Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

School of Journalism and Media Studies Professor Embodies "Sin Vergüenza" Through His Podcast

Nathian Shae Rodriguez empowers the Latinx and queer communities with his own podcast launched in spring 2021.

School of Journalism and Media Studies Professor Embodies

by By Gabriela Romero

June 4, 2021

Directly translating to “no shame, no embarrassment,” yet holding a connotation of shamefulness, “Sin Vergüenza” is a generationally used phrase to call out those who swim against the status quo. Dr. Nate Rodriguez chooses to confidently own these words.

“‘Sin Vergüenza’ without shame, without embarrassment. That is how I live my life,” Rodriguez expresses.

His goal is to reclaim the phrase to break the stigma of mortification that is traditionally associated with Latinx/a/o culture. Through his podcast, Rodriguez talks with community members around the globe to tackle both taboo and non-taboo topics, such as having a gay and/or brown background, having disabilities, or holding various citizenship or documentation statuses.

“This podcast was a long-time in the making. It was an idea birthed of my own existential angst and issues of duality in my own identities – never being fully one thing or the other,” Rodriguez says.

He was inspired by his longtime friend of 14 years, Danny Suarez, who he calls his fairy godfather. As the first “Sin Vergüenza” guest, Suarez and Rodriguez speak about how Rodriguez learned to accept and pride himself as a queer Latinx member because of Danny.

“I needed that fairy godfather to help show me the queer community,” Rodriguez notes in the podcast. Danny was there with accepting arms when Rodriguez came out to his Mexican-American machismo family.

With a background in radio for over 13 years and the desire to be the voice he needed when he was young and still in the closet, Rodriguez’s podcast debuted on April 16, 2021, on what would have been the 50th birthday of the slain Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez.

Rodriguez credits Selena with helping him negotiate his own Latinx identity, and says, “she showed me there was not one right way to be Mexican-American or Latinx.”

Rodriguez teaches a course on Selena and Latinx Media Representation, which will be offered again in Spring 2022.

Rodriguez grew up hearing the phrase ‘sin vergüenza’ which he is now proud to identify with. “Being LGBTQ, being brown, being poor, being first generation. All of those things were made to be so shameful. You were supposed to be embarrassed of it,” he says.

“Well I’m done with that, and I’m ready to have conversations with people who might feel the same way … this conversation, this podcast is going to be for you.”

The first episode, “A Somewhat History of Being a Sin Vergüenza,” launched on April 16, 2021. The first three episodes of the podcast tackle issues of identity, mental health, body positivity, language, dating, and other issues of intersectionality. The fourth episode drops on June 4 and will kick off Pride month with special guest Addy Huertas.

The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and anywhere podcasts are available. Catch up on his released episodes, and follow the podcast Instagram page to stay updated about all things “Sin Vergüenza.”

Rodriguez concludes, “I hope listeners are empowered and, in some way, emancipated from the reductive heteronormative restrictions placed on us by society and culture.”

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

More PSFA Stories