June 15th, 2011

My Interview With Fernanda Rocha of the Real Housewives of Orange County


If you’re in the Chicago area, you won’t want to miss Fernanda on Sunday, June 26 as she will be the Grand Marshal for Chicago’s 42nd annual Gay Pride Parade. Here is a little background information on Fernanda:

Fernanda Rocha is best known in her role as the first lesbian Brazilian cast member on the Bravo reality show The Real Housewives of Orange County. At age 23, armed with a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology, Rocha left the comfort and familiarity of family friends and native Brazil. Having no ability to even speak English, Rocha stepped off the plane and onto American soil with nothing but the clothes in her suitcase. Becoming a U.S. citizen, Rocha has made a name for herself by taking a stand for gay rights and her business empire – www.fernandafitness.com, her active apparel line JIINGA BRASIL, her workout DVD line The Brazilian Booty Work-out and also as co-owner of Laguna Beach, CA based Gym The Art of Fitness. In the gay community, Fernanda is actively involved in a number of movements such as www.itgetsbetter.org, as a celebrity cover model for the “No HATE” Campaign, and as an out-spoken activist for legalizing gay marriage.

And she’s single and ready to mingle. Here’s my conversation with Fernanda.

How do you stay in such great shape? Naturally perfect? A good plastic surgeon?? My readers want to know everything.

I’ve been a fitness expert for 15 years. I have a BA in Kinesiology. As a kid, I was very involved in sports, dance and such. I am passionate about movement and conscientious of my food choices! Staying in shape became a business for me as an adult. The only involvement a plastic surgeon has had is with regards to the obvious my ta-tas!


Who are your favorite three Real Housewives from any of the franchises and why?

  1. Bethenny Frankel – She is very smart and as a by-product leveraged reality television as one of many tools to build a business empire. I can relate to her because, I leveraged becoming an American citizen to become a successful businesswoman and therefore find a common ground with her.
  2. No comment.
  3. No comment.


What are the perks of being a victim, I mean, cast mate on a Real Housewives show? Do you get any special VIP treatment?

Hahaha! You are funny! I made the choice to be on the show, so I don’t consider myself a victim. The perks? I have met a lot of really hot…err, I mean great ladies! VIP treatment – the local businesses and people who are human rights advocates have been able to utilize me as a conduit to perpetuate their awesome causes. So good karma is my VIP treatment of choice!


What is your most embarrassing moment EVER?

When I was 13 my mom saw me kissing a girl and I said I was playing doctor (at that time I wanted to think that though…)

Tamra Barney – Any final thoughts on “the kiss” or how the two of you were portrayed on the show?

Regardless of my sexual affiliation, I can discern between a friendly, flirty kiss, and one that is passionate and only one part of a connection between Tamra and me. I could say so much more about us, but let’s just say that editing, story lines and only one hour of footage can leave a lot un-told. It was frustrating that dishonesty and failure to embrace the “reality” of our connection prevailed. Ultimately, she and I know what happened.


After filming the show and having time to reflect on the whole experience, what are the best and worst experiences you took away after filming?

The experience has been a double-edged sword –

Good–I got to eat a lot of great food! Ha! My break-up on national television was difficult. Also, because of the show, I came out to my family in Brazil before it aired. My parents had no idea I was gay… so I am glad this opened the door to my personal journey of becoming true to my heart and living authentically. Becoming a sounding board for living the American Dream and advocating for gay and human rights has been the absolute pinnacle of my philanthropic efforts. From marching with the NO H8 campaign at LA Pride 2011, to be being asked to be the Grand Marshall of Chicago Pride 2011…. words cannot describe it. Bravo has been amazingly supportive!

Challenge–Dealing with the drama of the dynamics interacting and observing my cast-mates was something I hadn’t bargained for…and I am not talking about the on-camera Drama!


Tell us some of the best juicy gossip you know about the Real Housewives of Orange County, that no one has heard before. Behind the Scenes stuff.

Sigh…. Oh If only I could tell you…maybe someday I will write a book with some other friends who have been cast on “reality shows.” HA!


If you could summarize “Fernanda” in one sentence, that explains who you are, what would that sentence be?

Be real, be fun, enjoy life, and take chances.


What fascinating things can we expect to see you doing in the future?

Continuing to live the American Dream. Building the active apparel line that I’ve had since 2001 – “Jiinga Brasil” Solidifying a deal with NBC/Universal to grow the DVD I have had out (since 2004) currently titled – The Brazilian Booty Workout into a DVD series. Title TBD…

How did you end up in the US? What prompted you to make a move here?

To live La Vida American Dream.


How were you cast on the show?

Bravo approached me after I taught the ladies on air at my co-owned gym The Art of Fitness. They wanted to hear more about my story and me and voila! I was cast on the show!


Is there anything you want to promote? Anything else you’re just DYING to tell the readers?

Never give up. Ever… if you follow your passion, your intentions are good; your dreams can become a real “reality!”


Make sure you visit www.FernandaFitness.com for more information about Fernanda. You can also follow Fernanda on Twitter by clicking here.


Email me at editor@terryaley.com. You have permission to link back to stories in chat forums or your own blogs. Follow me on Twitter, username: rawveggies!



  1. Too bad the powers that be at Bravo didn’t make her a castmate instead of Peggy. I guess good, decent people aren’t interesting enough.

    Kudoz to her for the parade, though! That’s pretty amazing, and I’m sure she’ll do a better job than ‘gay icon’ Sonja at the March For Equality.

  2. Dana

    She’ll make a great Grand Marshall for the parade! I’ll be there and cheering her on! They were mentioning the parade today on Windy City Live and I got even more excited about it! Check it out here http://t.co/BNxPjvz

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