Tom Daley just did more for gay culture by lying back on a couch than thousands of hours of diligent campaign work could ever hope to achieve.
The Olympic diver's statement, delivered through YouTube, that he was dating a guy will have probably surprised few people.
What was truly special about the announcement was the way in which it was made. There was no sombre, set-piece, media-event TV interview. There was none of the fevered, front page hysteria which would have greeted a newspaper exclusive.
Instead, Daley appeared relaxed, confident and, most importantly, informal. By lying back as he delivered the statement, in what appeared to be a room with just him and his camera phone, he undercut the almost-religious importance the media and political class give to this topic.
Instead, he was just a guy, chatting about his sexuality openly and optimistically.
"I still fancy girls, of course," he said, without any hint of cheekiness or machismo.
This is the language of shrugging your shoulders, of something becoming so obvious it does not warrant controversy. It is a major victory and a glimpse of a world where legislation will be as far removed from the gay debate as spanners are from sandwiches.
It was indicative of how young people talk about sexuality: as something which resists the firm definitions of 'gay', 'straight' and 'bi'. And as something which is not worthy of the solemn tone of the Westminster bubble, where defenders and opponents of gay rights treat the matter as if it were some great issue of state.
Instead, this was a guy discussing what he liked and felt comfortable with, in an uncertain, matter of fact tone, while lying back, relaxed, with union jack cushions in the background.
It felt like a seismic shift, not in the facts of the debate, but in its manner.
Daley's relaxation and confidence and the lack of importance he seemed to attach to it should be considered a major victory for gay rights campaigners. It shows how far they've come.
This is the upside to a celebrity-fixated, PR-obsessed world. One celebrity lying back as he chats about who he's dating can make a tangible difference to the lives of millions.
If I were an opponent of gay rights, Daley's relaxed manner would scare me more than any piece of legislation.
Even their own leaders realise it now. Yesterday, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey admitted the Church of England is just "one generation away from extinction".
According to a Tearfund Survey from 2007, two-thirds of adults in this country now have no connection with the Church, or any other religion. Regular church attendance stands at six per cent - down five per cent since the 80's. By 2020 it is predicted to stand at four per cent. The average age of the congregations gets steadily older. It was 37 in the eighties. It's 51 now. British religion is literally dying out.
Nevertheless, the religious occupy a space in the political and cultural discourse of this country which is completely at odds with the public's lack of interest in them. Earlier this month, the Lord's Prayer and a short sermon hijacked the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph, turning a sombre moment into another opportunity to evangelise.
Every morning, Britain's most popular current affairs programme, the Today programme, makes way for a religious figure to deliver a 'thought for the day' – a privilege not afforded to the non-religious. And, in a piece of constitutional decrepitude, we still have done nothing to finally sever the link between Church and state.
The Queen sits at the head of both institutions, her position only tolerable for its laughable absurdity. The bishops still sit - unelected, unwanted and unloved - in the House of Lords. They make a laughing stock of Britain's claims to be a leading democracy.
This week, the General Synod meets to discuss matters which no thinking adult could possible countenance. Watching them argue about sexuality and gender is like trying to teach a caveman to use chopsticks. Why should we have any interest if they think a woman is entitled to hold a particular role, if gay people are allowed to pursue their happiness?
They are an echo of the past. They are of interest only as historical curiosities - a walking museum.
We do not have submit to the increasingly shrill and angry campaigning of the new atheist movement to rid ourselves of religion. Religion does not make someone a bad person.
It is perfectly obvious that Carey's successors, Rowan Williams and Justin Welby, are civilised, highly intelligent and conscientious men. It is clear that the new pope is a man of good will and compassion. Vicky Beeching, a new addition to the 'thought for the day' roster, has a generous and kind way of looking at the world.
But neither should the unquestionably good character of many religious adherents blind us to the moral poverty of their role.
This country has moved on from religion. The absolute knowledge, the moral and intellectual certainty, claimed by religion has never been a natural fit for the British personality, which recoils from pomposity and self-importance.
The continued role of religion in our society is a benign tyranny. The Church of England is too anaemic, too apologetic, to be considered truly dangerous. It does not have the same abysmal arrogance and cruelty of the Catholic Church. But for it to occupy a constitutionally mandated role in a country which demonstrably does not believe in it is democratically intolerable.
Carey's prognosis is sound. The young have no interest in the Church. It is finished. He has just failed to accept the obvious result.
The Church of England should be dismantled, with the same pragmatism and good humour with which we dismantled the empire. Let's pack it away and move on. It's over. It's done for.
People have used the word 'gay' disparagingly for decades. They were doing it when I was in school. They are evidently still doing it now, because Stonewall and Mumsnet have teamed up to try and discourage it.
They launched a campaign against the use of the word today with the unimpressive strapline:
'That's so gay' Um, actually it probably isn't.
Both organisations are promoting the campaign on social media this morning with the equally irritating hashtag #GetOverIt.
Campaigners are by nature optimistic, empowered people who believe they can change the world. In this case they have overestimated their influence.
Language is a complicated, fluid thing, dependent on the individual habits and circumstances of millions of people. The French have lost all their optimism and empowerment while watching the Académie Française try to control their language, with all the obvious disappointments such a process entails.
Efforts to control language from above are like trying to hammer water. It cannot be done. To believe one could do so reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of language.
The pejorative use of the word gay is a complicated development. It has been so popular - and is now so disconnected from what it originally referred to - that I know several gay people who use it in this context.
Language campaigners cannot compute this complex phenomenon. For them, negative words must be wiped out, because some people are hurt or offended by them. They come to the debate from a good place, a principled place, and are to be commended for it. Unfortunately their solutions are impossible, counter-productive and simplistic.
Stonewall will have no success convincing children to change their language. Typically school pupils have little interest in the views of lobby groups. In so far as the campaign has any effect it will alienate them from the organisation and reduce its credibility as it is reduced to the status of a po-faced language matron. At its worse, it could create the impression that gay kids are humourless and deserving of scorn.
But even if the campaign could be successful, it would not be desirable.
The complex way in which 'gay' is used, like 'paki', or 'slut', or 'queer', does not correspond to the simple viewpoint of Mumsnet and Stonewall. It is not always a term of abuse. It is now about as connected to homosexuality as the word 'bastard' is to paternal lineage.
I know several women who would consider themselves feminists who might describe a dress as 'slutty'. I know many Pakistanis – and their white friends – who use the word 'paki' as a jokey insult, akin to using the word 'dick'. And the word 'queer' is much further down the scale, having now been almost entirely appropriated by the gay community. Perhaps the language police need to ensure these groups also satisfy their narrow understanding of how people are supposed to talk.
A simplistic, censorious approach to language is a depressing distraction from the real issues facing gay people in the UK and around the world. Anti-gay bullying, which Stonewall has commendably focused on in recent years, would be better dealt with by a focus on the substantive issue – namely, bullying. Where the word gay is being used bullyingly, it is the bullying which is the problem, not the word.
The exclusive focus on language is a prime attribute of identity politics, a form of campaigning which is more interested in Twitter spats than actually helping the people it purports to care about.
It is a shame to see two decent organisations embark on such a misguided strategy.