You can take a girl out of the Maritimes, but she’ll still go home to visit. Jax Irwin, morning co-host on Toronto’s Virgin radio, joins us to talk about life and laughter, coming out, her love of family, and playing with the good guys. Plus: bringing your girlfriend home to mom, and where to get an octopus costume.
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Mary Anne (VoiceOver) 00:00:02
The women of Ill Repute with your hosts, Wendy Mesley and Maureen Holloway.
Maureen (Host) 00:00:02
Wendy, do you remember when you were a bright young thing as opposed to a bright old thing?
Wendy (Host) 00:00:14
Both. A couple of bridal things. Yeah.
Wendy (Host) 00:00:17
Well, it's funny thinking about it. I remember the exact moment two guys walked into the hair salon and I was like, Oh, yeah, here I am. And they were like, no. I remember the moment when I was no longer a bright young thing. They could have cared less. I was invisible.
Maureen (Host) 00:00:31
I know what you mean. I remember to the moment the last time somebody I walked by two young men and they turned around since they turned around and looked at me. And that was a long time ago. And you know what?
Wendy (Host) 00:00:42
I missed it.
Maureen (Host) 00:00:42
I don't care whether it's politically correct or not. At the time it was like, Oh, stop it.
Wendy (Host) 00:00:47
And now I'm like, Yeah, the cat calls. Whether they were construction workers or whatever. You'd walk by and you go like, Get over yourself. You're like, Gross. And now I'm like, hello, here I am. And they don't care.
Maureen (Host) 00:01:00
Oh, well, they got over themselves. I was actually more thinking professionally, like a bright young thing. Professionally. You know what I mean?
Wendy (Host) 00:01:09
Instead of being like a veteran, I became a veteran at 40. And now I'm not 40.
Maureen (Host) 00:01:13
Right. No, but there was a time when you were an up and comer. I was an up and comer. A promising young woman.
Wendy (Host) 00:01:20
Yeah. Rising star. Yeah. All of that.
Maureen (Host) 00:01:24
Yeah. We both started at a little 5000 watt station. No, CKFM. It was the biggest FM station in the country. And you started there as a traffic porter. Actually, I think you were at some before that.
Wendy (Host) 00:01:37
Yeah, I worked in a booth answering phones. That was my starter job. And Mark Daley, he used to walk in when he had this voice and he was the manager of some band and I think it was a draft dodger. Anyway, we come in and do a 1 minute newscast and I thought, Wow, this is so cool. But it wasn't a real job. My first real job on the air was as a traffic reporter at Kfm.
Maureen (Host) 00:01:57
Right. So I came along a couple of years later and started this cottage country traffic when you move into traffic. And I remember our boss, the news director at the time, John McFadden, and he was so proud of you. And he basically told me after he offered me the job, he said, you know, you could be the next Wendy.
Wendy (Host) 00:02:11
Mesley and you're wearing who?
Maureen (Host) 00:02:14
No, I know yours. Your star was already on the rise. So now CKFM is known as Virgin 99. And we have a guest who is a bright young thing on that station.
Wendy (Host) 00:02:25
But is she a virgin? It doesn't matter where you was. I well, of course, in my 60s. No, I'm a virgin now.
Maureen (Host) 00:02:37
No, I don't know why that's possible. She's not a traffic reporter. She is Jack's Irwin. She's a host on the morning show there. And she's very bright and she's young.
Wendy (Host) 00:02:48
Yeah, well, we hear her all the time. She's on Instagram. She dresses up like a crazy person in a really great way.
Maureen (Host) 00:02:56
And she's also young enough to be her younger sister. I just want to make that clear. It's not like she's young enough to be our daughter. She's just young enough to be her sister.
Wendy (Host) 00:03:04
Yeah, she says she's really excited to talk to us because we're two legends.
Maureen (Host) 00:03:08
We're legendary. Yeah.
Wendy (Host) 00:03:10
Amazing how that happened. Well, I don't know what the story is, but Jack Serwin, she is our guest. She's originally from Dartmouth and Nova Scotia, of course, and she can be seen and heard on radio, television, social media. She's got this great account on Instagram. She talks about pop culture, modern relationships, millennial issues, all of that stuff. And she's come out. She's a very proud member of the LGBTQ community. Cool.
Maureen (Host) 00:03:34
You might see her walking. You'll see the billboards, but she walks the street. So woman of mail repute should be dressed as a sunflower or a leprechaun or an octopus.
Wendy (Host) 00:03:45
So she's a legend in the making, that's for sure. Jackson she joins us next.
Maureen (Host) 00:03:50
When I went to CHFI that they referred to me as veteran radio broadcaster for Chi. It makes you feel like you're riddled with bullet holes and you've seen hell because I'm a veteran.
