This has been my personal site since 1997. I’m a proudly gay, bearish, opinionated, doctoral-educated in law, technophile, activist, poli-sci major, film/economics minor, vegetarian, family-oriented, animal-loving, Yorkie-owning parent of a grown daughter with polyglot and world travel aspirations, and diva appreciation, happily living back in the San Francisco area near most of my family of origin since 2007 after living many amazing years in New York City. As a military brat I was raised in Sardinia and Calabria, Italy (where most of my family lives), outside of Barcelona, Spain, New York City and various parts of my native California.
My name throws a lot of people off. How can I be Italian if my last name is Hayden? I’m 5/8th’s Italian (1/2 from my mother and 1/8th from my father who came from Annarosa Asprea, my great-grandmother), 1/4 Irish (Mallory/Moore/Hogge), 1/16th Muckleshoot Native American and 1/16th English, which is where the “Hayden” comes from. I am named after my grandfather, Giuseppe, who died in late 1995. Italian was my first language. I was raised partly in Europe (including near Barcelona, Spain) and spent a great deal of time as a child with my Italian relatives in Calabria. I keep in constant contact with my extensive family there and visit Europe regularly. In fact, my little brother, Italo, was born in Sardinia, Italy, when we lived there and my little sister, who was born exactly one year later, was conceived there. For the really curious-minded, there is more information on my genealogy site.
Garlic, tomatoes, oregano are an inseparable part of me. Just don’t tell my Mom I don’t eat eggplant, peppers or zucchini!
Despite my law degree, I am not the attorney Joseph A. Hayden in New Jersey who represents basketball player Jayson Williams. Many may have heard about Mr. Williams’ allegedly shooting his chauffeur, so don’t be silly and ask me about the case, like some have, because even if I was representing him, I wouldn’t discuss it.
I don’t own hayden.com, although I’d love to. They won’t respond to my inquiries, so they are cyber-squatting), but I am joehayden.com and josephhayden.com and at one point owned nedyah.com (Hayden spelled backwards).
I am not related to the composer of Franz Josef Haydn sometimes spelled Joseph Hayden, just like my name.
I do not know if I’m related to Tom Hayden, the California politician, who was married to Jane Fonda.
I do not believe I am related to Charles Hayden, the founder of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in New York City, but my brother’s name is Charles Italo Hayden.
I do not know if I am related to the Haydens who were on the third boat from Europe in the 1620’s, but would that make me a blueblood?
Some of my Italo-American community activities off the top of my head:
- Brooklyn Law School’s Italian American Law Students Association, Evening Liaison/Director, 1996
- Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn
- Columbian Lawyers Association, First Department