Philly-based 6ABC TV meteorologist Adam Joseph talks pride, climate change, and family

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Adam Joseph on the beach
Adam Joseph talking about the weather on the beach

“I am a man who just wants the world to understand respect. Be kind. Pass no judgment.”

Meteorologist Adam Joseph has been entertaining us for over a decade with his stylish outfits and his handsome smile, bringing us the local weather since he joined the 6ABC Action News weather team in April of 2005. 

Joseph became a part of Philadelphia history in August 2014 when he became the city’s first major on-air news personality to come out publicly. He made the OUT100 list in 2015 because of the courage he had in telling his truth and being one of the first in his field to do it.

Nearly a decade later, Joseph still has a successful career and is married and raising his two children, Jacob and Hannah, with his husband Karl. He gets his family involved with his job on camera, and on his social media. Joseph has become a pioneer in showing that there is no difference between gay families and straight families. He hopes one day that the world will not be differentiating between families with labels such as gay and straight.

“A family is made up of love and human beings,” he said. “It is not based on gender roles or sexual orientation.”

What does climate change look like now and how will it affect us locally? 

Adam Joseph: Climate change can be seen all across the world. Planet Earth is warming at an alarming rate, in fact, the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005, seven of the 10 since 2014. What happens everywhere has an impact locally at home. We are seeing a greater increase in historic flooding events, a greater number of tornadoes (in fact 2020 saw a record 51 tornado warnings issued by the NWS, with nearly half being confirmed), and more severe thunderstorms. Winters are shorter and nearly five degrees warmer than 50 years ago.

This relates to a longer growing season, which brings on a longer allergy season. We now see 32 more days above freezing in the winter than we did 50 years ago. The Jersey shore is predicted to experience a sea-level rise of 10 to 12 inches in the next 30 years. It took 100 years for that same rise in the past. All of this has an impact not only on humans, but vegetation and farmers, wildlife, and what species can or cannot adapt.

The effects we see from storms will only get worse. We are talking from property damage to the landscape changing. It’s impressive that five of our top 10 hottest years in the US have happened all recently. Philadelphia and the surrounding areas have warmed annually by over three degrees in the last 50 years. We need to do the best we can to help the environment. 

What does “pride” mean to you? Do you partake in any pride celebration activities?

Adam Joseph on 6ABC TV in Philadelphia
Adam Joseph on 6ABC TV in Philadelphia

AJ: Pride means accepting who you are and loving the person you’ve become. I hosted the first on-air broadcast of the Philadelphia Gay Pride parade in 2019, it was a monumental day. We as a family also try to hit up the Philadelphia Family Pride events that are geared towards LGBTQ families.

Where do you shop for your clothing? How do you stay fit? Do you still have pre-dad abs?

AJ: Wherever there is a bargain! My tip is never [to] pay full price for anything. My suits are mainly from Bonobos, shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt, and shoes a mix. Karl and I wear the same size shoe, so that doubles my choice! I hate wearing suits, I feel they are stuffy and outdated. I am more of a jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt guy. I work out every single day in the basement. We built an amazing little gym during COVID. I love my desserts and vodkas too much, so I balance it out with running and lifting. I am 44 and still have my pre-dad abs. Yes. I will be dammed if I let those go. 

My diet is boring and routine. My normal day is two egg whites and tea with honey for breakfast. Then for lunch a protein shake that has almond milk, avocado, banana, blueberries, super greens, and collagen. Mid-day snack of an apple or some peanuts and another tea. Then for dinner a protein with veggies. Late-night a dessert, many nights. So, see BORING! If I am not planning a great dinner or dessert night, I have the same meals every day. The meals are low-calorie (since I am no spring chicken)…I look at food and my belly grows. 

When are you the most competitive?

AJ: Every second of every day. No matter what it is in my life, I put in 110%. No one is perfect in this world, but I try each day to give it my best.

Being that you enjoy cooking, what is your favorite dish to cook at home? What chefs’ recipes do you enjoy cooking?

Adam Joseph on 6ABC TV in Philadelphia
Adam Joseph on 6ABC TV in Philadelphia

AJ: Any dessert on planet earth. It is funny, each weekend I ask Karl, “what do you feel like this time?” I make a dessert that will last us at least three nights. Usually, it is something with chocolate in it. I am obsessed with any cooking show, and for that matter home improvement shows. I love trying any recipe and then seeing how I can make it my own. I mean the queen is Martha Stewart — some call me the male Martha.

 Tell us about your gardening addiction:

AJ: Oh, yes…gardening is another addiction of mine, both flower and vegetable. I will start some seeds in the house in early April but plant outdoors the cool veggie-loving plants at the same time, like peas, broccoli, and lettuce. Mother’s Day is the rule for most flowers and veggies, though with climate change I have noticed most years you can start in early May. I love my lime tree; fresh citrus is the bomb, but it is a toss-up between my hydrangea trees or dahlias. They both are beautiful in bloom in the gardens but make for amazing cut flowers in vases. 

