Born in the Bronx, he attended Columbia College for his B.A., New York University for his graduate work in English, and the graduate program in clinical psychology at Antioch College in clinical psychology. He received his Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Clinical Psychology in 2006. His dissertation was entitled, Homosexual Enlightenment: A Gay Science Perspective on Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
He is the director of the nation's first LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology, at Antioch University. He is also the co-founder of the Institute for Contemporary Uranian Psychoanalysis, which offers continued education units to licensed psychotherapists on the issues of gay-affirmative psychotherapy. He was also a principal co-founder of Highways Performance Art Space in 1989. (Picture: Tim Miller)
His work Sacred Lips of the Bronx was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His second book was called Sex Between Men: An Intimate History of the Sex Lives of Gay Men, Postwar to Present. His articles have appeared in the Advocate, the Los Angeles Times, Genre, High Performance, the New York Native, and the L.A. Weekly. He received a GLAAD award for excellence in reporting. He works as a private practice psychotherapist in Los Angeles. His most recent paper, "Reading Literature Gay-Affirmatively: A Homosexual Individuation Story," was published in Spring 2006 in the journal Arts and Humanities.
Tim Miller has been an inspiring figure for 25 years and is the author of The Buddy Systems, created with writer Douglas Sadownick, with whom Miller was involved in a 14yo relationship. Douglas Sadownick is the director of the nation's first LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology, at Antioch University. His work Sacred Lips of the Bronx was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His second book was called Sex Between Men: An Intimate History of the Sex Lives of Gay Men, Postwar to Present.
In researching this essay I located a New York Times article from 1994: Coping: Growing up Gay in the Heart of the Bronx, a short profile of the author in the year his novel was published. The article contained a surprising confession: Hector didn‘t exist. While Mike found first love in the Bronx, in real life the young Sadownick never repeated any of his rendezvous with the boys he met on the Grand Concourse. ―Hector in the book was a way for me to redeem what I see now as a lot of missed opportunities.
How discourteous to contradict an author‘s interpretations concerning his book, much less his own life, but Sadownick made that observation while still pretty young; the longing and unusual jealousy that Sacred Lips of the Bronx inspired dissipated once I kissed the right boy. What I had considered ―missed opportunities‖ were simply the necessary preparations for the experiences that ended up counting the most. That rush to recapture what I had mistakenly considered lost had nearly cost me everything. The book at the bottom of my sleeping bag was in no way illicit but a rather splendid and sturdy diving board. --Tom Cardamone, The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered
Tim Miller and Douglas Sadownick, 1994/1996, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1082041)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital
A pathbreaking performance artist and dancer, John Jeffery Bernd (May 8, 1953 - August 28, 1988) melded dance with "out" gay performance, thereby establishing himself as a prime mover in the downtown performance scene. Also an activist and organizer, Bernd organized a weekly improvisation group called "Open Movement" held at P.S. 122. Originally from Nebraska, Bernd graduated from Antioch College in Ohio with a B.A. in Dance and Performance Studies. After moving to New York, he worked at P.S. 122 and frequently collaborated with Tim Miller, ex-lover and friend. He was one of the first New York performers to die of AIDS.
His large circle of surviving friends included Jennifer Monson, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Michael Stiller, Lori E. Seid, Yvonne Meier, Lucy Sexton, Annie Iobst, Jeff McMahon, Richard Elovich, Fred Holland, Jeannie Hutchins, Dona McAdams, and Johnny Walker.
Other dancers who knew or worked with Bernd include Joe Pupello, Suchi Bronfman, Deborah Oliver, and Donald Byrd.
According to Tim Miller and Ishmael Houston-Jones, Dona Ann McAdams was Bernd's main photographer, she shot practically everything he did at P.S. 122 and most pieces at other places as well. A beautiful photo of John, as well as some of his drawings, appears in her book Caught in the Act (Aperture). Photographer Kirk Winslow, with whom John collaborated on several projects, passed away from AIDS complication on summer 2002. Kirk was the son of the artist Maryette Charlton who is responsible for getting John's archives to Harvard. Maryette Charlton was a New York artist and filmmaker who had a particular interest in performance art and apparently knew Bernd.
