INTERVIEW: Who Doesn’t Love Adam Joseph?

The 6ABC Meteorologist, and OUT100 honoree, chatted with us about his family, his coming out, and who inspires him.

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6ABC’s Adam Joseph made news early in November when he was named to the OUT100 list for the year. The compilation is widely considered to be the “who’s who” of American LGBT celebrities and advocates. However, it wasn’t long ago that Joseph wasn’t even out to his audience: Back in August 2014, Joseph shared via Facebook that not only was he gay, but that he and his partner, Karl, welcomed a baby boy into their lives. Since then, many have followed Joseph and his family on both television and Facebook. We were lucky enough to chat with Joseph about making the OUT100 list, and how coming out has changed him for the better.

People are really thrilled about you making it on the OUT100 list. What has that honor meant for you? In one word: liberating! I can finally be proud of who I am, the life I’m living, and share with the world the people in my life that helped mold the confident person you see today.

Even before you publicly came out, there was always speculation that you were gay. How was it when you came out last year to your audience?  I never shared my personal life because I wanted to focus on my career. I set out to be the best meteorologist I could be. Many are quick to attach a stereotype to someone in the public eye and I made a goal for myself to become a great meteorologist, not the gay meteorologist. Once I established my foundation, 10+ years at Action News, I was ready to peel back all my layers. I honestly believe nobody should have to tell the world who they love, or what they do behind their front door. Some aspects of life are sacred, but I was so damn proud of the life I built with Karl and our successful journey to having a child that I wanted everyone to know! From the very first Facebook post that broke the news, 99% of the feedback has been positive. Philly has embraced my family and I actually think they respect me more for being honest.

Speaking of Facebook, I know you expressed your disgust on it a few weeks ago over a judge’s decision to remove a child from lesbian parents. That must have hit close to home given your own son.  I think it hit home for any loving household with parents raising children, gay or straight. I did speak about it because I have a same sex family and found it offensive to families like mine. Families are built on love, not sexual preference. Just because a judge “read somewhere that children are better off raised in households with a mom and dad” (which is not true), he ripped an innocent 9 month old out of the arms of the same sex parents. Despite the fact that it was overturned the day after when the country spoke up, it was unnecessary stress for both the moms and the baby, and my heart broke for them. I just want people to know that we look at our families the same way straight people do: We raise them with love and respect! Hopefully one day the word “gay and straight families” will be just “families.” We still have a way to go, but seeing the country’s uproar over this story, I can see the progress we’ve made.

Now that you are on a list of important LGBT folks, people see you as something of a role model. Who are some of the people that you look up to or who you are inspired by? I actually spoke about this to my mother right after the article came out. I was very emotional after reading all the positive comments praising me for being bold and brave. I never set out to be a trendsetter, or a pioneer for the gay community, but it seems to be heading down that road. When I was younger, I never knew anyone who was gay. In fact, [gay people] were never looked at as role models. I struggled with so many demons and was constantly miserable with having to hide who I was. After 30-plus years of being embarrassed with my true self, being ashamed of something I had no control over, I am now hearing from thousands of people praising me for sharing my “true story”. Because of that, I am inspired by today’s youth! I am so happy they can look up to someone like me and not feel the pressure to hide who they truly are. They are proud, open minded, and accept that they, too, can one day have a healthy, happy, normal family life without judgement.