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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
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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. 

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News Opinion/Commentary Uncategorized

Hugh Sheridan’s coming out and the complexity of human sexuality

Word Pride on little blocks
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Australian actor went public came out as… human.

He told Stellar Magazine why he took so long:

I’ve never felt I really knew who I was and I didn’t like the sounds of the labels that people were giving me, so I decided to say nothing.

The Packed to the Rafter’s star also talked about the pressure to keep his relationships with men a secret to make him seem ‘available’ to women viewers. This angered him.

When asked about his sexual orientation, The Packed to the Rafter’s star simply came out as “a human being”.

Love life and being outed by the media

Sheridan opened up about his attractions. As a child, Sheridan opened up about being bullied for being gay. Ironically, at the time, he claimed that he was in love with girls.

It wasn’t until he started he started his acting career that he first fell for a man. Unfortunately, the media caught on and rumours were spreading about his relationship. Sheridan said he felt outed. “It hurt a lot”, he explained.

He also exposed the catch 22 he and a lot of other LGBTQ+ celebrities risk: having to come out or thinking you’re ashamed of who you are.

Sheridan started the Renaissance Project, where people are invited to discuss issues of labels and identity.

On the issue of identity, Sheridan simply stated:

I believe labels are for clothes, not for people.

Sheridan’s coming out is met with support

There has been an outpouring of support for Sheridan. Many have written to him and thanked him. He’s also got love and support from other Packed to the Rafters co – stars.

Rebecca Gibney, who played his mother, Julie Rafter, penned an emotional note of support on Instagram.

I’ve loved this boy the moment I met him 13 years ago. He is one of the most joyful, open hearted, empathetic souls I have ever met and I couldn’t be more proud of his wonderful essay in the latest Stellar magazine where he talks about society’s need to label and how he has never fitted the labels that were given to him.

She concluded:

I’m so blessed to call you my friend. Well done for speaking your truth. Love you to the moon sweetheart.

 

Sexual fluidity: when coming out isn’t that simple

For a while, fluid sexuality has been researched and become public knowledge. University of Utah’s psychology professor,  Lisa M Diamond PhD did a study on women and sexuality. She discovered that women can go through numerous sexual experiences through different stages of their lives.

However it’s often assumed that men’s sexuality is largely static; either gay or straight. Male bisexuality is often erased and those who come out are often not believed.

And men without the need for a label? Well, you don’t really hear about it… until now. It turns out that complexity with sexual identity can affect people of all genders, including men.

 

I think Hugh Sheridan’s coming out is oositive. Not only are more LGBTQ+ people coming out in public, but it also shows that being unsure or without a label is also OK.

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LGBTQ rights Uncategorized

About allies

Rainbow Pride flag
Image: iStock

 

I thought what an ally was was common knowledge. Maybe it’s only within sections of the LGBTQ+ community.

Apparently, not everyone does, according to what I heard last night on 2GB.

According to Human Rights Campaign, an ally is:

… someone who is supportive of LGBT people. It encompasses non – LGBT allies as well as those within the LGBT community who support each other.

So, that’s it. An ally is someone who is supportive of LGBTQ+ people. Pretty simple. Allies are crucial to the LGBTQ+ community and it’d be great if we could all support each other: cis – gender people standing up for trans people, etc.

 

When you have a habit of catastrophising and always thinking the worse, having people I can be myself around is really important. It’s crucial really. I think we owe a debt to those who supported us during the same – sex marriage debate last year. We’re also going to need them to make sure rights of LGBTQ+, particularly anti – discrimination protections, are not watered down.

At least six out of the seven million who voted in favour of same – sex marriage last year would have been straight. That’s over six million people who think that LGBTQ+ people should be free to love and have that love recognised like straight couples under Australian law. This is huge.

There were media personalities who were great allies during the campaign. These included Mamamia founder, Mia Freedman and the panel on The Project. No, they aren’t perfect, (the Margaret Court “interview” was a train wreck, in my opinion and what Freedman said about Josh Manuatu on Twitter in 2016 was uncalled for). But they lent their voices to support members of the LGBTQ+ community who were calling for change to marriage laws to include LGBTQ+ people (now sex nor gender is a determining factor of who can get married in the law). Paul Murray from Sky’s Paul Murray Live was also a great ally. He consistently (more than others in the media, I’ve got to say), called out extremists in the “No” campaign, as well as calling out those on the “Yes” side.

These people, including some in my personal life, made the campaign a tiny bit more bearable.

Allies were also great before the same – sex marriage debate took full swing. Family and friends I’ve come out to have been awesome. One of them was really, really sweet. It was great to know that our relationship wouldn’t be affected negatively in any way. It’s great to know you’re unconditionally loved by them. It’s also great that most of these people are open about their support.

That’s what I’d say to allies. If you support the LGBTQ+ community, if you can, please be open about it. Let LGBTQ+ people in your life know that they are safe to be themselves around you. We’re not mind readers. For those who are, I love you.

What does ally mean to you? What do you want any allies to know? Leave your thoughts below in the comments.