Wendy (Host) 00:04:03
Back off. Back off. I'm still a child.
Maureen (Host) 00:04:06
Wendy, this is Jax. Jax, this is Wendy. I don't think you guys have met before. Hi. So nice to meet you. Hello.
Wendy (Host) 00:04:13
So we only talk to people who have short hair.
Maureen (Host) 00:04:15
Jax (Guest) 00:04:16
Looking good, ladies.
Maureen (Host) 00:04:18
Well, same to you. Now, I don't know whether you realize this. We do have something in common, more than our short hair. We've all three worked at CKFM 9.9.9%.
Jax (Guest) 00:04:29
Yeah, I was looking through this and I mean, there's been a lot of names that have come through those call letters, but yeah, I didn't realize all three of us had gone through it, so it's incredible.
Maureen (Host) 00:04:37
So Wendy was there first back in the 40s?
Wendy (Host) 00:04:40
No, it was a long time ago.
Maureen (Host) 00:04:44
It went he was a traffic reporter. And then I came on about a couple of years after she had left, and her star was already on the rise. And I was also a traffic reporter. And then they changed it to Mix 99.9, and then they changed A Virgin. And then you went over, what, four years ago?
Jax (Guest) 00:04:59
Three years ago, yeah, it was three years in January that our show turned three.
Wendy (Host) 00:05:05
A few things have changed. When I was there, it was all like, well, there were teletypes, but aside from that, there were, like, old guys, a whole bunch of old guys. And now it's great.
Jax (Guest) 00:05:15
Like, there you are, it's young and it's fun, and we get to dance to the music, which is always a plus, because I just want to dance, so it works out.
Wendy (Host) 00:05:23
Did you just get up from your nap? I know Maureen used to get up at 330 in the morning to do her morning show.
Jax (Guest) 00:05:29
I had my nap a little while ago, but the lines on my Facebook fresh, so you never know anymore whether I'm waking up from an app or going down for one. But, yeah, I usually have my nap at about 01:00 for about a half an hour.
Maureen (Host) 00:05:40
And how is your life? Because I'm not doing it anymore, but it's like a vampire experience.
Jax (Guest) 00:05:48
If it was ten years ago, absolutely not now.
Maureen (Host) 00:05:50
I love it.
Jax (Guest) 00:05:51
I love it. I like getting up. I like the peace of it. I like having my coffee on my own. I like early hours. I like not a lot of cars on the road. And I like going to bed early.
Maureen (Host) 00:05:59
Jax (Guest) 00:06:00
I really like going to bed early. It's something that fits my lifestyle just perfectly. And now I have an excuse to go to bed early, so it works out well.
Wendy (Host) 00:06:07
I used to think when I was going into the office at God knows what hour in the morning, I used to think, there's nobody up, and I can say whatever I want and be outrageous. And then you'd come out and, like, everybody would be up. It's like it's a demeanor or an underworld that happens on morning shows.
Maureen (Host) 00:06:23
Jax (Guest) 00:06:23
On their way to work. It is. Especially in the depths of the winter. You're like, this is in other worlds.
Maureen (Host) 00:06:30
Well, let's talk a little bit about that. Especially on a morning show. You're tucked into a cave with two or three or four other people, and they're the only people that you see, because you leave in the rest of the world is coming into work. So you're working with two fellows. So the difference is, apart from the fact that Wendy and I were traffic reporters, is that you're actually a fullblown member of the show as opposed to the designated female laugher.
Jax (Guest) 00:06:57
Yeah, I locked out because I had already known the guys before I started. And when we started, we also had Jesse Blake, who had been a friend of mine when I was working with Rogers for years. So it didn't really start as a show. It was kind of just an extension of our friendship. That's the way it felt. And we got to have fun together. So, yeah, Adam and I came from Rogers at the same time. I had known TJ for years, so I locked out because it wasn't, for lack of a better term, and arranged marriage. I already knew these guys. I already had foundations with my known Adam for almost a decade. So we had fun off the air. Now, we were lucky enough to have fun on the air as a brand new show. And as you guys know, building a new show is hard. It is hard times spending that much time together. If you don't enjoy each other's company, it's a whole different thing. But yeah, I lucked out with the guys that I work with because I genuinely love them.
Maureen (Host) 00:07:42
It's an unusual situation and we'll talk about this a little more if you're willing to do that. But normally there's two guys in a girl or a guy and a girl and the woman often goes oh, you're awful. And in your case it's more of an equilibrium. Do you think that might have something to do other than your friendship of the fact that you're gay and out and the dynamic is a little different, are you on a more equal footing? I mean, has this helped you?
