An Olivia Interview with V Spehar
Get to know one of Olivia’s newest friends: V Spehar, American journalist, Podcast host, and founder of the TikTok and Instagram news account that millions follow: Under The Desk News. V is joining us on Olivia’s Punta Cana resort trip in October 2023 as a special guest speaker.
Olivia: Your IG and TikTok Under The Desk News channels have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. How would you describe your news and content style to newbies?
V: It’s the days events told in a calm way from the safe space. Each day my goal is to help you be more conversational about what’s happening in the world without feeling overwhelmed or disheartened. The program balances good and hopeful stories with US Politics, easy to follow explainers, and leads with kindness. Every Thursday we take a break to talk “good news only” while donning our Banana print shirts. Let’s be smart together!
Olivia: You've been tapped by the White House in the past year to come to Washington and talk about policy. What can you share about that experience?
V: Wow yes! What an experience it was. What I appreciate about the Biden Administration specifically is how much effort they have put into connecting with and re-inviting curious citizens to the White House. I’ve had the chance to ask questions directly to POTUS and VP, meet with the Climate Team and Press Secretary, and in each meeting they’ve treated me just the same as the press pool and taken my concerns seriously. I hope that DC continues to find ways to build camaraderie between elected officials and constituents beyond the typical town hall, rally, or prime time TV debate.
Olivia: We love a good pit or peak. In terms of the LGBTQ+ community - what worries you the most and what gives you the most optimism for the future?
V: I’m genuinely concerned for young queer folks. The pressure to be “queer enough” when I was growing up was already difficult to navigate and with social media driving culture the stakes have never been higher. I’m grateful the “in the closet” experience isn't nearly as scary or common for many folks, but my “in the closet” time was really helpful for creating space for quiet reflection, imagination, working through thoughts and trying on queerness a little more privately where i could make mistakes or change my mind or grow outside the spotlight of social media. There’s no photo of video evidence of my early gay days! And I think that's probably best for all of us in some ways to have those memories be private places we grew from. BUT that same platform, social media, has given youth so many more “possibility models” than I had - you can “see yourself” successful, happy, accepted in every industry and in every body type and in every circumstance the public offers. I think that’s amazing. We have so much more work to do to achieve equity and equality - but right now we have *possibility* and a squad of queer adults to look to.
Olivia: Are you excited to come and speak for an Olivia crowd in Punta Cana this fall?
V: BEYOND EXCITED! I’ve been working on my material for my talk and I think folks are going to leave surprised, educated, inspired! We’ll laugh, maybe cry a little, bond, celebrate, and then kiki by the pool - what could be better!?!? I am counting the seconds 'till my feet hit the beach with the Olivians, this will be an epic week for sure!