Tim Miller and John Bernd in Live Boys (1981), ©Gene Bagnato
A pathbreaking performance artist and dancer, John Bernd melded dance with "out" gay performance, thereby establishing himself as a prime mover in the downtown performance scene. Bernd organized a weekly improvisation group called "Open Movement" held at P.S. 122. Bernd graduated from Antioch College. After moving to New York, he worked at P.S. 122 and frequently collaborated with Tim Miller, ex-lover and friend. He was one of the first New York performers to die of AIDS.
Photo: © Dona Ann McAdams
"He and I are stalking one another in a pool of light. Occasionally he jumps up onto my shoulder or he tackles and pins me to the floor. The sound score is of him stomping arrhythmically, recorded super crudely with his Walkman. This is in the first version of Lost and Found. The sound of his feet stomping will follow on to two more versions of the piece.
He's sitting in the little red chair (the teacher's chair -- "larger than a child's but smaller than a grown-up's.") He's trying to get us four guys, David Alan Harris, Tom Keegan, Erin Matthiessen and me, to sing on key to the accompaniment of his Casio plain song. The syllables sound something like "Hy, hy, hy yah hah. Hy, hy, hy yom."
He sneaks out of his room of New York University Hospital's Co-op Care Unit. He takes a taxi down Second Avenue. Does his solo show in the Parish Hall. Takes a cab back up to the hospital and sneaks back in.
He's screaming in the dressing room because his skin condition makes the itching intolerable. Yvonne Meier, Stephanie Skura, Fred Holland and I stop rehearsing and are silent. This is the final version of Lost and Found. He has placed the audience on the dance floor of the sanctuary in two large ellipses facing each other, although much of the dancing will happen behind them.
His is the first memorial service I've ever helped plan. The first I've attended at Saint Mark's. The red chair is there, as is the black touring case he had custom made for it. We've asked Meredith Monk and a gospel singer to provide music. Meredith's lullaby reminds me of his own songs. The gospel singer says that we shouldn't just sit there if the spirit moves us. Most of us clap our hands or tap our feet but Penny Arcade whips off her skirt and begins running laps around the sanctuary to the confusion of his WASP family. When the service is over I go to find Dan Froote, the tech guy, to ask why the pop song "Be Good to Me" isn't playing as we'd planned. I find Dan sobbing in a corner and I'm struck by the enormity of what we've lost." (Lost and Found, memories of JOHN BERND at Saint Mark's Church, by Ishmael Houston-Jones, originally printed in Movement Research Performance Journal: http://ishmaelhj.com/id19.html)
Tim Miller (born September 22, 1958 in Pasadena, California) is an American performance artist and writer, whose pieces frequently involve gay identity, marriage equality and immigration issues. He was one of the NEA Four, four performance artists whose National Endowment for the Arts grants were vetoed in 1990 by NEA chair John Frohnmayer.
Miller was born in Pasadena, California but grew up in nearby Whittier.
He has developed shows based on his personal life as a gay man and as an activist. A member of ACT UP and other campaigning organizations, Miller has participated in numerous demonstrations to call for funding of AIDS research and treatment and to promote equal rights. His civil disobedience has led to his arrest on several occasions.
I was seventeen going on eighteen and I was desperate for love and dick. I searched everywhere for it. I hung around the Whittier Public Library, leaning suggestively against the stacks in the psychology section, waiting to be picked up by some graduate student. I leaned too far, once, and almost knocked over an entire row of bookshelves. -— Tim Miller, Boys like us, 1996Miller's interest in performance began in high school, where he took classes in theater and dance. He played the lead role of John Proctor in Lowell High School's production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. At nineteen he moved to New York and studied dance with Merce Cunningham.
In 1999 in Glory Box, Tim Miller took on the topic of immigration rights for gay and lesbian partners of American citizens, the immigration issue a personal cause as Alistair McCartney, his partner since 1994, is Australian. In 2003 in Us, Miller returned to the theme of the problems of Americans with same-sex life partners, the title refers both to his relationship with McCartney and to the laws in the US which could prevent them from being together. Miller & McCartney married on June 26, 2013.
