I’m Dan Watson, and I’m a homosexual. This is not a meeting of Gay Anonymous, rather the introduction to The Stick Shift, a two-hour gay-themed radio show on Melbourne’s Nova 100 hosted by said homosexual, Dan Watson.

As the only gay-themed show on commercial airwaves, The Stick Shift is in a unique position.

Watson is a self-confessed big personality and successfully launched the show after several years of self-promotion. That’s not a criticism, more the standard fare of radio word progression.

If I wanted to be on air I had to sell myself to them. So I floated the idea by them about a gay-orientated show that would be heaps of fun but instead of being really really gay … I wanted it to be a show for everyone, he told bnews.

The main reason I wanted to do this show was that when I used to go to sleep at night I would have loved for there to have been a person on radio who was openly gay and very confident. I think it would have made me more calm about the ideas in my head.

Watson came out to friends, family and co-workers after walking through the men’s underwear department in Myer for the 100th time and finding himself aroused by the posters of almost-naked men. His own experience coming out is grist for the creative mill. Inviting his mother and brother on air early on in the program was one of his favourite moments of the show.

Having my family openly talk about how that was for them, that was awesome radio. We had these straight guys who rang up and said -˜mate, good on you and your mum sounds like a bloody legend. It made me feel so good, he said.

His revelatory introduction to the show each week is, as he calls it, a pisstake of himself. In keeping with the punchy flavour of commercial radio, The Stick Shift is slick programming. There’s a swift turnaround of guests -“ including A-listers Anthony Callea, Darren Hayes and David Walliams of Little Britain fame -“ and snappy commentary interspersed with music and plenty of feedback, from both straight and gay listeners.

Late-night callers, says Watson, are very supportive of the show. And while The Stick Shift discusses serious topics such, it’s no hard-core barrow-pushing experiment.

I don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable but some of the topics we have talked about -“ gay marriage, gay rights, gays having children -“ we get a lot of response from straight people. I want to make sure people are aware of it and we can have a chat about it with the whole community, rather than the gay community, he says.

So, do you think it is time Sydney got into the act? After all, we are the nation’s gay capital yet, unlike Melbourne, we don’t have a gay radio station or a totally gay program on a commercial station.

Let us know by posting a message on our forum.

The Stick Shift Nova 100 (100.3FM) 10pm -“ midnight Tuesdays 8pm-10pm Sundays (from March 30) Details: www.nova100.com.au

From bnews.

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