You all knew Steve Bristol, and some of you knew Steph. In 2016 Steve started making the gender transition to Steph, and with a heavy heart I share this news:
Steph took her life on Monday, August 7, 2017.
I knew Steve for so long, I haven’t known exactly how to gracefully, respectfully handle the pronouns. So please forgive my missteps like Steph did so often.
At this moment I pause and say, this has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. I so badly want to convey the amount of love and respect my heart holds for this person. I want to explain how much he meant to me and others. It breaks my heart because I know these simple words will never fully explain the Steven and later Steph we knew.
In 2006 I met Steve Bristol. Within minutes I knew he was a special person. Together, we became business partners in LessEverything, and over the past 11 years we’ve had many amazing good times.
Steve always made me feel like I could do anything. Steve believed in me, and because of that I never wanted to let him down. Our friendship was challenging, provocative, and truly life-changing for me.
If you met him in person, you know he was a hugger. He hugged everyone he met. Steve was confidante, counselor, and mentor to many people. If anyone went to a LessConf event, they saw how much he loved being on stage in front of a crowd. Steve was a charmer and a dreamer. He had the most tender of hearts for others.
Steve - and later Steph - made me a better friend, husband, father, businessman, and human. I’ll be spending the rest of my life using the life lessons and wisdom he passed on to me.
That is the Steve I’m going to remember: the sensitive fighter and poet who throughout his life always strove to be better, kinder, and more loving, who really did try to help people, who wished that everyone could find a way to be happy.
Steve is survived by his two daughters (15 and 16) and son (10), former wife, parents, and older brother. These are the sweetest and kindest people you will ever meet. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
This has been a whirlwind week, and the family hasn’t yet made funeral arrangements. If your heart is telling you to help somehow, consider donating to the family’s financial burden during this painful season.