A GoPride Interview

Jeff Miller

Talking to Talk Out Loud

Sun. December 6, 2020  by Jerry Nunn

Seeing the juxtapositions of our experiences makes a good podcast.
Jeff Miller

anthony and jeff

photo credit // talk out loud

Dynamic gay duo make a guest focused podcast together

Partners Jeff Miller and Anthony Navarro have created a new weekly podcast called Talk Out Loud. The gay duo focus in on members of the LGBTQ+ community who tell their individual stories and help others in the process.

Some past guests include the founder of LGBT history month Rodney Wilson and comedian Akeem Woods. Listen every Wednesday at Talk-OutLoud.com.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Where are you both from originally?

AN: (Anthony Navarro) I am from Chicago.

JM: (Jeff Miller) I grew up in South Bend, Indiana and northwest Michigan. I moved to Chicago, after living in Miami, for a job.

JN: Where did you meet?

JM: I was working at Prada on Oak Street. Anthony was starting his business and he was making money at Le Colonial across the street. I walked in after work one night and he was behind the bar.

AN: We dated for a little bit of time after that, then went our separate ways. About 10 years later, he sent me a text message saying he would be in town. We went to dinner and since we were both single, that was that!

JN: A Gold Coast love story! How long have you been together?

AN: Almost four years.

JN: You have four children?

AN: Yes, our dogs: Prince, Pop Tart, Mickey and Jax. He had two and I had two. We are the gay Brady Bunch!

JN: What inspired making a podcast together?

JM: I worked in high fashion for a while and I needed a life change. I wound up on a farm for seven years. I was plowing the fields and listening to podcasts. I enjoyed the longer conversations and the stories about successes in the podcaster’s life.

Anthony has an event company that celebrates life moments and we worked together on that. We learned about storytelling by watching events and weddings.

His experience as a gay man is very different than my experience. I came out three times and was sent to restorative therapy. He has a gay uncle and they celebrated being gay on the town. It was never an issue for him. Seeing the juxtapositions of our experiences makes a good podcast.

AN: One thing I am passionate about in my work is bringing light into the communities. Back in 2012, there was a movement within the wedding industry to stand up for equality before gay marriage was even passed back then. I have always liked showcasing people to advance ourselves so that we are accepted by other people.

JN: What is the concept of your podcast?

JM: Sometimes I don’t even understand myself, but I learn from hearing other people’s stories. I want expand understanding myself as well as other people with the podcast. We all have a common humanity within all of us. On the podcast, we create a space where we can have a long conversation about things. Social media has very short stories, but I need more depth and weight to know more on a podcast.

Anthony and I reach out to people and have been surprised by how many people say yes to being on the podcast. Guests can be vulnerable on the podcast and share their stories.

AN: It has become a safe space for people within the community to tell their story and help the listeners. I hope it helps us fully understand who we all are.

We know from our social media that our audience is very diverse. Listeners include the community and allies. They are learning and that is why we do the podcast.

JN: How about a video component to the podcast?

AN: It is difficult with COVID. We really focus on the quality of the audio and the technology is not there for both yet. We may get into that next year with face to face interviews hopefully.

JN: What technology do you use currently?

AN: It’s a combination of Zencastr and GarageBand. We have an editor that edits sound.

JM: He helps us ship out microphones to our guests, so we all use the same microphone. We don’t want any distractions on the audio. We are learning as we go.

JN: What makes Talk Out Loud different from other podcasts?

JM: I ask the questions that I want to ask, that is always very different than what others do.

AN: We are really focused on the person on our show. Our job as the hosts is to extract the information of who the person is. We always start from childhood to get an understanding of who they are and how they grew up. We let them have the spotlight in that episode.

We only interject to move on to the next point. We only share common experiences when necessary. It really is focused on who the guest is. That is the whole purpose of the show. To tell stories…

JM: When I didn’t know about my own life, people have helped me along the way. That is what we want to accomplish with Talk Out Loud.

AN: We do a pre-call with the guests. We work with them to find out where they want to go with the interview. We have them describe “tent poles” in their lives, these are the pivotal moments that have happened to them. We develop questions around these big moments in their lives. Those topics really move us through the story. We put more preproduction work in than some other podcasters. We want to honor the person’s journey sitting with us on the show.

JN: I saw Aurora Sexton was a guest on your podcast. How did that happen?

JM: Steven Moore was a friend of mine in Indiana and helped Aurora become who she is. When Steven died in a plane crash and I met Aurora during his celebration of life.

I crossed paths with Aurora in LA and we had her on the podcast.

JN: Do you have a dream guest you would like to have in the future?

AN: Mayor Lightfoot would be good!

JM: We have a list we made. Jane Lynch is on the list.

AN: There are a lot of people that are not well known to the world, but have social media followings. They are doing important work with strong messages. We have guests lined up for next year who are talking about body positivity and issues of racism.

JM: Everyone’s stories are all equal to each other.

AN: We are looking for powerful, impactful stories. It is not how well known the person is to the rest of the world, but instead it is about their experiences. For example, we just had Brandon Wolf on the show. He is a Pulse Nightclub survivor and the message he has can move people, even without a big personal following.

JM: He is on national TV sometimes, though, because when he speaks it comes from a different place.

JN: Where do you see your podcast going in the future?

AN: There are more dimensions to it than just a podcast. When the world gets back to normal some of those things could be reality, but for now it’s about who we are interviewing next. We will see what happens from there.

JN: How is the merchandise selling on your website?

JM: People are buying all kinds of stuff!

AN: Baby onesies are our big seller [laughs]!

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.

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