Jax (Guest) 00:08:09
Yeah, absolutely. And beyond the fact that I think that they helped prop me up a lot on that, they don't want me to be a laugh track and I'm grateful for that. I won't let myself be a laugh track. I don't present as a stereotypical female and I don't want to come off as one. I want to have my opinion. So I'm not interested in just laughing and telling the guys to shut up every 5 seconds and I think you ladies are like that too. I don't want to just be on telling someone to be quiet, that's not what we're paid for and I was lucky enough to be propped up by them a lot to do that and to have space and a safe zone to do that but yeah, it's equal footing in there, which I'm very grateful for, but as a gay and masculine presenting woman, it's a tough sell sometimes.
Wendy (Host) 00:08:48
Yeah, I found out I didn't know that much about well, Mo will tell you I don't know that much about private radio and it's a huge world and the vast majority of people listen to it and so I was googling you and I came across this weird Wiki site, like this fake Wiki site and it was is she lesbian? Is she non binary? And I was going oh for God's sake, like really? And then I don't know, I read about you coming out, it's still like a big deal and I don't know, I guess I have flashbacks of what it was like and all the old boys telling old boy jokes and like things have changed but maybe they haven't changed as much as I'd hoped.
Jax (Guest) 00:09:25
Yeah, actually somebody had told one of the most Google questions about me is am I a man or a woman? I identify with she her pronouns and I identify as a lesbian. Like I've never made that a secret. So I'm not sure why people think I'm this mysterious queer character, but I'm very aware of the fact that 510, 1520 definitely beyond that. Years ago I wouldn't be on air and able to present as I am because it wasn't that digestible female character, you know what I mean? And I still have to deal with a lot of text and a lot of feedback. It's a lot better these days, but it's still that lesbian on the radio.
Maureen (Host) 00:09:58
Really? Does that hurt?
Jax (Guest) 00:10:00
Some days, of course. You know what I mean? I'm a human. I have a much better shield and a much better protective turtle shell. And I have a lot of love in that room that when I do get those texts, I'm not alone and I'm not isolated in that. But we always talk about how far we've come, but whenever you hear, well, why do we have a pride? That's exactly why. Because you still get those texts every morning.
Wendy (Host) 00:10:19
We can change the topic in a second because we don't want to make the whole thing about being a lesbian.
Maureen (Host) 00:10:23
Cohost no one of the questions is, does this define you?
Jax (Guest) 00:10:29
Gay FM girls, let's go.
Wendy (Host) 00:10:31
But I do want to tell you something, because it just has made me think of so much like my mom and dad, they got married in the my dad was gay and it was like it was illegal then and it was supposedly a mental illness and they were going to fix it and everything, but of course it wasn't a mental illness, it wasn't going to get fixed. She left him and raised me on my own. I'm a miracle. But it's just like he worked in radio 1000 years ago and he had to pretend that he was somebody that he wasn't. And then Marina and I more probably me, because well, maybe not, but I was surrounded by guys who had these old ideas of what women were, god forbid, what lesbians or gay men were. I don't know. I like to think that times have changed so much, but then I saw, like, you're talking about coming out and you were in tears. It's obviously still a thing.
Jax (Guest) 00:11:19
Yeah. And I like to say that I'm a fun and brave person. So I can't imagine how somebody who is vulnerable in 16 fields when they see the stuff on the internet or is coming out, if I get it and I'm okay with it, I can't imagine somebody who isn't. But like your father, that's a terrifying time and that's a terrifying way to live, just to want to be yourself. The know that you guys weren't on there then. You guys are 21, 30 now we're 40.
Maureen (Host) 00:11:46
Let's just be honest. Okay.
Jax (Guest) 00:11:48
But you have carved the way for females. And I can't imagine a time to have to sit through those jokes and have to be told who you have to be. And I think it's brave whether you're gay, whether you're straight. I think it's brave to be a female sometimes.
Wendy (Host) 00:12:02
Gordon Sinclair, he was a host on CFRB at that point. He's a dinosaur. He's long gone.
Maureen (Host) 00:12:08
You're talking about Gordon Sinclair? Senior here?
Wendy (Host) 00:12:11
Senior? Yeah. Not Junior. He had tickets to some show, and I can't remember what it was called, but it was some kind of thing where people were naked and he was.
Maureen (Host) 00:12:19
Like, oh, what do they do when.
Wendy (Host) 00:12:21
They'Re on their period? Here's your first assignment, Wendy. Go and find out. I'm like, Oh, my God, but what are you going to do? Like, the guy's in the big chair, and he's a big deal. I'm sure you could tell tales.
Maureen (Host) 00:12:34
You know, I look back now, things changed very rapidly over the last five years. Just the Me Too movement and just a general awareness of what it's like to be female in all sorts of industries. But I look back on some of the things that I tolerated because there was no choice, and I am now aghast.
