Junior Mac Lengyel and other students at Elon University’s Gender and LGBTQIA Center recently started the podcast SexualiTEA. The podcast focuses on discussing the intricacies of gender and sexuality along with sharing the stories of Elon students, faculty, staff and alumni.
“We want every student to feel valued, validated and victorious,” Lengyel said. “That is why it is so important that we talk and we educate.”
Lengyel, who is the manager of the Gender and LGBTQIA Center events team, helped lead conversations on the events team around making a podcast for Bisexuality Awareness Week, which was Sept. 16-23.
On Sept. 26, Lengyel and co-host Junior Bryson Smith, another member of the events team, recorded the Bi-Cast, detailing their own dating experiences, myths about bisexuality, the stigma of stereotypes and the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality.
The Bi-Cast, which is the first episode of the podcast, originally aired as a roundtable discussion on WSOE 89.3, Elon’s student-run radio station. The roundtable discussion allowed for both Lengyel and Smith to have open conversations with other students and faculty about bisexuality.
“When you have something like a podcast, it allows for allies who maybe aren’t so comfortable or don’t feel as knowledgeable talking about or standing behind queer people, it kind of gives them a chance to understand the experiences of queer people,” Lengyel said.
The discussion served as an avenue for the Gender and LGBTQIA Center to create SexualiTEA. Some episodes of the podcast will continue to air on WSOE 89.3, and the podcast can also be found on online streaming platforms, such as Spotify.
This week, SexualiTEA is coming out with an episode about coming out stories from Elon students, faculty, staff and alumni. Lengyel and other members of the Gender and LGBTQIA Center hope that the podcast episode will inspire more students within the Elon community to feel comfortable sharing their coming out experiences.
“I think the most important thing is that when we’re making this podcast, we just trying to make it easier for students to come out in the future because it’s a really, really hard thing for a lot of people,” Lengyel said.
In addition to the episode on coming out stories, SexualiTEA plans to continue bringing in guests to add extra voices outside of the Gender and LGBTQIA Center.
Lengyel hopes the podcast allows allies to understand the experiences of queer people, and for members of the LGBTQIA community to have a space talk about their different stories.
“Everyone has a gender, everyone has a sexuality. Who you are, it’s valid, and you are okay,” Lengyel said. “We want to make sure that everybody feels comfortable in their own skin because everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin and not feel like they have to fight this battle everyday just to be who they are.”
Future episodes of SexualiTEA will explore asexuality and intersex for Ace and Intersex Awareness Week, the history of the letters of LGBTQIA, and experiences of being nonbinary.