It’s not often that a father and son write a book together. A co-biography if you will. But Kevin and Alex Newman aren’t your ordinary father and son. Kevin is well known to Canadians, being the anchor on Global National Newscast for several years. While I knew of him, I was raised in a CBC household. I knew nothing about Kevin’s kids, and that’s probably the way he likes it. So I was intrigued when I received their book “All Out” in my mailbox.
It is a very interesting parallel, as both men were trying to be something they weren’t. In Kevin’s case, manufactured to be the perfect news anchor, morning show host, and sports reporter. He ultimately felt that even after all this grooming, he still wasn’t being his true authentic self on TV. But his son was having the same dilemma, perhaps even more so. Alex was hiding a secret of own: he was pretending to like girls when he fact fancies boys.
Now, this isn’t some sob story about being thrown out of one’s house. Kevin had always been fine with homosexuality and described his politics as progressive. He just didn’t know how to be a father to a gay son. Alex for his part, never really knew how to connect with his dad.
This book hit home for me on a number of levels. As someone in media, cultivating a image for yourself can be the worst thing on the planet. I also identified with Alex’s semi self-imposed childhood isolation and feeling like he didn’t belong. I was an outcast as a teen – and as a young adult – and it took me a while to realize where and how I fit into this world.
While the book is fairly simple in its writing, it is that style that makes it more emotional and hard-hitting. The frankness which with both father and son speak, creates a vivid portrait of a somewhat fractured life, yet one where reconciliation won out in the end. It is a heartfelt, emotional tale of two men who learn to become their authentic selves.