Jax (Guest) 00:12:55
Maureen (Host) 00:12:57
I had a male co host tell me the only reason why he can work with me, because I got a good attitude.
Wendy (Host) 00:13:03
Maureen (Host) 00:13:04
Meaning I didn't get upset about comments like, go cover that, see what they do when they're having a period, like that kind of thing.
Jax (Guest) 00:13:11
It's atrocious. I applaud that.
Maureen (Host) 00:13:14
Yeah, exactly. I mean, it was meant as a compliment, but it meant like, oh, yeah, you don't bring your female baggage into the room.
Wendy (Host) 00:13:21
Who are your heroes now? Or who pisses you off? What gets you going?
Jax (Guest) 00:13:25
My heroes when it comes to media.
Maureen (Host) 00:13:27
Or well, those are two questions. Who are your heroes and what pisses you off? Do you have a hero that pisses you off?
Jax (Guest) 00:13:34
Yeah, you know what? Actually, I can answer that in one question. Ellen is my hero and she pisses me off.
Wendy (Host) 00:13:39
Jax (Guest) 00:13:40
DeGeneres. Yeah. I don't think that I'd be on air and in an equal third chair seat if Ellen DeGeneres didn't pave the way a more masculine presenting lesbian in media. And I think that she really carved the way for a lot of young gay and queer folks in media. But the backlash over the past couple of years has pissed me off. And the way she's handled it's, like, never meet your heroes kind of thing, they're going to let you down. They're humans. And she's done so much good work when it comes to advocacy and outreach and, like I said, paving the way. But she's also human. She's gone through a few things over the past couple of years with her staff and in the press and everything.
Maureen (Host) 00:14:15
But of course she has.
Jax (Guest) 00:14:16
She's worked really hard for a very long time. But I look up to her a lot because I didn't know that I could be gay and be me. And beyond air, it was like one or the other. And when I saw her and I started watching her in different capacities at a very young age, I was like, oh, she's her and gay and has a job. Like what? Oh, she's gay and can pay her rent. But I really hung on to her, and I still do in a lot of ways for a very long time because she paved the way and gave me something really to look up to.
Wendy (Host) 00:14:46
It's funny, Maureen, when I told somebody, an acquaintance that we were doing this thing called Women Avail Repute and tried to explain that it's not women who've done something bad. It's women who are like, I don't give a shit. I'm going to do it anyway because I think it's the right thing to do. And she said, Oh, my God, finally. And she's, like, ancient like me. And she said, finally, somebody who's like, we can just be ourselves. Because when I was on the hill 1000 years ago, a Parliament hill, I got big shoulder pads and I had ugly shoes and, like, I dressed in bags so that nobody would notice that I was a girl. We pretended to be men. Yeah. So it's just being ourselves. It's like everybody is different, but being.
Jax (Guest) 00:15:24
Yourself and not making yourself smaller to fit in those places.
Maureen (Host) 00:15:28
Wendy (Host) 00:15:29
Or being the laugh track is yeah.
Maureen (Host) 00:15:31
Oh, you're so bad. Stop it.
Jax (Guest) 00:15:37
And sometimes I'll genuinely say, like, stop at Adam. And I'm like, you stop at Jax. Don't say that.
Mary Anne (VoiceOver) 00:15:47
The women of ill repute
Maureen (Host) 00:15:47
Growing up in Dartmouth wasn't a tough neighborhood when you were a tough kid. I know you stole a car at 15, but you come from a loving family and your childhood, from what I know, was a happy one. But tell me a little bit about what it was like to be you there then.
Jax (Guest) 00:16:08
I wasn't in a tough neighborhood and I was a tough kid. I was awful girls. I was bad news. Looking back on that, I think a lot of it had to do with I wasn't comfortable in my own skin because I came out at the end of high school. But I was wild. And God bless my mom, my dad, they had a lot of patience. But, yeah, I was drinking in the woods, I stole my parents car, I was skipping school. Awful attitude, great grades, awful attitude. Just belligerent. And then at about 17, around the time that I kind of, like, found myself a little bit, I figured it all out. But, oh, yeah, I was just and it's funny now because I think I'm a good person, but I was just vile back then. Saucy.
Maureen (Host) 00:16:54
Jax (Guest) 00:16:55
Okay. Though not when it's my poor mother. She was probably tired of me. Yeah.
Maureen (Host) 00:17:00
Your dad passed away, what?
Jax (Guest) 00:17:02
Three years ago for the summer. It was six days out to my 30th and a week before I signed on to Virgin Mornings. So it was, like, at this super pivotal time. And it still makes me tear because it was like, I had so much to celebrate, but, God, it was hard.
Wendy (Host) 00:17:20
Why do you tear up? What was this about your relationship with him?
