AFLW’s Darcy Vescio comes out as non – binary: the daunting nature of sharing your identity on social media

Rainbow trans/ gender non - binary symbol
Image/ iStock

AFLW’s Darcey Vescio came out as non – binary.

The Carlton player revealed their gender identity. They came out on Twitter and Instagram. 

After posting a video, Vescio wrote:

Just popping in to let you know I am non – binary.

They went on:

Sharing this feels a bit daunting, but brings me a lot of warmth and happiness. 

Vestio’s revelation has been met with support from public figures, such as AFLW player, Lily Mithen and dissability advocate, Carly Findlay. 

AFLW’s Gold Coast Suns player, Tori Groves – Little has also come out as non – binary.

Revealing yourself online can be nerve – wracking

Over eight years ago, when I started blogging, I wrote about asexuality and LGBTQ+ issues. 

When I wrote about and analysed news and opinion or a researched piece, I was fine. 

However, it was nerve – wracking when I wrote something that hit close to home. When I wrote one blog post in particular (it was about the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Intersexism), I was too nervous to think straight.

Coming out and invalidation

I can’t say whether or not Vescio felt the same way. But the experience makes me respect those like them that do come out publicly. Especially since gender non – binary people are often invalidated, (much like asexual people were). 

Whenever trans or non – binary people are on the news or social media, more often than not, there are invalidating comments. Things along the lines that non – binary people are either male or female, want to be special, yadda, yadda. 

Very similar things that asexual people faced in the early 2010’s. Here’s the thing. no matter how many times you tell a non – binary person that they are male for female, it won’t change how they intrinsically feel. 

Likewise, if you tell a bisexual people to ‘pick a side’ or an asexual person that they are faking/ they are straight, etc, it doesn’t change how they feel. It doesn’t change who they intrinsically are.

Herald Sun should be commended for its reporting

There are so many criticisms that can be made about mainstream media outlets. 

However, Grace Baldwin from Herald Sun did a great job at reporting Vescio’s coming out. 

Baldwin respected Vescio’s pronouns throughout the article. It was free of invalidation. 

The article offered further information on what non – binary means, which I thought that was great.

There are non – binary people who’s identity may fluctuate or exist in the male/ female spectrum.

There are other non – binary people who don’t identify within the binary (agender) or consider themselves neutral. Vescio identifies with the latter.

The more non – binary come out, the more acceptance there’ll be (hopefully)

Like asexuality, I hope that non – binary people will be embraced like others in the LGBTQ+ community. 

I hope that there comes a time when non – binary people will feel comfortable coming out. They should be free to live their lives without discrimination.

We’re not there yet. But if newspapers like Herald Sun can cover stories of non – binary people with integrity and respect, I think we are moving in the right direction. 


Why the focus on Jussie Smollet and not Josh Duggar?


Trigger warning: this post mentions child sexual abuse. If this is triggering for you, please proceed with care.

Last week, there were two major court cases.

One featured Empire actor, Jussie Smollett. The other, 19 Kids and Counting’s Josh Duggar.

Journaists and YouTube commentators commented on both cases. Guess who got more attention from mainstream media?

Jussie Smollett

A jury found Jussie Smollett guilty of disorderly conduct and five counts of lying to police. This followed an incident in 2019 where Smollett falsely claimed that he’d been attacked by MAGA supporters. 

The media and celebrities took Smollett under their wing and praised him for his bravery. However, Smollett’s story collapsed pretty quickly.

At the end of January, Smollett refused to give police his phone as part of the investigation. Smollett eventually surrendered his phone. Police gained two people of interest: brothers Obabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, originally from Nigeria.

In February, police found out the relationshiop betwen Smollett and the Osundairo brothers. On the 20 February, police charged Smollett with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.

There was footage of the Osundairo brothers buying the masks t worn by Smollett’s ‘attackers’. On the 21 February, police arrested Smollett. Empire’s executive producers suspended Smollett from the show. He could face up to three years in jail per offence.

Chicago police also want to sue Smollett for wasting police’s time and resources. The case has outraged the African – community when Smollett claimed that an attacker tried to attack him with a noose. This is symbolic of a lynch mob.

Black Lives Matter continues to support Smollett.

Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar can face up to 40 years in jail after he was convicted of downloading and possessing child sexual abuse material. 

When speaking about the sentence, US Attorney for Western District of Arkansas, Clay Fowlkes made a statement saying “no person was above the law”. 

This case has split the Duggar family and Jim Bob Duggar has recently lost his run for Senate in Arkansas. 

This hasn’t been the first time that the Duggars have been hit by allegations of sexual abuse. In 2015, media outlets reported that Josh had molested a number of young girls as a teenager back in 2002 and 2003. 

Due to statute of limitations, Josh couldn’t be prosecuted for these crimes.

Media’s response (and lack of)

Both the mainstream media and social media have been commenting on the Duggar and Smollett cases. 

But who has got the most attention? Jussie Smollett. This has been in Australia and the US. 

The Sky News Australia’s YouTube channel is full of videos of commentary and reporting on Jussie Smollett. 

Caleb Bond, Chris Smith and Liz Storrer discussing Jussie Smollett case
Chris Smith show one of many to report on Jussie Smollett case

Surprisingly, the newspapers has been silent on both cases. 

I haven’t seen any reporting or commentary on the Duggar case. 

I saw that Fox News have reported on both cases. However, on their Twitter, they had way more posts on Jussie Smollett. 

Where are the media’s priorities?

The media’s response has been really disappointing.

What Jussie Smollett did was stupid. . But the media’s response to it has been excessive compared to Duggar.

Duggar’s crime was appalling. Child sexual abuse has a number of negative effects. Many survivors of sexual abuse live with repercussions year after from depression, anxiety, PTSD and suicidal ideation. 

It’s something the media shouldn’t jsut ignore when it doesn’t fit their culture war narrative. 

We need to advocate for child sexual abuse survivors. It should beyond politics. 

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