Tim Miller and Douglas Sadownick, 1994-1996, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1082041)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)In 1980 Miller joined with Charles Moulton, Peter Rose and Charles Dennis to found P.S. 122, a space for performance art. The name derives from the former school building that houses the project. In 1987 Miller returned to California and with Linda Frye Burnham founded another performance space, Highways, in Santa Monica.
In 1993 Miller was featured in the episode of The Larry Sanders Show called The Performance Artist. He played himself as the titular performance artist, who appears as a guest both on Larry Sanders' show and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno performing a portion of My Queer Body.
In 1997 Miller published Shirts & Skin, a compilation of personal stories that he had told in his shows over the previous decade. He also launched a show of the same name.
Miller took on a new topic, immigration rights for gay and lesbian partners of American citizens, in Glory Box (1999). The immigration issue is a personal cause as Alistair McCartney, his partner since 1994, is Australian.
In 2002 Miller published Body Blows, a collection of scripts from six of his shows with associated essays.
Miller returned to the theme of the problems of Americans with same-sex life partners in Us in 2003. The title refers both to his relationship with McCartney and to the laws in the United States which could prevent them from being together.
The Buddy Systems (1985) was co-created with writer Douglas Sadownick, with whom Miller was involved in a 14-year relationship.
1001 Beds: Performances, Essays, and Travels (Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiog) by Tim Miller
Series: Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiog
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (February 9, 2006)
Amazon: 1001 Beds: Performances, Essays, and Travels
For a quarter century, Tim Miller has worked at the intersection of performance, politics, and identity, using his personal experiences to create entertaining but pointed explorations of life as a gay American man—from the perils and joys of sex and relationships to the struggles of political disenfranchisement and artistic censorship. This intimate autobiographical collage of Miller's professional and personal life reveals one of the celebrated creators of a crucial contemporary art form and a tireless advocate for the American dream of political equality for all citizens.
Here we have the most complete Miller yet—a raucous collection of his performance scripts, essays, interviews, journal entries, and photographs, as well as his most recent stage piece Us. This volume brings together the personal, communal, and national political strands that interweave through his work from its beginnings and ultimately define Miller's place as a contemporary artist, activist, and gay man
Sacred Lips of the Bronx: A Novel by Douglas Sadownick
Publisher: St Martins Pr (June 1995)
Amazon: Sacred Lips of the Bronx: A Novel
Taking the gay novel into totally uncharted terrain, Sacred Lips of the Bronx explores AIDS activism, Jewish folklore, kinky sex, the California New Age, and the streets of the Bronx. The story centers around Mikey and Robert, a young bohemian couple in post-riot Los Angeles whose open marriage is souring. As Mikey's whole world collapses, his past - led by his dead grandmother - rushes in to fill the void of the present. Frieda, as insistent in death as in life, compels him to remember the Bronx of his youth, his first love with a Puerto Rican teenager, and his passion for his ancient culture. These memories force Mikey to reckon with the reality behind AIDS and the millennium-tinged emptiness he feels. By turns funny and elegiac, Sacred Lips of the Bronx is a comic masterpiece set during a time of death and disarray.
Sex Between Men: An Intimate History of the Sex Lives of Gay Men Postwar to Present by Douglas Sadownick
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco (June 4, 1997)
Amazon: Sex Between Men: An Intimate History of the Sex Lives of Gay Men Postwar to Present
From the liberating discovery of "buddies" in the World War II trenches to the brutal repression of the '50s, from the heady possibilities that emerged in the wake of the Stonewall uprising to the hedonistic lovefests and ecstatic extremes of the baths and sex clubs of the '70s, and finally from the psychical and emotional carnage of the AIDS-plagued '80s to the '90s sex clubs, Douglas Sadownick provides a full-scale psychosocial analysis of the sexual behavior of gay men. Combining personal testimony, thoughtful commentary and glimpses of social history from archival material, Sex Between Men puts the sex back in homosexual.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/P
More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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