Jax (Guest) 00:17:24
Oh, he's an absolute sweetheart. And you guys aren't recording this on video? Okay, good. He had every bumper sticker of every station that I worked for in the back of his car. He was a honey. He was from Charlottown. Like, softest man you'd ever meet. And he was just such a good guy.
Wendy (Host) 00:17:41
And he loved you, obviously. Must have been so proud of what you did.
Jax (Guest) 00:17:45
Yeah, he was so proud of me. But he also, like, he kept me in line. He held me accountable. But he also gave me my first couple of take my internship from Bridgewater. He was there. Wherever I needed to go, he was there for me. And I tear up about that time because I feel like it wasn't a coincidence that I saw my papers to get my dream job, essentially just as he was leaving.
Maureen (Host) 00:18:05
I feel like he was like, Here you go.
Jax (Guest) 00:18:08
So, Wendy, we're just meeting. I'm crying. I swear I don't always cry. It was a really beautiful and hard time, but I feel like that's, like, giving me and you guys know, to do radio, you have to be vulnerable. And I was doing solo for so long, and it's a hard thing to be vulnerable. But I feel like as messed up as that experience was of, like, losing a parent, it gave me this different layer of vulnerability that I needed to actually serve the people who are listening to me.
Maureen (Host) 00:18:36
That's interesting. A lot of people would say that loss or bad experiences, although that's not so much a bad one as it is a sad one, toughens you up, but it's the opposite for you. It sort of peeled some layers away.
Jax (Guest) 00:18:49
Yeah. And I want to be open. I want to be authentic. I want to be genuine. And like I said, I want to actually serve the people who are listening to me because, like we said, I don't want to be a laugh track. And I think that we have more to us than that. So it's also, believe it or not, grief is a very common thing, I think gives me a good relatability as some folks that may need a little softness in those times.
Wendy (Host) 00:19:10
It's so interesting, I think, the relationship with an audience, because with CDC, like, I was there for a thousand years, and I think people sort of felt that they got to know me, and yet it was hard. Like, it was probably more through, I don't know, interviews that you do or something rather than actually doing things. Although things slip out in interviews. But you weren't supposed to have an opinion. You weren't supposed to have a real personality. But things are changing. Like, I watched some of the reporters on the Hill now, and they go to drag shows and they talk about the Earth is amazing. Like, if I'd done not that that was my thing, but if that had been my thing and I talked about it back then, it wouldn't have been allowed. So there is I don't know. I think openness is really important and.
Jax (Guest) 00:19:51
There should be space for it.
Maureen (Host) 00:19:52
Yeah. Thank you.
Jax (Guest) 00:19:52
And thank you for holding space for me. Getting a little tear there, ladies.
Maureen (Host) 00:19:55
Oh, no, this is actually kind of what we want to do.
Jax (Guest) 00:19:59
Get it out of memo. Come on now, Wendy.
Maureen (Host) 00:20:02
We want to have interesting women, want to make them cry. That's really what our purpose is.
Wendy (Host) 00:20:07
When I worked on Marketplace, there was a producer on Marketplace who always used.
Maureen (Host) 00:20:10
To say, I hate it when people cry.
Jax (Guest) 00:20:12
Like, why don't they cry?
Wendy (Host) 00:20:14
And I'm like, well, because their whole life is falling apart. Because their prince doesn't work or whatever.
Maureen (Host) 00:20:18
Or they're moved, or they're just incredibly moved. I think once they had kids, they cried all the time. John has never stopped crying since we've had kids in a good way. He cries. I'm not going to throw him under a bus, but he is a cry.
Jax (Guest) 00:20:33
Baby, let me tell you, soft man.
Maureen (Host) 00:20:36
I love it. I want to ask you a little bit, when did you know you were funny?
Jax (Guest) 00:20:40
I hope I am. I knew that I could lighten up situations when I was younger and providing some sort of value. I think probably like in elementary when I would be with friends and want to get things going and make things a little bit spicier or get the class going. I think I really realized it when I started getting in trouble for it, that I was being like a disruption in class because I would disrupt my peers and then I would get in trouble for it. But that also was impeding because I would get in trouble for it. But yeah, I think I realized that I provided some sort of entertainment value probably in, like, elementary school, but I still like when people are like, you're funny, you're dancing funny. It's not like, oh, yeah, I know that.
Wendy (Host) 00:21:23
It's like, thank you. Well, Maureen, you decided to go the funny route. Like John McFadden, who was sort of our mentor back at CKFM 1000 years ago. And when we started out at the Virgin Radio, I went into news and politics and all that stuff. And you decided to be funny.
