Get to Know Joe
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 21-year old self?
Having grown up in a very religious family and community it was not okay to be gay. I kept this as a big secret until finally telling my best friend when I was 24 years old. It took another 5 years for me to finally accept this part of me and reconcile it with my understanding of religion and get the courage to come out to my family. It hasn’t been an easy road and I would have wanted to tell my 21-year-old self that it does get better. That coming to terms with who I was, embracing myself and living authentically at that age would have saved me from a lot of pain. I’m very fortunate to live in NYC which is a fairly open minded and accepting place to be. However, there is much work to be done to make the world a better and safer place for the LGBTQ community. By being on the board of Pipeline to Practice, I hope to not only increase representation of LGBTQ members in the legal profession but to also raise awareness of the broader issues of diversity and inclusion facing lawyers across the country.
Preparing for the summit attempt on Mt. Rainier
Joe hiking on top of Mt. San Jacinto
If you weren’t in your current job, what would be your dream job?
Volunteer mountain search and rescue. I fell in love with the mountains while visiting Colorado in 2009 and climbing Mt. Elbert. At over 14,000 feet tall, it is the tallest mountain in Colorado, and I struggled with altitude sickness. Getting to the summit required every bit of physical and mental strength – and then some. At the time it was the most physically exerting and challenging adventure I had embarked on and I was hooked. I recently climbed Mt. Rainier which required a more technical skill-set. The mountains are every bit as much dangerous as they are stunningly beautiful, and I love spending time amongst them. I don’t know that I could physically tolerate the high altitude and extreme environments that would be required as part of a mountainous search and rescue team, but I would want to try!
En-route to the summit of Mt. Rainier