Bisexual Erasure in the British Print Media: Representation of Tom Daley's Coming Out

Rory Magrath, Jamie Cleland, Eric Anderson

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    In December 2013, British Olympic diver Tom Daley announced that he had begun dating a man but was still attracted to women. In doing so he became the highest profile male athlete to disclose that he has bisexual attractions. This article provides a textual analysis of the British print media's reaction in the week after Daley's ‘coming out’ announcement and examines whether the portrayal of him is consistent with the inclusive response to gay male athletes who have come out of the closet in recent years. Results indicate almost unanimous support for Daley's decision to come out. However, highlighting the processes of bisexual erasure, much of the print media labelled Daley as gay—rather than bisexual. This article thus highlights that the print media is ostensibly supportive of male sexual minority athletes, but the evidence we present suggests that the media are simultaneously significant in erasing bisexuality as a legitimate sexual orientation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)300-317
    JournalJournal of Bisexuality
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2017


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