Maureen (Host) 00:21:40
It's funny. So, yes, john McFadden was the news director at CCFM when I was hired. Like I said, it was a couple of years after Wendy had left, and when he offered me the job, he said, you could be the next Wendy Mesley, which was hilarious because Wendy was busy being Wendy Mesley. She was only a couple of years older than me, so she wasn't going to go anywhere. But that's kind of what he wanted for me. And he had this sort of a buncular interest in particularly the young women that he hired in the nicest possible way, I would say. Wouldn't you, Wendy? Yeah, he was a really good man. And so he threw me in the newsroom with all these news. Remember Bill Bright, Wendy? I mean, these guys were around. They were old when we started.
Wendy (Host) 00:22:18
I remember there was Torbin Winthrop. Like, who has a name like that? They all had names like Torbin Winthrop.
Maureen (Host) 00:22:23
Torbin Winthrop, does and Hat part of.
Wendy (Host) 00:22:26
Me, which is a great name, but did they all have to be called.
Maureen (Host) 00:22:30
Torbin when they have big names? And so I think John really wanted me to have that kind of career. And the first newscast I did, I think I said someone was indicted and tucked on. And then when I realized, I've corrected myself and I just thought that was hilarious. What are the odds of saying that twice in one newscast? And I couldn't straighten up. And after that, John said, you have to maintain composure. And I said, you know, I don't think I want to. Absolutely. I don't think I want to. I think I want to enjoy the absurdity of what's going on. Not that I don't totally admire people like Wendy's, one of the best journalists.
Wendy (Host) 00:23:11
That we've ever had, but politicians, you couldn't laugh in their face. No. You had to treat everybody sort of seriously, respectfully, right.
Maureen (Host) 00:23:20
Even when they don't deserve it.
Wendy (Host) 00:23:23
So do you have to be nice to people, Jacks, when they come on? Well, you got to be nice to your colleagues. Could you like them?
Jax (Guest) 00:23:29
Yeah, no, I do like them. I can get a little like we do go somewhere. It's bad dates. And if a guy it's usually a guy. I should say it's a guy mostly, but if a guy is being trash, I'm going to call them trash. That's the only time I'm not I'm like, come on now, let's get it together. This is why you're getting ghosted. But no, I think I have a nice disposition to begin with. Like, I'm usually nice to people, but I can get I'll tell you where to go sometimes on the air, if needed.
Maureen (Host) 00:23:57
Speaking of relationship advice, so you have a love in your life and you're bringing her home for the first time.
Jax (Guest) 00:24:05
I am, yeah. Her name is Michelle. We've been dating for two years. So in lesbian standard time, that's 30 years.
Wendy (Host) 00:24:13
You get a house, like a week later or something, right?
Jax (Guest) 00:24:16
Yeah, we moved in together on our first date. No, she's a Darling. Yeah, but I'm going to take her. She's from Ontario and yeah, we haven't been home. I've been home a couple of times, a quick trips, and my mom wasn't super well a couple of years, so I went home with that. I haven't been home with, like, hello, here's Michelle kind of trip. So it's going to be really nice at the beginning of June. Really excited. Yeah.
Wendy (Host) 00:24:37
Wow, your mom is cool. Obviously.
Jax (Guest) 00:24:39
Mom didn't even bat an eye when I came out. She was like, okay, you're happy? All right. And my mom was an emergency nurse for 36 years and she worked in emergency, and she worked in critical care through the AIDS epidemic. She worked through nursing school with a lot of queer and gay nurses as well. She was like, Okay, tell me something that's really wild. She was like, as long as you're happy, healthy, cool, whatever. She has a lot of young gay friends. She was like, all right. My older family, that wasn't a school.
Maureen (Host) 00:25:08
Really? Like the grandparents, aunts and uncles kind of thing.
Jax (Guest) 00:25:12
Yeah, grandpa wasn't very happy.
Maureen (Host) 00:25:15
So you don't understand. Right. How's Grandpa now?
Jax (Guest) 00:25:19
He's dead. That was dark.
Maureen (Host) 00:25:22
Wendy (Host) 00:25:23
Okay, we should not laugh.
Jax (Guest) 00:25:24
No, we shouldn't. We should.
Maureen (Host) 00:25:27
No, you shouldn't laugh at that, but you laugh at the awkwardness.
Jax (Guest) 00:25:31
Maureen (Host) 00:25:34
Oh, my God. All right, so Michelle has never been to your home?
Jax (Guest) 00:25:37
She's never been to my home. She's been in OVA, Scotia for a couple of days with some friends. I think maybe five years. She's never done the proper Halifax experience, so I'm going to take her. My brother is there with his two kids and his wife. So, yeah, we're going to have a big barbecue. She'll meet everybody. It's going to be nice.
Maureen (Host) 00:25:52
Now, is there a perception that you've gone all bright lights, big city, and Oh, here comes Jack with her. Toronto from Toronto.
