Whenever Stu comes through the office it's like an ultra-light beam of neon sunshine is ricocheting through the hallways, and sometimes that beam of sunshine is shouting about eating pussy or gambling locks as it flies past. The man is simply ready to roll, and whether you are or not is inconsequential. You might be left a little frazzled in his wake, but always with a smile on your face.
The thing is, it's not an act. He's thoughtful to a fault, authentic, genuine and one of the most brutally honest & unfiltered people I've ever met. For someone who often stops herself before 'saying the wrong thing' or over-thinks a topic to death it's refreshing to be around someone like that...
So it was great to have him on Out & About Podcast this week to talk about his oldest son coming out as gay. There was no sugar-coating ugly mistakes from the past that made that moment so painful, an extremely real look at complicated family dynamics that so many can relate to but often sweep under the rug for appearance sake, and solid advice on the role of open communication in parenting. It was a side of Stu I hadn't seen before & the conversation was emotional, interesting & well worth listening to.
One of the biggest takeaways for me was his emphasis on being real with your kids.
"If you can't tell your parents everything, there's a fucking problem."
Though I don't think it's completely black & white I think Stu's mostly right. I'll be the first to tell you how wonderful my parents are & how grateful I am to have them, and I understand that everyone is doing their best in a role there's no true guidebook for, but growing up, when it came to sex/sexuality, drugs, mental health, academic struggles, etc. there was a big gap in dialogue. Things were right or wrong, I was never to do the wrong things, and that was final. Good ol' Irish Catholic vibes.
..But of course, I'm human, and a messy-ass one at that, so I did a lot of the wrong things that got me into some serious pickles; many that could have had devastating effects on my life. Guilt piled so high that I hid things from my parents instead of seeking their help or advice. Of course this often only delayed problems and made situations worse & more hurtful all around.
These days I can be super open about every aspect of my life publicly or tell them anything, and I know they'll hear me out & still love & accept me no matter what; I have faith in their unconditional love. (Though I do still say 'earmuffs' if I know my dad is listening to radio & I'm about to talk about my bhole or something.) I don't care how old you are - you breathe a little easier when you're lucky enough to have them in your corner. And despite past faults, there's no denying Stu is in his son's corner. Hear from a side of Stu you've never seen & 'like & subscribe' to Out & About pod!