Tom Daley has been praised for highlighting the homophobic laws that still exist in more than half of the Commonwealth countries.
The Olympian explored the topic in Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me, which saw the 28-year-old travel to countries such as Jamaica and Pakistan to meet with LGBTQ+ athletes affected by the legislation.
The documentary, which aired on BBC One on 9 August, emphasised that 35 out of the 54 countries that competed at the Commonwealth Games still have anti-LGBTQ+ laws in place.
It has been met with widespread acclaim by viewers, with many noting Daley’s fearless approach to the subject as a highlight of the one-off episode.
“What makes Tom Daley stand out is that he understands how important it is as a gay guy in sport to use his platform to raise awareness of the plight queer people face,” one wrote on social media. “He doesn’t shy away from the tough questions or the bigot blowback.”
Another added: “#IllegalToBeMe A powerful, moving, and brilliant documentary with @TomDaley1994 showing the importance of engaging, listening to & empowering LGBTQ+ people from across the Commonwealth as we push for change, and the importance of visibility. Thank you!”
“Utmost respect for Tom Daley using his position to push for change and respect for LGBT rights,” a third said.
Aired the day after the Commonwealth Games drew to a close, it also gave insight into the moment Daley led athletes into the Opening Ceremony as they waved the Pride flag.
“He is a legend,” one viewer tweeted. “@TomDaley1994 using his platform to shine a light on the homophobic attitudes across the Commonwealth. The British exported this hate however such abhorrent views remain rife in the UK. Seeing the Pride flag at the Opening Ceremony is a step forward #IllegalToBeMe.”
“It was so moving to see this moment during the Opening Ceremony at #B2022. Representation matters,” said another.
“Now watching @TomDaley1994’s #IllegalToBeMe. It’s haunting to see the oppression that exists across the Commonwealth.
“The bravery of all speaking up & speaking out is inspiring.”
A third added: “OMG watching the opening ceremony was huge, but now watching #IllegalToBeMe and seeing behind the scenes of how important that was really does bring it home. Well done @TomDaley1994.”
Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me is streaming now on BBC iPlayer.
See how more viewers reacted below:
Literal tears. Sadness. A bit triggered, not gonna lie. The memories, and knowing a whole lot of #LGBT+ people are being tortured/killed as I write this. For what??! Honestly, for WHAT?! Just for being themselves. This is so emotional. #TomDaley #IllegalToBeMe
— Prossy Kakooza (@Pkakooza) August 9, 2022
Watching #IllegalToBeMe on BBC 1. Can't imagine ever abandoning my daughter because of her sexuality.
— Carolyn ❤ (@CalH86809924) August 9, 2022
— Darren (@dizsaidwhat) August 9, 2022
Well done @TomDaley1994 for making #IllegalToBeMe My 12 year old daughter is watching, literally open mouthed in horror, learning that not all queer people are able to be open about who they are. A valuable piece of TV
— alexcf 💙 (@AlexCogForb) August 9, 2022
— Mummy Amy 💖👑🍾👌🍍🇬🇧 (@Sweet_Angel_Amy) August 9, 2022
— Steven Kelly (@StevenKelly82) August 9, 2022
Turned on TV. Caught end of Tom Daley documentary. Smiles on faces of LGBT flag bearers as he ran into opening ceremony of Commonwealth Games. Beautiful.
— Alex Stone (@AlexStone7) August 9, 2022
We must do better. Sport is a medium, platform and language that binds us. It has power. 🏳️🌈 Thank you #TomDaley
— Jacob Dafydd Ellis (@JacobDEllis) August 9, 2022
— Sam Levey (@Pedal_Medal) August 9, 2022
.@TomDaley1994's #IllegalToBeMe is the start of a beautiful and difficult journey. I was incredibly moved when I saw the pride flags at the opening ceremony of the commonwealth games. Knowing the journey to get there is another level
— Bainser (@bainser) August 9, 2022
Utmost respect for Tom Daley using his position to push for change and respect for LGBT rights #IllegalToBeMe
— Russell (@Rustybobs) August 9, 2022
It was so moving to see this moment during the Opening Ceremony at #B2022. Representation matters.
The bravery of all speaking up & speaking out is inspiring pic.twitter.com/E8ijWjaGil
— Richard Loftus (@richardjloftus) August 9, 2022