Jax (Guest) 00:26:02
Absolutely. And I've talked about this with a bunch of East Coast friends, but the second you leave it, they treat you like a trader. Unless you're going to Alberta, unless you're going to Alberta and make oil money. And it's not from everybody. I shouldn't say that, I shouldn't generalize, but once you leave, you think you're too good for Nova Scotia. That's not the case. I love Nova Scotia. I think it's the most beautiful place ever. But I wanted to do more in media, but it's this perception that big. Oh, bad smoke. Oh, here comes Toronto. Yeah, I feel like I'm quoting my brother.
Maureen (Host) 00:26:33
Here comes Toronto. That's your name there.
Jax (Guest) 00:26:35
Oh, yeah. Big city. There's Toronto, Jacks, but there I'm Jacqueline. I'm not Jack.
Maureen (Host) 00:26:41
Your whole family calls you Jacqueline. Jacks, was your on your name when you decided to make the move? Or just was your on your name?
Jax (Guest) 00:26:48
Yeah, I wasn't given a choice, actually. My program director, Dan Barton, in my first year of radio, when I worked for Z 103 in Halifax, he was like, Your name will be Jack's. And at first I didn't like it. I didn't like it. I was like, No, I'm Jacqueline. And I love it. I love it now. Yeah. He has three exes at first, and like, Wendy. I don't look like a girl who has three exes, so we shortened it down to one. But I love it now.
Maureen (Host) 00:27:16
That hasn't changed though. People, program directors, they want to change your name. Yeah, it's bizarre.
Wendy (Host) 00:27:22
My friend Anna Maria Tremonti, she was told in the early days that her name was too Italian sounding. So I don't know what they called her. She did it for a year, because when you're starting out, you do all kinds of stupid things and then you go, no, actually, I got something to say, and I'm going to be who I am, and I have to be comfortable with my name. And she became Anna Maria Tramonte, and she's done okay.
Maureen (Host) 00:27:44
I'd say, Hey, I think she's doing all right.
Jax (Guest) 00:27:47
People know her name.
Maureen (Host) 00:27:48
I'd imagine there's a bright future for that woman, I'll tell you, she's 30 as well. So, Jack, what about you? Now, I don't want to put you on the spot because you love where you are and you love your gang and so on, but do you have a long term dream or do you just want to keep doing what you're doing?
Jax (Guest) 00:28:04
Yeah, I love what I'm doing, and morning radio was always my goal and my dream, and Toronto was just a huge pipe dream, and now I'm doing it. I would eventually love to get into more digital, more visual media, while continuing to do radio. Yeah, I love doing video work. I love social media, and I love entertaining. On social media, we have to talk.
Maureen (Host) 00:28:26
About this because this is as much a part of your persona, I think, as your rate. I'm sure there are people who follow you on Instagram have never heard you on the radio. So, Wendy, I don't know if you've seen this jack dressed as a sunflower or like an octopus or something.
Wendy (Host) 00:28:41
Yeah, I followed her a little bit on Instagram. So there's this weird stuff, dancing, where you're up against the wall and then there's all these costumes and yeah, no, you have a lot of fun, so I'm sure they all listen to you.
Maureen (Host) 00:28:52
Where do you get the costume?
Jax (Guest) 00:28:54
Yeah, I usually get them in the depths of hell on the Internet, in these weird little Internet stores, or Malibu on Queen West, but now they're closed, so I can't rent as much. But, yeah, I like to dance and costumes, and it's an odd side of it. Well, why not? It's fun.
Maureen (Host) 00:29:11
You've got to be fearless to go out there dressed as a sunflower.
Jax (Guest) 00:29:15
It's been a dark couple of years, and even, like, the Sunflower video had been my first time dancing since kind of the world started reopening, and it was just around the Queen John building. But it's such a simple thing that makes people so happy, and people were happy to see it, and that made me happy. So it's been a garbage couple of years, so why not go dance? This is Sunflower on the Road. We've seen some dark things.
Maureen (Host) 00:29:35
Yeah. Do you have you ever had any negative reaction or do people just think, here, maybe need some help and move on?
Jax (Guest) 00:29:41
I've been, like, called not so nice things, but I always have to keep on who it's coming from. Maybe they're having a bad day, maybe they aren't doing well. So it's usually a young and dundas that I get yelled at, I'll put it that way. But no, usually people are great. They'll take a picture of it. I don't know. It's fun to dance. Why not?
Maureen (Host) 00:29:58
I think you've got the corner on that market. Don't see a lot of other octopi out there. So you keep doing that.
Wendy (Host) 00:30:07
Well, there's a big octopi movement now because of that movie, right? Like, I eat it maybe once a year. And I probably shouldn't confess to that because it's a very bad thing. And I know that if I watch the movie, I will never eat an octopus.
