Update: Seiter has announced he is “alive and well.” Full update here. Original report below.
‘Bachelorette’ contestant Josh Seiter has passed away at the age of 36 following what appears to have been a tumultuous summer.
In mid May, Seiter reached out to my colleagues at Instinct Magazine to break his news of his coming out as bisexual. Through emails and chats with Josh, my editor Adam Dupuis came up with Exclusive: Bachelorette’s Josh Seiter Opens Up About Being Bisexual which was published in early June.
The interview not only covered Seiter’s coming out process, and dating men, but also his experience with therapy.
“I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t found therapy,” Seiter shared. “My therapists are amazing. As I mentioned before, I am an individual living with mental illness, and I have been battling GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), depression, and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) since the age of 15. I’ve been seeing two different therapists pretty consistently for the last 20 years. They have taught me how to restructure my negative and self-defeating thoughts through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and I owe my life to them.”
“In addition, they’ve taught me the power of turning ‘I must’ to ‘I would prefer,’ and that alone was such a big breakthrough for me. So often we upset ourselves by thinking ‘I must be liked by everyone. I must succeed. I must do well. Things must go right.’ When, inevitably, we aren’t liked by everyone, we don’t succeed, we don’t do well, or things don’t go right, then we tend to awfulize.”
“’I must be liked by everyone. Since I’m not this is awful and terrible, it’s the end of the world.’ My therapists have taught me to stop ‘musturbating’ and instead restructure my thoughts. An example: ‘I would prefer to be liked by everyone, but if I’m not that’s ok. It’s neither awful nor terrible, but merely inconvenient and annoying. The world will go on.’”
“This slight twist in thinking and processing of events has been a game changer. As the Stoics say ‘no event can disturb us, only our interpretation of it can.’ So where once my anxiety was crippling, it is now mostly just background noise.”
As Adam noted in writing the interview, the words therapy/therapist popped up 17 times in the interview. One of his pinned Instagram posts from July 21 2021, was captioned:
I’m Josh Seiter, and I’m a suicide attempt survivor. I battle OCD, Bipolar Depression, and GAD, but I refuse to give up. What did you survive? #warriors #survivors #mentalhealth #awareness #bodypositivity #health #fitness
After the Instinct article ran, there were many comments referencing back to Josh having stated earlier that he was pansexual. Adam asked him about that and the rumors that Seiter appeared to be looking for social media clicks or clout. Seiter replied:
I have extremely thick skin. I’ve been called every name in the book, almost all of them false. I’ve been called a prostitute, a clout chaser, a fame whore, wanna-be, reality TV whore, you name it. I can’t stress how little people’s opinion of me matters.
Losing my father taught me that unless something affects my ability to see or communicate with my family members and loved ones, it simply doesn’t matter. My therapy has taught me the same thing. I might prefer to be liked, but if I’m not, that’s neither awful nor terrible, and life will go on.
People’s opinions of me exist in space (mainly internet space) and are absolutely inconsequential to my every day life. I think it’s precisely because I’ve been dragged and trashed so much in the past that I can hold this sort of enlightened perspective.
If people think I’m coming out now for fame, let them think that. I have no desire to change their mind. All I can speak is my truth.
Following Instinct’s coverage of Seiter, we noticed he seemed to be making the rounds of LGBTQ outlets with different parts of his evolution including getting married to a man he hadn’t wanted to discuss with my editor.
That was quickly followed by news of a very quick divorce from the same gentleman.
In late July, Seiter reached out to Instinct again regarding possible “blackmail” he was experiencing and wanted to release some nude photos in an effort to get out ahead of some sort of “revenge porn” situation. But in that Instinct doesn’t publish nudes, we weren’t in a position to help with the story.
On July 16th, he announced was going to be doing adult porn. He was then rumored to be dating RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Monica Beverly Hillz.
Upon his passing, Hillz posted a message on Instagram that simply read, “RIP my honey.”
A statement from Seiter’s family was been posted to his Instagram page announcing his passing:
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share the tragic news of Joshua’s unexpected passing. As all who knew him can attest, Joshua was an incredibly bright light in an increasingly dim world.
His fearless voice and indomitable spirit helped thousands of people in their darkest moments feel just a little less alone. Although our heartache at Joshua’s passing pains us beyond measure, we find comfort knowing that he is finally at peace.”