Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-09-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS Jerry Miller talks abuse, addiction in 'The Day the Rain Came Down'
by Joe Franco
2018-02-18

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Newsfeeds have been overwhelmed with stories of abuse.

Whether it is the phenomenon of men in power, like Harvey Weinstein or the almost-impossible-to-fathom stories of abuse by the Turpins of California, Americans are increasingly aware of our behavior toward one another. Just how many people become victims of abuse? It is not known. Most victims of abuse, especially children, do not come forward. Estimates from the U.S. Department of Justice range from 1.8 million juveniles to 20 percent of all young girls in this country alone. Jerry Miller, a local actor and former Methodist minister, did not want to be an estimate or a statistic—but, rather, an individual with a story.

In his latest book, The Day the Rain Came Down: Abuse, Addicted, Alive. The Stories of Gay Identical Twins, co-authored by his twin James, Miller shared decades of abuse, both sexual and emotional, at the hands of parents and siblings over the course of several decades. When asked why he decided to write the book, Miller told Windy City Times, "My twin brought it up. He thought it was important that we told our story and I suggested that we write it together." Miller continued, "It was about sharing the pain. I wanted others who may also be victims to know that they are not alone. I wanted them to know that there is hope." The book took the twins more than a year to write.

The Day the Rain Came Down begins with stories of early sexual abuse at the hands of the twins' father. Each twin has his own part of the book to tell his story. "We decided to separate the book the same way—by addiction or abuse," said Miller. According to Miller, the sexual abuse began when the twins were 11 and continued through puberty. Miller also included candid recounting of both sexual abuse perpetrated by the eldest brother as well as an incestuous relationship that began between the Miller twins and did not end until they were both nearing 18. The brothers seemed in it together from the beginning. "When my twin started to fool around with other boys in elementary school and junior high, naturally the other kids just attributed his tendencies to me so I also became an object of bullying," said Miller.

In addition to the abuse, there are stories of addiction—to alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex. According to Darkness to Light, a child-abuse awareness group, children who are victims of sexual and emotional abuse are 2.6 times more likely than their peers to suffer from a host of addictions, poor academic performance, teenage pregnancy and criminal activity. The Miller twins' stories intersect in all manner of addiction. However, Jerry began his road to recovery a full decade before his brother, James. "I'm not sure why," said Miller. "Part of it could have been my involvement with the church. Part of it could just be that I sought help sooner and had more support. We just don't know. But we are now both recovering and this is not about judging our behaviors or our recovery but is about telling the story."

Miller originally wanted to be an actor, but his father forbade the notion since "actors were gay." Part of Miller's story focuses on the role that the creative and performing arts played in his life. After Miller's recovery but before his 50th birthday, he wrote out his bucket list. He wanted a degree in acting, to appear in a commercial and become a member of the Screen Actors' Guild. Shortly after his 50th birthday, Miller indeed accomplished all of that: "I made the list and worked hard for it. While in graduate school, I received several awards for my acting and found myself in a rather renowned graduate repertory theatre in Milwaukee." His own success, he said, "is a sign that recovery is possible, loving relationships are possible."

The Day the Rain Came Down is not only a book about abuse and addiction, but also about recovery. "Anger is natural. In a case like this, anger should be expected. But this book is also about forgiveness," said Miller. Eventually, Miller was able to make peace with his mother prior to her death. In the book itself, Miller includes a candid letter to his father who pre-deceased his mother by several decades. "I've finally been able to make peace with my past and with father. My twin, James, is not there yet," said Miller.

Miller had doubts about whether he would publish these stories or not. "Victims of abuse and addicts have stigmas. It's not fair but that is a reality we have to deal with. I was nervous that if I shared my story, others might judge me for it." Miller's story mirrors in many ways that of abuse victims who only now are coming out. Whether one is discussing the alleged victims of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore or victims of Weinstein in Los Angeles, silence is prevalent. According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 60 percent of all victims say nothing. Miller wanted to share his story as an example. "I did not want others to suffer the same way my twin and I did," he said. "I wanted to offer a light in the darkness."

Those interested in this book may purchase it during a book signing scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18, 4-6 p.m., at the Epworth United Methodist Church, 5253 N. Kenmore Ave. The book is also available on Amazon, through special order at Unabridged Books and through the author himself at gaev5@yahoo.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Perfectly Clear 2018-09-19 - Author: Michelle LeClair, with Robin Gaby Fisher $27; Berkley; 289 pages Michelle LeClair is an openly queer Scientologist who thought she could ...


Gay News

Amateur, a trans memoir of masculinity, boxing and being a man 2018-09-19 - Thomas Page McBee is many people: a husband, an uncle, a brother, a son. He's also the first trans man to fight in ...


Gay News

BYP100's Charlene Carruthers on being Black, feminist and queer 2018-09-19 - Despite the fact that, in Chicago, Charlene Carruthers and I are neighbors, the only time we can find to have this conversation is ...


Gay News

BYP100'S Charlene Carruthers gets 'Unapologetic' 2018-09-19 - First-time author Charlene Carruthers' Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements was published in August by Beacon Press. Carruthers is ...


Gay News

Chelsea Clinton at W&CF Oct. 21 2018-09-19 - Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton will be at Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. ...


Gay News

Lise Weil reading Sept. 29 at Barbara's 2018-09-19 - Lise Weil will be reading from and discussing her new memoir, In Search of Pure Lust, on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 4 p.m. ...


Gay News

Checking out the fall literary scene 2018-09-19 - Book lovers have a lot to look forward to this fall; literary festivals will bring small presses and authors from all over the ...


Gay News

Off the beaten path: From steelworks to truckers, Anne Balay writes about LGBTQI lives 2018-09-19 - Anne Balay was working as an assistant professor in 2014 when her book on queer Indiana steel mill workers Steel Closets was published. ...


Gay News

When They Call You a Terrorist, A Black Lives Matter Memoir 2018-09-19 - By Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele $24.99; St. Martin's. Press; 257 pages You can't look any longer. Whatever it is, it's just ...


Gay News

DeRay Mckesson, fighting for Black lives 2018-09-19 - By the time this interview was conducted Sept. 7, DeRay Mckesson, one of the most visible Black Lives Movement organizers, was already on ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.