For a television meteorologist, the weather has become a bit of a drag; in fact, the meteorologist dressed in drag. To celebrate Gay Pride Month, ABC Australia weather presenter Nate Byrne has decided to ditch his conservative on-air appearance to take on the persona of Gail Warnings, his namesake who Twitter users voted on .
Viewers knew something was up on June 13 when Byrne posted a hypothetical poll on Twitter asking, “If…a certain dimpled weatherman needed a drag name, which one would be best?” The name “Gail Warnings” topped the votes with 4,199 votes; Misty Showers was a close runner up while Miss Thunder Stood and Summer Storms completed the list. Bryne also took to Twitter to explain that he was also considering Nina Floods, Philma Oceans, Sultry Knight, Icee Winters, Dawn Oak, Amber Syke and Beck Byrne.
The News Breakfast meteorologist documented the transformation on his social media, as well as a segment of the morning newscast he is a part of. Byrne discussed the challenges of transforming from male to female and the extensive makeup that was used to introduce Gail Warnings to the world. During a segment that aired on News Breakfast, Byrne thanked Valerie Hex, the drag alter ego of James Wellsby, an MC from Melbourne’s Yummy Cabaret, for her help with the character, and circus performer Jarred Dewey for helping him complete the evolution from male to female.
However, not all viewers appreciated the transformation. “Not news, not interesting, quite sickening actually,” wrote one viewer on Twitter, in which Byrne replied, “Lol… I thought Gail was good, but ‘sickening’? Yaaaaaaas! Praise .
Byrne is no stranger to alternative lifestyle criticism. In 2020, Byrne appeared on ABC’s first Mardi Gras float at the parade in Melbourne, Australia. Byrne joined ABC makeup artist Kerrie Stanley and presenters Patricia Karvelas, Annabel Crabb and Fran Kelly on the ABC float. With shiny silver shoes, rainbow socks and a hint of glitter around his eyes, the morning weatherman shared waves and smiles with the crowds gathered for the event. Not everyone was happy; one viewer took to Twitter to message the meteorologist: “Damn now you know why I won’t be watching News Breakfast! It’s a very sick world we live in. Byrne replied, “It’s a sick world we live in – a world where this kind of unproven spraying of hate is still going on.” However, more people were appreciative of Byrne’s role in the parade than not. On Twitter, @SharpShard wrote: “Love to see you so free and happy. Yes to Australia which encompasses the full spectrum of people and our differences, because underneath we are all the same.
Byrne joined ABC as a weathercaster for their News Breakfast program in March 2017. Prior to working in television, Byrne completed a master’s degree in science communication at the Australian National University. Most of Byrne’s career was spent in the military: he spent more than 12 years as a naval officer as a maritime warfare officer and as a maritime geospatial officer in charge of the both meteorology and oceanography for the Royal Australian Navy. Along the way, he also earned a postgraduate certificate in meteorology from the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia’s equivalent of the National Weather Service.
In 2017, Bryne authored an essay outlining the value and importance of being a science communicator, writing, “The best is when your predictions can be both informative and entertaining. Adding that it’s important for a TV weatherman to be an effective communicator who can engage an audience and convey the importance of severe warnings and conditions, Byrne said appearance shouldn’t be a factor. . He wrote: “I will concede that for some outlets the weather presenter is really a traveling entertainment reporter reading the temperatures. For the rest, developing a meaningful understanding of the weather when looking at it every day is a no-brainer. This is where the value of a weather presenter must be measured. Not on their appearance. Not on their clothes. And certainly not on their sex.