If you were a teenager in Toronto in 2002, you saw Raymond Miller every afternoon hosting a local after-school TV show. He's also appeared on stage in Mamma Mia, blink and you'll miss him in an episode of Queer as Folk, and you might've caught him performing with the Canadian Opera Company.
When Raymond was newly out, he fell in with a circle of friends who told each other that even though they were all men attracted to men, they shouldn't define themselves as gay. That attitude was echoed by an acting teacher who told him to tone down his proclivities during auditions. At the TV show that he hosted, management told him to get rid of his lisp. And if he couldn't on his own, they told him, they had a solution to straighten him out: hockey.
For a while, those voices had him convinced that he should block out his queer side, but then he came to terms with his queer identity, thanks to a chance encounter with Judith Light.
Raymond is my guest this week on The Sewers of Paris, a podcast about the entertainment that changed the lives of gay men. Once Raymond began exploring queer culture, he found that he craved a connection to the gay men who came before, from Harvey Milk to The Boys in the Band.