Tom Daley and Lance Black share a gondola ride during a vacation in Venice. | Twitter: @gaystarnews

Tom Daley has told his story of meeting Dustin Lance Black hundreds of times on every conceivable platform there is. It’s one of the great meet-cutes of this era and will go down as the origin story of an iconic LGBTQ relationship.

A major part of his narrative is that their meeting in March 2013 also marked the start of a process that inspired Daley to come out publicly. It’s a story that he’s told and retold often but even Daley is still learning new and adorable details about it. 

One such example: because he was still in the closet to most of the people in his life at that point, it almost led to a sitcom-level misunderstanding with his mother Debbie.

During a recent appearance on the When Life Gives You Lemons podcast, Daley told host Emma Levy a story that he had recently learned from this pivotal time in his life. He had just come out for the first time to his friend Sophie and decided to introduce Black to his family as the next step in his process.

As he recounted, “I just found out this literally the other day, actually. When I was telling my mom about Lance, I mean, ‘What do you think of Lance,’ she thought that I was trying to set her up with him!”

Not quite. But her motherly instincts were close…

“I don’t know if my mom even knows that I know, because she told someone that that’s what she thought,” Daley added.

It’s a great new detail to the story and highlights one of the major stressors of many people’s coming out experience.

By telling family and friends that you’re LGBTQ, you’re completely upending one of their biggest assumptions about who you are — which is why Debbie initially assumed that her son was talking up Black for her benefit.

Happily, Black ended up with the right Daley and at a moment where he needed someone who understood what he was going through most. Following the personal high of the 2012 London Olympics, Daley was enduring a low point in his mental health while trying to figure out what to do next and had contemplated quitting the sport entirely.

“I was able to speak to Lance about achieving something and then what it feels like on the other side of it,” he explained.

“He had won his Oscar and on the other side of it, he really struggled to get back into what he wanted to do in the film space.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve finally found someone that understands what it feels like to be at the pinnacle and then all of a sudden be at rock bottom and not knowing what to do or how to get out of it.’”

It’s safe to say the world of diving is a better place because Daley met Black at a time when he needed him most. His mom would definitely agree.