Who is Nathan Hillman?
Nathan Hillman was born and raised near Battle Creek. He attended a very small, predominately white school. He was raised religiously, but no longer believes in higher power. Nathan has three daughters and currently works for a building supply company. His brother Jeffrey, sister Barbie and mother Mary were also interviewed for the project.
Excerpt from interview with Nathan Hillman by Whitney Dow, 2017
Do you feel like that your experience raising daughters who then brought a complex set of identities into your world was transformational? Or do you feel like you were already in that place already?
Nathan: [03:10:14] I feel I was already in that place already. Because even before, and my granddaughter would be a year old. But I view people as individuals, not based on their skin color. It’s not, oh, that person’s black. It’s not, that person’s Asian, or whatever it may be. It’s, how do they treat people? When it comes to my daughters, how do they treat them? Because that screams their personality, who they are. That has always mattered more to me than whatever they look like. I mean, I have quite a few tattoos, had many piercings through my life, some that actually literally scared people.
So I’ve always been that stereotypical person that breaks the stereotypes, because I do love my daughters. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. And just because you have tattoos, piercings, whatever it may be, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a loving, caring human being. It’s, you know, I didn’t have parental issues. They were great people. And so it started long before them, with—not counting my daughters. It just made the transition with my daughters much easier, because I was accepting. Never looked down on them just because of choices they made. It was just love, support, and tried to guide them to make better decisions. Not when it came to race or sexual preference, or anything like that, just you probably shouldn’t be out running around, drinking at the age of sixteen, you know? It’s that type stuff. But when you feel something, embrace what they feel. Listen to them. You may learn something that’s wonderful.