The Q&As at most conventions are a light and airy time when fans get to hear funny anecdotes from their favorite movie and TV stars. However, things got a bit heavier last weekend at Comicpalooza, a comic convention held in Houston, Texas, when a fan stood in line to thank Patrick Stewart for a recent speech he'd given about the need to stop domestic violence against women. She followed it up by asking what nonacting related thing in his life he was most proud of, which in and of itself is a fantastic question. His response? Well, you should just watch it in full.
It's a powerful, eloquent and deeply personal explanation of why his own childhood trauma at the hands of his father has caused him to be such an active proponent of women support groups, and how something he only learned about his father last year has caused him to take up another charge. It's a beautiful moment about something so intensely private that it's kind of hard to believe it happened between two complete strangers.
The fan who asked the question was Heather Skye, and she wrote about it on her own Tumblr. It too will probably bring a tear to your eye:
Sir Patrick didn’t even hesitate, he smiled, hopped off the stage and came over to embrace me in a hug. Which he held me there for a long while. He told me “You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now.” I couldn’t stop thanking him. His embrace was so warm and genuine. It was two people, two strangers, supporting and giving love. And when we pulled away he looked strait [sic] in my eyes, like he was promising that. He told me to take care. And I will.
Sir Patrick Stewart is an absolute roll model for men. He is an amazing man and was so kind and full of heart. I want to let everyone know to please find help if you are in a violent or abusive house hold or relationship. There are organizations and people ready to help. I had countless people after the panel thanking me for sharing the story and asking him those questions. Many said they went through similar things. You are not alone.
Amazing. And for those curious about what inspired it all, here's Patrick Stewart's speech at Amnesty International: