Olympic diving champion Tom Daley has pledged to use his OBE “to make the whole Commonwealth a better place for LGBT people”.
The sports star, who achieved his long-held ambition by winning gold at the delayed Toyko 2020 games, was made an OBE for services to diving, to LGBTQ+ rights and to charity, having been an ambassador for the gay community alongside his sporting endeavours.
The 27-year-old, from Plymouth, said he recognised the responsibility that accompanied the honour, and outlined his determination to do more for marginalised communities.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I feel it’s almost like 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 more accepting environment.
“It is now my responsibility to try and help create change and help create this environment where everybody can be anything that they want, no matter where they came from.”
Speaking about the importance of visibility, he added: “If you can’t see it, you can’t be.
“I think it’s really important to be able to lift up all of the people that feel like they’re outsiders, 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.
“I feel… able to lift up their voices.”
Daley’s quest for Olympic gold was finally realised in the summer, when he and diving partner Matty Lee took first place in the men’s synchronised 10 metres platform, having previously won bronze medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
He has not ruled out competing at Paris 2024 and could be enticed by the prospect of mixed or team events being put into the schedule.
Daley finished second in the voting at the 2021 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, behind only tennis player Emma Raducanu.
He came out in 2013, and married screenwriter Dustin Lance Black in 2017, with whom he has a son, Robbie.