“I was so bent out of shape that it’s taken years of therapy to help get me back to a shape that even remotely looks human. There are positives and negatives to every situation. Through therapy, I think I’m becoming a better version of myself than I ever would have been otherwise.”
My name is Josh Miller, I’m 27 years old, and I’m from Indiana. I’ve been a Dallas-ite for around 4 years (has it really been that long… Yeesh), and I’m currently working as a Crisis Intervention Specialist in the mental health field. I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain (I actually don’t like coconut, but I DO like puns). Talk to me about baseball, volleyball, or The Office.
1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
Greencastle Indiana; now in Dallas Texas.
2. Tell me a little bit about what you spend most of your days doing.
I’m a crisis interventions specialist, so that takes up a lot of my time. When I’m not working, I’m spending as much time outdoors as I can… Especially playing volleyball.
3. Give us a little insight into your backstory/upbringing…
My family became heavily involved in christianity around the time I was 10. Prior to that, my home life was very rough. The church, or I guess Jesus, changed that. My family was brought together, and I became interested. I was desperate for belonging, and it appeared that the church offered the love I sought. I tried to fill my hollow soul with God, but it wasn’t enough. I spent many Sunday mornings crying at the altar, and many nights begging God to free me from my sin. I never felt heard, and I was desperate for God’s love, so I thought the only way to get it was to dedicate my life him. Saying I was a Christian wasn’t enough… I had to prove it to God that I was serious. Maybe then he would heal me. I went to a bible college to study pastoral leadership, graduated with church specific degrees, and thought this was the life I was sentenced to. Much like Paul, there was a “thorn” in my side that I needed to deal with or get used to. After college, I couldn’t bring myself to accept a ministry position, so I took a seasonal job with my girlfriend in Alaska. I realize now that I was running as far as possible, but my true self caught up with me. I fell in love with a boy. It was a love like I’ve never experienced with a girl, not even my girlfriend that I was planning on proposing to. It was a rough 4 months, but I survived and began my journey down the road of loving myself.
4. What is your religious background?
5. On a scale of 1 – 5 how supportive was your family when you came out?
6. Do you have a message to kids out there who come out and might not have the support of their families/friends?
Family is not determined by blood, but by love. We are here for you, and we are thousands strong.
7. Why do you feel that the simple message of the Promote Love Movement is important?
Mankind is hardwired to categorize. It’s just who we are. I’m white, you’re black. I’m tall, you’re short. I’m christian, you’re protestant. I’m gay, you’re straight. I’m an otter, you’re a bear. Some believe that connecting with others inside your category is refreshing, but I believe that even the recognition of boundaries is limiting. It’s isolating. Suffocating. Love isn’t about color, or height, or weight. Love isn’t about time or distance. Love transcends all of our understandings, and cannot be qualified or quantified. It can’t be categorized, so why should we try? The Promote Love Movement is important because it connects those that have experienced the damage categories can cause. It unites us. And unity, I believe, is the physical manifestation of love.
8. What kind of person do you want to be remembered as when you die?
I want to be remembered as a man of passion and adventure. Like whatever I did, I did with 100% of my soul. I want my funeral to be friend after friend telling stories about the ridiculous adventures we got into. I want each person to try and one up the other on how much trouble we were getting in to.
9. Do you still attend church/religious gatherings?
10. How do you feel like growing up in church played a part [positively or negatively] in shaping who you are?
It shaped everything about me. To be honest, I was so bent out of shape that it’s taken years of therapy to help get me back to a shape that even remotely looks human. There are positives and negatives to every situation, and I think that had I not been damaged I wouldn’t have sought therapy. Through therapy, I think I’m becoming a better version of myself than I ever would have been otherwise.