I wanted to write you to say thank you. Thank you for being there for me, in my darkest of darks. I met you as a younger child, but didn’t appreciate you until Alien 3. When I met you again in 1992, I was a sort of prisoner myself. I lived in solitary confinement at 16, unable to leave my bedroom, because the church I was growing up in, afraid of my sexuality, thought I could be a predator, so, they advised my parents to lock me down.
In a way, Ripley, you and I shared something in common. By that point in my life, I had lost everything. I couldn’t see my friends, I couldn’t go outside. I was trapped in my room. You lost everything you knew as well, a daughter you loved, another little girl that you fought to save, and looked to as a daughter; your marine friends, your crew. You were also trapped in a place where there was no escape.
I kept you close to my heart, Ripley. You stood at the head of my bed, protecting me, guiding me, letting me know that it was okay. I shaved my head in your honor, I dressed like the prisoners on the planet you were trapped on. I dressed for the role that I had been convinced I was supposed to be playing.
Dear Ripley, I know you aren’t real. I know that the lives you’ve lived were written, built, constructed and filmed. I know this. But, Ripley, there is a part of you that is real, a part of who you were that spoke to me and gave me the courage to battle on, to find hope. I know that who you are lives in Sigourney Weaver. She and you are linked. In a way, you do exist.
You may never see this, Ripley, you may never understand how you helped a boy find his way out of darkness. I hope, on whatever ship you’re on, in whatever cryo-stasis tube you’re asleep in, that this letter some how makes it to you. I owe you my life. You saved me. You didn’t save me from an alien, you saved me from something far worse, the darkness of man.
Always in your debt…"
That boy in that picture, the man who wrote this letter...That boy, is me.