Although American University is known as a very LGBT-friendly school, students Rin Ryan and Sasha Fernandez (both bi) said there was a lack of representation in student media.
So they decided to do something about it. Bisexuali-tea is a bi-weekly, 30-minute podcast where each episode finds the two discussing topics related to being queer in college. They start with a tea of the week and a preview of the conversation, then share stories with each other and ask questions. The second episode will be released Oct. 30 on Spotify or online (bisexualiteapodcast.transistor.fm). It’s part of American Way of Life Magazine, an independent AU publication dedicated to critical journalism.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about bisexual people in college, especially toward women,” Fernandez says. “There is this perception that college is a time to explore sexual curiosities and that bisexuality is just a phase when it’s a legitimate sexuality. … Bisexual erasure is a common issue within our culture. We felt that by creating a podcast, we could help amplify the voices of other bisexual people and create a fun space for other students to listen in.”
Fernandez is a 19-year-old Brooklyn native in her sophomore year at AU. She’s double majoring in international studies and journalism and hopes one day to be a reporter on LGBT and environmental issues. She and Ryan met through mutual friends then bonded “when we kept running into each other at one of our campus coffee shops.”
“I always had crushes on guys, even in elementary school,” Fernandez says. “However I always thought female characters on TV were really pretty. After writing different essays for the college application process about my different identities, I realized this was a part of myself that I had never explored.”
Fernandez lives in Tenleytown and enjoys podcasting, baking and listening to music in her free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I have been out since fall of my senior year of high school. The hardest person to tell was my mom because she was the first person to know.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Emma González because she is a Cuban bisexual, like me.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Town was such a fun place to go with friends and see all the drag performances. It was one of the queer nightlife spaces available for adults under 21.
Describe your dream wedding.
I don’t have a dream wedding.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
What historical outcome would you change?
The 2016 election.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
When Lady Gaga wore a meat dress to the 2010 VMAs.
On what do you insist?
That everyone follows the golden rule and treats others how they would like to be treated.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I do not post on Facebook and my last tweet consisted of me attending an event about Sino-Russian relations at Georgetown University.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Short and Sweet”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I would campaign to prevent minors from sexual conversion by their parents because identifying as something other than cisgender or heterosexual is perfectly valid and there should be no reason to change who you are.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Ghosts are real. I’ve had too many supernatural events that cannot be explained.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
To make sure the movement is intersectional, specifically representing transgender women of color that are most vulnerable to violence.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
To end climate change.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That LGBT relationships never have a happy ending. In most LGBT movies, many of the characters do not end up together because of illness or other relationship issues. However, LGBT relationships can last for life.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
Does “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” count?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Face filters on Snapchat.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
A Pulitzer Prize.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
I wish I wasn’t so insecure and worried about the future.
Washington is the city for those who are passionate and motivated.