Meet the stay-at-home dad who became Tom of Finland’s first US ambassador

1st May 2021, 6:03 pm

Terry Miller, 50, reveals how he went from stay-at-home dad to leather daddy icon in the “Sex and Sexuality” issue.

Tom of Finland’s drawings of muscular men look almost too good to be true – until you lay your eyes on bodybuilder Terry Miller, a walking, talking Tom of Finland model. That said, the first US ambassador of Tom of Finland Foundation – set up in memory of the iconic Finnish artist (born Touko Valio Laaksonen) – used to be “super scrawny” with, as he calls them, “bird arms” in his youth.

The 50-year-old Terry, who is married to sex advice columnist Dan Savage, who both are dads to son DJ (now in his 20s), told us:

“When he was really young, I was a stay-at-home dad and I was carrying him around all the time and it just became essential for me to get some exercise because when you’re lugging around a 20lb ‘bag of sand’ all day, bird arms aren’t going to cut it. So I started exercising in my 20s and it took me a while to get to where I am now.”

On his Tom of Finland ambassadorship, Miller – who cofounded the It Gets Better project with his husband – said:

“When I go to leather events such as IML [International Mr. Leather], Dore Alley, Folsom Street Fair or Folsom Europe in Berlin I can walk around and, in my full leathers, look pretty close to a Tom of Finland model. It’s just a good way of spreading the word about Tom of Finland, his art, his life, how he’s created this leather lifestyle, the image that as leather guys we try to attain.”


Speaking about body diversity in the leather community, Terry said:

“[It’s] inclusive of everything. There are bears and otters, puppies and skinny guys; there are all kids of guys in the leather community. Everyone’s mostly friendly, so it’s cool to just meet people and hang out at those events.”






It Gets Better

    To help celebrate Tom of Finland Day we created a special It Gets Better video with Tom of Finland Foundation. Terry Miller takes a tour of TOM House and introduces you to some of his friends and mentors, who tell you how they built a community around Tom of Finland art and their… View Article

Published: 1st May 2021

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