It was 11 p.m. when business administration senior Daniel Macavei, laying in bed listening to a podcast, had the idea to create something that he wished he could have looked to a few years ago, before he began his coming out journey.
Macavei texted his best friend, construction management senior Dante De Mayo, and the two decided to create the podcast “Versatility.”
According to Macavei, “Versatility” — a play on words meaning the ability to both adapt and, within the gay community, be flexible with both “top” and “bottom” positions during sex — first began as his senior project.
Macavei and De Mayo gathered a microphone and a camera from two of their friends, purchased a tripod and lighting supplies and set up a table and chairs in his garage, which soon became referred to as “the Studio.”
“We’re not professionals and we’re not trying to say that we are,” Macavei said. “We’re just two college guys trying to have a discussion and trying to have others join us and realize that being gay isn’t some whole taboo thing.”
The podcast was created so more people can have someone to relate to, according to the creators.
“We’ve all seen the same two or three gay movies or there’s Troy Sivan and Sam Smith, but there aren’t a tone of gay figures out in the media, especially with stories that we can relate to,” De Mayo said.
De Mayo said they had some friends who are gay reach out to them after listening to their podcast.
“Even just listening to the first episode, they told us, helped them come to terms with a lot of stuff they’ve been dealing with and it literally made me so happy,” he said.
The two plan on having an episode dedicated to their coming out stories, as well as episodes surrounding pop culture, current events, college life, being athletes and issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community, according to Macavei. Their second and most recent episode was a Q&A featuring questions from their straight friends.
“What is one gay stereotype that is actually true?” one of the friends asked.
They also plan on reaching out to celebrities like Anderson Cooper and the Queer Eye cast, De Mayo said.
However, De Mayo and Macavei said their target audience isn’t limited to the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s a podcast for everyone and whatever you identify as,” Macavei said. “We’re here for it, we’re supportive, we’re inclusive, we love each other.”
Business senior Noah McKinley, and close friend of Macavei and De Mayo, said the two work well together. He referred to Macavei as “Professor Snape, but a good guy” and De Mayo as “all over the place” and “bubbly.”
McKinley, who works on the production side of things, said he thought the podcast was a great idea.
“When they came out I had all sorts of questions and things, but I didn’t really know how to approach it,” he said. “For them to make a podcast, I find it really interesting because people get to hear about it all without having to make anyone uncomfortable or overstep any boundaries.”