8. On that, why was it significant for you to put your episode on desire on hold to focus on the tragedy in Orlando?
Pérez: Everything was on hold. That happened, and the world stopped. Both Veró and I have wrote essays in response and spent time together. There was a cultural and personal identity connection, so it was like of course we are going to do something different. It was hard and sad, but we are really grateful we had something to offer. Since the day I found out, I’ve been listening to music, so it made sense to offer that.
Bayetti Flores: It felt incredibly personal. Both of us have been to queer nights at Latino clubs and Latin nights at queer clubs together. We felt, for us and for the listeners, that we needed to talk about it. It felt really weird to release an episode on sex, desire and laughing when it wasn’t the mood. We put it together really quickly, and I think it felt like the only thing that we could do.
9. Veró, you come from a music writing background. How is podcasting different from blogging? Pérez, your writing doesn’t focus on culture as much as Veró’s has, so how has this transition been for you?
Bayetti Flores: I find talking about things a lot easier. For writing, I want things to be really good, and, not that I don’t want the podcast to be good, I do, but there’s not the same writing pressure. I feel more comfortable speaking. I like it, maybe because it’s easy to hear my tone and to be easily understood. And then I’m doing it with Pérez, my friend, so it’s fun and we laugh a lot. It just feels different from writing an article, even though there are similar edits and deadlines.
Pérez: It’s definitely a departure for me. Music is a private obsession of mine. At parties, I want to share the music I love with my friends, and now I do it with a more willing audience (I have a diverse group of friends who don’t all love the music I love). At Colorlines, I write about race and gender. Shit is heavy, so focusing on music brings joy. Also, podcasting feels like blogging did 10 years ago. It feels more experimental and creative. I’m excited about it again. Writing doesn’t have the same newness to it.
10. What has the response been to Radio Menea so far?
Pérez: I think it’s been pretty positive. Neither of us have done radio and podcasting before. Our friends and wider community are really supportive. I’ll be out at a party in DC and someone will say, “hey, I love your podcast. You have a really great radio voice.” It’s been positive on a whole.
Bayetti Flores: There’s not a ton of media out there for and by queer Latinas, and we don’t want to see this as what the queer Latina experience is. We are saying this is one way it looks like, and we would love to see more iterations.
11. Where do you hope to see this podcast go, besides the Latin Grammys?
Pérez: It’s more of a passion project, something we love and are excited to work on. We’ve had a couple hundred listeners, so we’d love to have a bigger audience and create a greater dialogue with listeners, but it’s still a smaller project with not so many recourses. We are still figuring out the big picture, but we are having fun and think it’s important to make space for Latino media that looks different from Univision and other mainstream outlets.