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Joshua Miller
loses his religion

Joshua Miller
loses his religion


Shunned by their former religion, Nemesis Rising's gay twin brothers Jacob and Joshua Miller are looking for answers.

Jacob and Joshua Miller of the pop rock band Nemesis Rising defied their Jehovah's Witness past by coming out together on national television. Unfortunately, their risky yet entertaining venture caused the Witnesses to disfellowship, or excommunicate, the duo in late December. Joshua, the "free spirit," elaborated about his ordeal.

Coming out on national TV was risky, knowing that the Jehovah's Witnesses would not be very accepting. Why did you do it? We knew that they wouldn't be accepting going into it. I had already decided I wasn't a Jehovah's Witness, and that at some point you either have to step up or shut up. I wasn't that concerned about that because I knew the repercussions of coming out and the possible repercussions with my family.... It wasn't that I was worried in that way, but I was worried as far as the music industry, and making sure that Jacob and I would be able to find an audience that would be willing to listen to our music even though they saw that we were gay.

How did you hear about the Jehovah's Witnesses' decision to disfellowship you and Jacob? One of the oddest parts was that we didn't have any discussion or communication with them, which is procedurally very unusual. I was born and raised as a Jehovah's Witness my whole life until I was about 24 years old, when I decided it wasn't for me. It just was an announcement that was made, without contacting Jacob or me, even though they had access to us, as some of the elder body are family of mine. So I thought that was strange.

A girl friend of mine wrote me a text message that said, "I'm really upset right now. I can't believe you didn't warn me that they were disfellowshipping you tonight." And my stomach just dropped. So I wrote her back and said, "They're not. Nobody said anything to me. That's not happening." And then she called--she was crying--and said that they just announced it, and she ran out upset when it happened.

Have your family or friends reached out to you despite you being disfellowshipped? Nobody in any official capacity has called, which I still find unusual. My parents were on vacation when it happened. During their cruise, several people came up to them and thanked them for doing such a great job on the television series [Jacob and Joshua: Nemesis Rising on Logo] and maintaining such composure, and for being such cool parents. They were surprised by that because they're not used to people recognizing them.

But then they arrived home, and all of this had gone down without them knowing, so I think they were upset. It all happened so quickly while they were out of town. I haven't spoken to my dad at all, which I do find a little bit strange. I have talked to my mom twice. The first time was a very emotional conversation. She was upset and trying to figure out how all of this could happen without anyone being around. It's one of those weird things for her, Dad, Sarah, and Jordan. They're lucky because there's the little loophole for immediate family--they can have only very limited contact with us, but at least they can speak to us. Like yesterday, my mom said a piece of mail she had sent me was returned, so that was an excuse to call.

But it's very hard on them. As far as my other friends go, I haven't spoken to any one of them on the telephone. The one girl who called and told me what had happened said she was getting pressure--crazy pressure--but she was going to try to maintain the relationship with us.

Looking forward, is there anything that you might do to help others who may be in your position? I've gotten so many e-mails, letters, and MySpace messages from people of all ages who admire us and want to share their stories. It's actually overwhelming. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the impact we're able to have. I'd like to find something a little more organized to be a part of that may be helpful to others. I'm lucky to have Jacob, who is my identical twin brother, and not to be completely alone, but I think most people in this situation are alone. Also, Jacob and I live in West Hollywood [Calif.], which is a support structure in and of itself. Many people don't have that. If my story helps, and I hope it does, I definitely want to reach out to more people as soon as I figure out how to do it.

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