Stephanie Hirst: Campaign urging radio DJ to be reinstated reaches 25,000, after 'supportive' employer said her sex change was 'not suitable'

Stephanie - previously Simon - Hirst (left) worked for Capital FM Yorkshire, but suddenly left in June following a meeting with station bosses in which she told them she would be undergoing a sex change

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The Independent Online

A campaign urging a radio DJ back on air, who had left to privately undergo gender reassignment after her employer said her sex change would not be “suitable or commercially viable content” for her show, has attracted over 25,000 supporters.

Stephanie Hirst, a former presenter on Capital FM Yorkshire and Vinyl Heaven on Gold, left her position in June after 11 years in the studio. She was previously known as Simon.

Hirst, 39, quietly disappeared from the air after both her and her employer, Global Radio, came to an agreement that she quit to spend time on herself.  

There have been claims that Hirst was ushered out of the firm when she told them she was undergoing surgery.

Station bosses reportedly wrote a letter to her which stated they “did not think gender reassignment was suitable or commercially viable content” for her shows, though it will continue to support the DJ “in any way we can”.

 

According to the BBC, the letter also read: “We have a responsibility for your well-being, and having considered the matter we are not satisfied that going through this process 'on air' is in your best interests.”

Hirst, however, has said that her former employers were “supportive” of her decision and that she had reached a mutual agreement with them before leaving.

She made a public announcement on her decision to change sex on BBC’s Radio 5 Live on Saturday, and immediately received a surge of well-wishes and an outpouring of support.

Hirst, also known by her nickname Hirsty, added that she “genuinely feel[s] alive” and that she has a new lease of life and energy finally living as a woman.

She said that while living as a man she "didn't feel complete, I didn't feel like it locked. I felt like a square peg in a round hole but I didn't know why and I couldn't work it out."

On Sunday Chris Moyles posted on his official Facebook page: “My friend Simon is now my friend Stephanie and to see how happy she is, is just a lovely, wonderful thing.

“Happiness is something that shouldn't be underestimated and finally after many years my lovely friend can now look forward to many more years of happiness being the person she's always wanted to be.”

A Facebook group called ‘We Want Stephanie Hirst Back On Capital FM’ has garnered over 25,000 followers since being established at the weekend.

A further statement from Global Radio said: “We were sad to see Hirsty leave but we were happy to offer him our full support.

“We wish Stephanie all the best in the future. It's standard practice in radio for presenters to come off air once they've made a decision to leave.”

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