Maureen (Host) 00:30:19
Okay. It's editing. Wendy. This is like everybody goes, oh, did you see my octopus friend? And it's like, if you watch it, you could make this pencil be your best friend if it's edited properly. And I'm not saying that the octopus or is it a squad? I can't even remember my octopus teacher. I'm not saying that they're not sentient and that they're not more intelligent than we think they are, but I really don't think you're going to get some great wisdom from octopus.
Wendy (Host) 00:30:47
It's been lovely to meet you. I've seen you on the billboards or whatever. I guess you're on a bench or whatever, but you look great on the bench. And then all the posters and things have changed a bit since Maureen and I were traffic reporters 1000 years ago. She went on to do a morning show. Now you're doing one. Yeah, it's been a long time since we were traffic reporters and we were at CKFM. But yeah, it's a way healthier place with you there. I'm just so happy to meet you.
Maureen (Host) 00:31:13
It sure is. I'm so proud of you, Jack. I haven't known you that long. I do remember going to London to see the wedding. Well, we didn't go to the wedding, but Harry and Megan, I remember going drinking afterwards and Jack said, mo, I want to hold you like a baby.
Jax (Guest) 00:31:28
Yes, it was like a seven hour drinking session. And you know what, Mo? You know what I thought was cool is you paid for all my drinks and everybody's food and stuff. You are such a nice leader.
Maureen (Host) 00:31:37
Thank you for that. Honestly, I was probably making more money than anybody there. But nowadays you can buy me a drink any time. Jack.
Jax (Guest) 00:31:46
No, it's such a pleasure. I'm such a fan. Mo, I worked with you. Wendy, I've been a fan of you for years. And yeah, you ladies are such legends and I look up to you a lot. So thank you very much for having me. It would an honor.
Maureen (Host) 00:31:56
Thank you for doing this. Well, that was just lovely.
Wendy (Host) 00:32:05
Yeah, I guess I'm really struck by and I think I sort of said it to her just like I think that we're in such a better place right now and that I talked about my dad and about how horrific all that was that being gay was a mental illness back in the think, everything's so much better and yet it's still like it's a huge deal for people.
Maureen (Host) 00:32:25
It is definitely better, I'm not going to disagree, but it's not 100% great. And I think for Jack's, being in Toronto and having this incredibly supportive group TJ and Adam that she works with certainly has helped, but like she said every day she still gets either negative or questioning or critical email. I mean, we all do in media, no matter what your persuasion is, but she's still dealing with that. So it's better, but it's not all the way there.
Wendy (Host) 00:32:54
Well, and also hearing how she used to be like, angry and tough and now like, she's just trying to have a good time with her life. Right.
Maureen (Host) 00:33:02
I can't imagine her I don't know her that well, but I can't imagine her actually being well. I mean, if the worst thing she does is saucy at 15 oh my.
Wendy (Host) 00:33:12
God, who has ever heard of that?
Maureen (Host) 00:33:14
I did want to ask her and maybe the opportunity to present itself because I didn't want to just talk about her being gay because it doesn't define her as part of who she is, but it doesn't define her any more than any of our gender or sexuality should define us. I am curious though, we have kids a little bit younger than her and there seems to be so much more fluidity about sexuality, particularly with young women, that they will say, oh, I'm bisexual or I'm queer, whereas I don't think that it was as easy to confess or admit to that 20 years ago.
Wendy (Host) 00:33:47
Yeah, it sure wasn't. Well, I guess I'm going back to high school, which was, I hate to say, more than 20 years ago. And yeah, all the gay people left the school because it wasn't welcoming and there were jokes about gay people and you were only allowed to be straight back then and it took a long, long time for things to change and so, yeah, I think our kids who are in their early twenty s or you've got one a little bit older yeah, it's super different and I think it's great. Not everything's perfect, but everything's great.
Maureen (Host) 00:34:22
What? Not everything's perfect? Well, let's see what we can do to make it that way.
Wendy (Host) 00:34:27
Yeah, well, it was really fun. I'm glad that you suggested her because that's more your world as a morning host and stuff. So it was really interesting to go back there because that's how I started out too.
Maureen (Host) 00:34:39
It was my world. I wouldn't want to go back to it, honestly. And you know what I hope for Jack's? I hope that she gets her own gig and that she's not the third chair as equal as she says it might be. And it's nothing against the fellows that she works with, but it would just be nice because there are very few women who are running their own shows in this country in radio. So I wish that for her.
Wendy (Host) 00:35:00
Yeah, well, things need to keep changing. Hope so. Luckily to see you. And we'll do more. The Women of Ill Repute with Wendy.
Mary Anne (VoiceOver) 00:35:09
Mesley and Maureen Holloway. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts firstname.lastname@example.org produced and distributed by the Sound of Media Company.