medal at lunch with Black following the Commonwealth Games how lucky he was “to not be worried about any ramifications or someone being able to throw me in prison”.
“To know that 36 of the competing nations criminalise LGBT people so that if I was born in a different country I wouldn’t be able to compete truly as I am, it struck me in such a way I was mortified by it,” he said.
“I crafted a little sentence on my Instagram post and that was exactly what I was feeling in that moment.”