Some time ago, I text in to my local radio station, asking who sung ‘Gimme Some’ as ‘I love it and want to download it but can’t find it’. Next thing my mobile rang-Simon Hirst, the DJ, was ringing to tell me who sang the song and to chat about some similar tunes he remembered too. From then on, I didn’t listen to another local radio show-his had my full attention.
Simon was a fantastic DJ, full of personality, shared his life with his listeners (the joke was that the show had 9 listeners, and he referred to regular texters as 1 of the 9-though in actual fact the show was very very popular) and the show, Hirsty’s Daily Dose, was a pleasure to listen to. Then I moved away, and was unable to listen anymore. I followed Hirsty, along with Danny and Jojo, his co presenters, on Twitter and Facebook, keeping up with what was going on in their lives-you get to ‘know’ these people and feel like they’re friends of yours-you care about them, are happy for them when they have good news, etc. So I was sad to hear that Hirsty had left the show, in June this year.
On Saturday, Simon Hirst was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live about his life, and what his future holds. I actually missed this interview but have since listened-and it was the best interview I’ve ever heard. During that interview, Simon told us that, as of the next morning, he is now going to be Stephanie. And Stephanie was so open, honest, and frank, about her experiences so far. As Simon, Hirsty was living a lie. He knew he wanted to be a woman, and felt unable to share this with the world (though I gather he shared this with many friends and family and had nothing but love and support from them) I was honoured to be able to listen to the interview in which Stephanie became herself. And, perhaps most importantly-I learnt something.
I have always considered myself a tolerant person-I do not see any person as being better or worse than any other person, their gender, colour, race, religion or anything else do not matter to me-John is just John, Kate is just Kate-etc. But listening to that radio interview, I learnt things I didn’t know. I am therefore a more tolerant person, as I understand just a tiny bit more. Just think how many people will be saying the same, that they now understand more? I think Stephanie should be very, very proud of herself.
Taking the decision to do that interview can not have been easy-I’m sure that she was worried about the reaction she’d get. And the reaction, I’m pleased to say, has been positive. Yorkshire folk are the best in this world (I am not at all biased, being a Yorkshire girl myself!) and they have embraced Stephanie just as they loved Simon. Hirsty is Hirsty, always has been and always will be. Hopefully she can now enjoy living the life she deserves to live.
Stephanie-if you read this-welcome to womanhood. Welcome to gorgeous shoes, beautiful handbags, make-up, that is, if you chose to embrace all that. Most of all, welcome to YOU. You rock, never forget that.
I look forward to hearing Stephanie back on the radio soon.