It’s a rare moment when you log onto social media and your first reaction is, “Well, that makes me feel better about humanity.”
That’s why occasions like Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black announcing the arrival of their second child are snapshots in time worth savoring.
Normally, when I open up Instagram, I do so for the most mundane reasons. Namely: I have decided that my next five minutes would be better spent in the company of washboard abs, twinks lip syncing Kim Petras, and the occasional Cubs highlight.
Yes, I know. I’m not made of stone. I figure that I can keep my sanity on social media if I don’t give it any more importance than that.
Then a day like April 5 comes along as a reminder that on certain extraordinary occasions, our phones can legitimately deliver inspiration right into our hands.
On that morning, I checked Instagram and at the very top of my feed, I saw a picture of Daley with the most contented smile I’d ever seen next to a beaming Black and the their son Robbie.
In his hand, Daley cradled a new baby. As I took in that detail and saw the caption: “PHOENIX ROSE BLACK-DALEY,” it finally hit me that this was a new son reveal. Even before I could put that thought into words, I reflexively let out a falsetto “Oh my God!” exultation of delight.
I’m pretty sure the last time an Insta post made me do that was the pic of Daley and Matty Lee holding up their Olympic gold medals. Immediately, I gave it a like — only because Instagram doesn’t have an option for “Briefly Made My Cynical Heart Soar Like a Thousand Bluebirds of Paradise.”
It was a very brief moment but it underscored the importance of Daley’s gift for social media. Through his Instagram feed and YouTube channel, he has become a go-to source for gay joy in the sports world.
Daley’s surprise reveal of his new son provided a similar jolt of happiness for everyone who saw it. While it obviously couldn’t fix the ills of the world, his post served as a reminder that this kind of joy still abounds in our community and provided a moment to take a break and celebrate it.
Even though it’s been a couple of years since his greatest athletic triumph, Daley is still giving us reasons to be proud and to share in unrelentingly positive occasions. As such, even though he’s far away from the diving board, he’s still a champion.