Simon Le Vans: Me, myself and I

The RVT DJ launches our new weekly feature by confessing that he would love to return to the 1980s.

Where are you from originally?

A small town in Hampshire called Lymington. I grew up on a farm, which was a great place to be a child, even if we were put to work as soon as we were old enough.

Where do you live now?

I’m lucky enough to have my own place near Tower Bridge. Although it’s a bit of a walk to the nearest tube station at London Bridge, it’s a great neighbourhood. The best part about living in zone 1 is that it’s possible to walk home from Soho if the need arises.

What do you love about London?

London is the best city in the world and our gay scene is second to none. It also has the best theatrical tradition, which is as strong today as it ever was. War Horse at the National Theatre blew me away and I recently saw Xanadu at the Southwark Playhouse, which should have transferred.

Favourite London club/bar/venue?

I have worked at the RVT for 24 years so it has a very special place in my heart. I love that it suits theatre, cabaret and full on club nights equally. And I always feel extremely welcome at both the Two Brewers and Ku Bar Leicester Square.

Last play you saw?

Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure at The Questors Theatre in Ealing. An old drama school friend of mine was in it so we went to support him.

Guilty pleasure?

Science fiction and murder mystery, although not together. I’m a huge Star Trek fan. As for detective stuff I like everything from Sherlock to Marple, including Midsomer Murders.

Biggest extravagance?

I’m not a particularly extravagant person but probably technology. I own more computers than is natural and my TV is stupidly large. If I had more disposable income all my tech would be the absolute latest model so if anyone fancies buying me a Mac Pro I’d be eternally grateful.

Best gift you’ve ever received?

For my birthday this year my friend and production partner JD bought us VIP tickets to see Earth Wind & Fire at the O2. And we got to meet the band! We also got an exclusive T-shirt and a signed CD. They were amazing live, by the way.

Highlight of your career so far?

I suppose it would have to be my time at Gaydar Radio. I hosted the afternoon, then the lunchtime show, and in the nine years I worked there we won a Sony Gold Award, a BT Digital Award and two Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards. My show was also noted as a ‘must-hear’ in Jarvis Cocker’s top 10 best digital radio stations in The Times’ Playlist magazine.

If you could go back in time which year would you choose?

I’d go back to the end of the 1980s. I loved the 80s and still do. I came out in 1988 and it was the best decade for music and queer politics. We had so much to fight for. We stood up against the discriminatory Clause 28 and demanded the end of indifference from the authorities with regard to the AIDS epidemic. Ultimately the fight against HIV brought the LGBT community together and made us stronger and more respectful towards each other.

Best party you’ve been to?

I went to a house party in Brighton on Millennium Eve. It was a gathering of some of the people whom I loved most and I met the most beautiful man and we had the most intense 24 hours. My favourite club nights were Fiction, Queer Nation, Love Muscle and Heaven on a Saturday with DJ Wayne G. But for a big club night out XXL is always a winner.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

There’s no point in trying to make everyone like you. Some will, some won’t, and there’s arse all you can do about it, so just be yourself.

Who is your LGBT hero?

Anyone who was openly LGBT when it was illegal. Anyone who stood up to the bigotry and said “This is who I am!” Any kid who comes out at school. And anyone who plucks up the courage to tell their friends and family that they’ve been identified as the wrong gender.

Who are the most entertaining people you follow on Twitter?

@OwenJones84 for his politics and his refusal to be browbeaten by the trolls. @richardosman for his pithy sense of humour and for standing up against ignorant idiots who belittle trans people when they appear on Pointless. And finally a non-famous person, @johnrahers for his irreverent and unashamedly queer tweets.

Where in the world would you like to visit before you die?

A registry office or any other place where someone is legally entitled to marry me, with someone who loves me as much as I love them. I’d also like to go to San Francisco – perhaps I’ll meet him there…

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I wish I knew I was as cute as I was; I had no idea. I wish I knew there were other gay people in the world. I wish I knew that fancying my male friends wasn’t evil and perverted, and I wish I knew that the real me, the one I was terrified of being, could live a happy and fulfilling life.

Simon DJs at Sunday Social every Sunday from 3pm at the RVT.

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