Joseph, in his own words: “”For me being gay, especially in these times, needs to be political. We are in the midst of a civil rights movement based on our sexuality. My politics is art, and my art is theatre. As a gay artist I have a responsibility to give voice to my community and tell our stories. Co-founding one of the countries few queer-centered theatre companies, Iron Crow Theatre, was very important to me and a significant step both politically and in my longing for storytelling through theatre. Through working in the theatre I can explore the human experience, and it has become my passion and a responsibility. And that human experience very much includes mine as a gay man.
I also have the honor to also be an arts educator. I teach at one of the two high schools for performing arts in the Baltimore area (One could consider it the FAME of Baltimore, I feel like I am part “Mr. Farrell, part “Ms. Lydia”…watch out Debbie Allen). I am amazed and very moved by the number of out LGBT kids in my school. And I am often overwhelmed with their sense of identity, courage and joy in/for who they are. There lives today is very far from the scared teenager at an all boys Catholic high school that was my expereince in the late 80’s.
I am very lucky to have a wonderfully supportive and open family who have always accepted me for who I am, including my sexuality. I came out at 20 years old and felt like I never looked back. I spent a number of years as a professional drag artist while I lived in NYC. How many people can say that their parents came to see them perform in drag, often with their friends in tow! Now those are really great parents! Early on in my coming out process, my parents seemed to be able to leave the questions of “why” and “how” about my sexuality behind in order to celebrate my individuality. I am very grateful for that and for them.”