‘Under The Desk News’ V Spehar Says Believe In Yourself With Their Picks For ‘The Sound Of Pride’ (Exclusive)

V Spehar of 'Under The Desk News' picks one of the hottest tracks ever for our Pride Month playlist while reminding us that, so long as we fight for LGBTQ+ rights, things will be okay.

‘Under The Desk News’ V Spehar Says Believe In Yourself With Their Picks For ‘The Sound Of Pride’ (Exclusive)

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Image Credit: Gerry Szymanski @gerryszymanski

It’s Pride Month! Throughout June, HollywoodLife is celebrating with The Sound Of Pride, where celebs and stars of the LBGTQ+ community pick songs for the ultimate 2023 Pride Month playlist. It’s the perfect soundtrack to planning your Pride party, researching how to protect LGBTQ+ rights, or reading about the history of Pride Month. Today, the award-winning host of @underthedesknews, V Spehar, shares their selection for the playlist.

Staying on top of things while under the desk (Gerry Szymanski @gerryszymanski)

“I think Pride can be a little difficult for some folks,” V Spehar, the award-winning host of Under The Desk News, tells HollywoodLife. With the same perspective and candor that has earned @UnderTheDeskNews more than three million followers online, V acknowledges that Pride Month can be bittersweet. Often, it feels like the rest of the world has created this box, this June month, as the time we’re ‘allowed’ to be celebrated,” they say. “I celebrate being queer and queer folks all year round.”

V’s celebration includes tracking all the legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ rights across America so their millions of followers don’t grow complacent through ignorance. It also means sharing positive stories from the LGBTQ+ community while breaking down the day’s happenings. Within a few years of launching @underthedesknews, V has become a trusted journalistic source, which saw them work with the Los Angeles Times, former president Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, and more notable figures to inform Millennials/GenZ while also pushing for greater civic participation. V has also launched the V Interesting podcast with Lemonade Media, offering more in-depth analysis of the bigger stories of the day. V also speaks with some very interesting guests, like Hank Green, Ashley McBryde, and Pete Buttigieg.


If youre an ally, or even just stand in opposition to hate please keep raising your voice we need you! #glaad #pride #june #loveislove #kindness @glaad

♬ original sound – UnderTheDeskNews

The work has thrust V into the spotlight. They were nominated for a 2023 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Podcast. They also accepted the 2023 Webby’s Special Achievement Award for “their articulate and concise, but unabridged reporting, and for methodically balancing positive news with more solemn headlines.” After all, @UnderTheDeskNews is about being the “positive side of #NewsTok,” helping to provide the stories sans the fearmongering often found through other media outlets.

V will also find the positive side of the complicated issue that is Pride Month. When they walk in the Buffalo and New York Pride parades, they tell HL they’ll be “looking out to the crowd to remind myself of the diverse and resilient people we are, and holding space for the folks who find pride a little hearbreak-y too.”

They will also make sure to have some fun, too. They include that with their picks for The Sound of Pride playlist, as you’ll read below.

Ashley McBryde, “Brenda Put Your Bra On”

“It’s just a BANGER of a classic style country tune, the lyrics just crack me up, and as a person who often has to report some really bad news, it’s fun to live in the ‘trailerville’ with Ashley and gawk at the neighbors’ drama which somehow. Makes the world feel right [laughs].”

Delanie Leclerc, “So Many Ways”

“A truly beautiful, kinda hopeful love song. Great for a summer road trip or to sing to your summer crush. My wife wrote and performed the string arrangements on that track, so it holds a little EXTRA summer love vibes for me.”

Chappel Roan, “Red Wine Supernova”

“EVERYTHING to love, the lyrics are hot as the Fourth of July, and the beat is retro kinda 80s? It’s bright, it’s fun, it’s not on the mainstream’s radar yet, so get ahead of the crowds!”

ABBA, “Dancing Queen”

“Y’all… I am a dancing queen, I’m a super trooper, I’m not much for EDM or modern dance music. I am forever a disco diva all day, every day.”

Editor’s Note: We added “Dancing Queen” here, though as V points out, any ABBA is good for your playlist. 

Additional Suggestions

“Generally.. I’ll have SuperTramp, Veruca Salt, Dolly Parton’s Disco Albums, The Midnight, and this little local band called Double Motorcycle no one knows but who DID write my wedding song in rotation all summer long.”

V at the Webbys (James Hartley @hartleyphoto )

HollywoodLife: Going into Pride 2023, how does this year’s celebration feel compared to last year’s?  

V: I think Pride can be a little difficult for some folks. For me, Pride month is about reflection and paying respects to the queer folks who came before and literally died fighting for us to be able to exist. I can sometimes find the spotlight we get in June to be a bit intimidating, and often, it feels like the rest of the world has created this box, this June month, as the time that we’re ‘allowed’ to be celebrated. I celebrate being queer, and queer folks, all year round.

This year is my FIRST year marching in both the Buffalo Pride Parade and NYC’s Pride Parade. I’ll be looking out to the crowd to remind myself of the diverse and resilient people we are and holding space for the folks who find pride a little hearbreak-y too.

Pride is a time to celebrate unsung heroes. Is there anyone you’d like to see get some more of the spotlight this year?  

The Old Gays from the small towns. The folks who just…exist. The ones who maybe weren’t activists, didn’t lead marches, didn’t become famous, but rather simply lived a life full of quiet queerness. The older folks you see on that same barstool at the itty-bitty gay bar that could be fifty miles from their home, but they show up every Friday to be a part of the community. The gift they’ve given younger generations simply by being gay, showing up, and living – that’s worth a whole lot to me. The shy gays deserve their flowers too!


#goodnews #science #food #animals #anthropology #baseball #brazil #texas #rhodeisland #schoollunch #moon #btsarmy #greenscreen

♬ original sound – UnderTheDeskNews

Do you have a memory of Pride Months past that you’d like to share? 

I used to wait tables in NYC, and the restaurant I worked at was RIGHT off the parade route, so every June, it was VERY lucrative to work brunch. Back in 2009, the ICONIC Amanda Lepore came in with a few friends for a bite, and I got to wait on her and the group. I spilled an entire tray of Champagne on one of her guests – which actually turned out to be quite a laugh, she was incredibly gracious, even more beautiful in person than you can imagine, and tipped well [laughs]. THAT was a great Pride Day!

What do you have planned for June (and the rest of 2023?)  

Lots planned! I’ve got Buffalo Pride Parade, where I’ll be marching with the Buffalo Bills and handing out children’s books with the Rainbow Dads’ VidCon is toward the end of the month, and that is great place to celebrate and meet other queer creators; NYC Pride on June 25 and a WHOLE LOTTA corporate speaking gigs which I really love to do; helping folks navigate their relationship to queerness, and become better allies!? All day every day, that’s what I’m most proud to do.

Do you have a Pride 2023 message to share with the HollywoodLife audience?  

You’re gonna be okay. Remember to breathe. Know the battles against bigotry and hate we face today are battles we have won by huge margins in decades past. We are many, they are few. I’ll keep fighting for you. You just keep believing in yourself and turn the music up!

Keep checking HollywoodLife throughout June for more entries in The Sound of Pride and additional Pride Month coverage. 

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