What advice would you give your 13-year-old self? 

AJ: Dig deep inside, you have been given the gift of strength. I was a damaged, shy, bullied, lonely kid at that age. When I look back, it was strength that got me through all the rough times, something I did not see then. I lived every day in fear. Scared to go to school because of the abuse, afraid someone might find out I was gay, praying each night I would wake up straight, and dealing with alcoholism in the family.

I faced these challenges each day and dealt with it. All while taking on a job each day after school to help my mom. She was a single mom going back to school with limited funds. I am kind of shocked that a 13-year-old made it through life without much damage. When I think about it, the only reason I can confirm why; it was the strength within me. 

If you were single, would you lean more towards traditional dating or online/app dating? How did you meet your husband?

AJ: Totally traditional! I have never used an online dating app in my life. I like the organic way you see someone and start talking to them. I met Karl that exact way. It was an evening I was not going out, but friends forced me to. We went to El Vez and had drinks at the bar. Long story short, Sarah Bloomquist from my work was there with friends separately, Karl being one of them, and we all started talking. We connected on the chatter of racing and working out. From there it grew.

How did you come to the decision of becoming fathers?

Adam Joseph at the beach with his husband
Adam Joseph at the beach with his husband

AJ: From the start, anyone I dated, I asked if they wanted a family. If no, then goodbye. Thankfully, Karl wanted kids of his own as much as I did. What was scarier was nine years ago when we started the process, we knew not another gay friend who had kids, so we had to do all the research on our own. The excitement took away any fear!

Being two fathers, have you and your family ever been harassed?

AJ: Surprising and joyfully, we have never been harassed, at least to our face. It still amazes us the amount of support and love we have gotten from the public. You would be so surprised who comes up to say how much they love the family we created. It is not only moms, but dads, and the blue collared hard-working construction guys. It is so amazing!

What are your feelings on the “Don’t say gay” bill that was passed in Florida?

AJ: My feelings are bold and open. I wrote a heartfelt post on Facebook; it is there if you google my name and don’t say gay. It is hurtful to so many, but then again, most people are misled on what the bill is trying to do. In short, it is trying to erase who we are. Many think it is about sex education, it is far from that.

A bill that forces us to NOT talk about it (again not a structured sex class) and ignore gender identity is damaging. I think about my daughter who is in kindergarten and the wall with each child’s family photo proudly displayed. This would more than likely mean Hannah could not show our family photo because it will create questions and draw attention to the LGBTQ community. Sexual orientation and gender identity is taught right now and has been, in all grade levels. It is what kids see in a book with a prince falling in love with a princess, it is kids talking about the weekend they had with mom and dad, it is the teacher referencing male and female. To not recognize the world is more diverse these days is closing the mind to acceptance. The bill allows teachers to be sued if they engage, so they are scared and now do not know what they can and cannot say.

Adam Joseph family
Adam Joseph family photo courtesy of Facebook

I’ll end with the idea that this is a motive only to help those in the political world get further while hurting not only families like mine, but future kids who identify as LGBTQ. 

Is there anything down the pipeline for you such as projects, business ventures, or maybe a book deal?

AJ: I have big dreams. COVID made many of us realize we have more talents than just our day-to-day job. I am sure many readers can understand life is like a hamster wheel. You get up and do the same thing over and over each day. We are now in a society of doing things you love, and do not let anyone stop you.

Weather will always be my first love when talking career, but I found out I am really great at cooking, baking, gardening, and home stuff. So, yes, I would love to explore that side of me in any form. I did write a cookbook during COVID and hope it can be published one day. Life is too short to put yourself in a box.

Are there any charities that you feel strongly about that you would like to raise awareness on? 

AJ: I love anything that helps out cancer awareness, hospice care, and fighting against bullies.

What would you tell teens who are struggling with coming out?

AJ: That there are so many resources in the community and online these days to guide you. I understand many families do not support the LGBTQ community, and this has an effect on kids accepting who they are. However, there is a huge community out there who are waiting to welcome you. Never let anyone force you to come out. There is no right or wrong time. There is only YOUR time.

What would you tell teens considering a career in meteorology? 

AJ: Meteorology is a fascinating career, and only getting more interesting. With climate change and weather more violent, there will be many jobs in the future to fill the needs. Television is only one meteorology outlet. They are so many sectors in the world that need us, scientists. I would recommend someone thinking about this as a career to explore ALL the options.  

I am a man who just wants the world to understand respect. Be kind. Pass no judgment. I truly try my hand in everything in life and see what I am good at, and then share it with others to try to motivate.