An Open Letter to Sir Patrick Stewart

Dear Sir Patrick,

I am one of the millions of people in this world who feel we know you intimately, yet who you have never met.

I grew up knowing who you are. You are not aware, but you helped to shape my life in incredible ways. You helped me know from a young age that there is nothing wrong with liking exactly what I like. You helped me grow up strong, and unashamed of the things I love. You helped me grow up a proud geek, who would never chill her passions because of the cruelty of children.

Since I was a young girl, I have known who you are. I have loved your characters on everything I've seen. You inspired me to read Shakespeare. You taught me of nobility, and courage, and loyalty. As characters.

It was with these values that I grew up. And as I have gotten older, I have learned many things about you.

My purpose, however, is not that. I just want you to know the role you have played in my life.

The true purpose of this letter, Sir Patrick, is to thank you. Not to thank you for the things you helped me learn. Not to thank you for the values you helped me live with. No, those are good things that can be taught by any well-written, well-portrayed character.

I want to thank you for not letting me down. I want to thank you for being as brave, and loyal, and honest as my favourite characters. I want to thank you for being a man worthy of my childhood idolization, which has carried through into my adult years.

I would like to thank you for your voice; for standing up proudly and publically against the things you feel are evil, and in support of the things you feel could help. I would like to thank you for hugging a woman, who I will never know, at a convention, and helping her know the terrible things she lived through were NOT her fault. Because when you spoke to that woman, when you hugged her, you were also speaking to me. You were also hugging me. You were touching with thousands of other women (and men!) just like me, who have lived far too long feeling the shame of other peoples' crimes.

I would like to thank you for teaching me that some of the fictional heroes I grew up loving are real. For teaching me that real people can be weighed against those heroes, and not fall frightfully short.

I would like to thank you, Sir Patrick, for helping me to keep my faith in humanity. I know that sounds extreme, but every time I hear about you standing beside me, fighting the fight against domestic violence; fighting against misogyny; fighting against inequality; against fear; against shame; and against stigmatizing victims, I feel that surge of hope. That surge of gratitude. That surge of comfort that comes with knowing that I do not stand alone. That I am not alone. Your openness and honesty about your life helps us stay honest about ours, which helps us all stand together. Together, we are invincible. Together, we can change the world. Every life you touch in your fight touches each and every one of us when we read about it, or see it.

You were one of my heroes as a little girl. Thank you so much for being one of my heroes as an adult.

With love, gratitude, and above all respect,
One Woman, and Everyone

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