The One in Which the Black Metal Lawyer Formally Owns His Queerness. #queeristkrieg

January 13, 2021

Warning — this post talks a lot about queerness, depression, suicidal ideation, and shitty people. (“Govern Yourself Accordingly!”, as fancy lawyers like to say to sound threatening).

If you have known me for any appreciable amount of time, you probably already knew that I was, at minimum a bit off kilter. See, e.g., this Buzzfeed article. Can you can spot me? (Hint, it’s at ¶15, and I still do not know who sent this photo to Buzzfeed).

But I did not recognize I was queer until very recently (BTW: I wish you all had told me sooner, it would have saved me a lot of consternation). This is also a difficult post for me to write, as I have tended to be very private in the past about my personal life. However, as I have committed to the Qowat Milat philosophy of “Absolute Candor” in 2021, it is time I get this off my chest.

Recognizing my queerness was a hard thing for me to come to terms with over the past few months. 2020 was a hell of a year. I spent much of it suffering from suicidal depression. I was so completely depressed that I was not even able to write Depressive Suicidal Black Metal (yes, this is a real subgenre, check out Leviathan and Xasthur. Sidebar: one of my local metal buddies is Leviathan’s lawyer. What a weird, small world). You know you are in the shit when you cannot even find the creative passion to write music for a subgenre that is all about being depressed and killing yourself, in a genre that is all about killing each other and burning churches, and playing guitars in the snow. (I will probably write a post about my suicidally depressive 2020 later, but that is another story for another time. Short version: the only reason I am still here today, writing this post, is that I am simply to polite to leave my corpse for another person to deal with. Also, do you KNOW how difficult IOLTA accounting is? I couldn’t possibly foist that burden on another person).

That said, I found myself living on my own in October of 2020. I have not lived by myself since I was 21 (ish? My memory is starting to go at 36 so this is my best guess). I got my own apartment. It was weird, this monastic life without other people around me. I was alone with my thoughts. That is a scary place to be, let me assure you.

But in being alone, I was able to take the time to work on myself. I had the time and space to realize who, and what I was. I’d started therapy about a month prior (highly recommend—everyone should be in therapy), which also helped me along the journey. I was able to be weird again. I say again, as I allowed a prior partner to crush my creative spirit, for purposes of keeping up appearances of being A SERIOUS LAWYER™.

I only came to this realization these last several or so. It was enlightening and horrifying.

Irrespective, in that time of monastic contemplation, I started to stop lying to myself. When Harry Styles appeared on the cover of Vogue, it reminded me of a time when I was child, at a water park, afraid to get into a water slide. I then saw a younger kid fly down it, care free, and realized I had nothing to be scared of. Regardless what you might think of Harry Styles or his music, I owe him a debt of gratitude.

My partner has always been supportive of me in all things. They were supportive of me in this journey before I even knew I was on this journey.

But this was scary.

I grew up in a household where my parents threw the word “faggot” around. My dad had a gay cousin, but he was one of the “good” ones. I remember my father talking about how he made fun of his cousin when he shaved off his pubic hair as a teenager.

My father also asked me if I was a “faggot” when he discovered I shaved my armpits at 16. I still do. Easier to deal with.

Needless to say, this is difficult for me to discuss.

Last June, a group of us had all been at a drag show in West Philly for a gay friend’s birthday. We all had a “few” drinks. Things were supposed to be winding up with my divorce.

That night, D R U N K E N L Y, I hit on my ex’s male classmate of my from law school. This person presented as queer, but I was wrong. My b. Problem was, I had forgotten that this person was a MY EX’s CLASSMATE. I do not remember much of this conversation, as we had had a few (I am not perfect). THIS WAS BAD NEWS BEARS.

So around 11.30pm on June 4, I get a text out of the blue, calling me a “fucking faggot” and a “dirty disgusting human”, and accusing me of gaslighting her for years. I did not sleep well that night. There is much more to this story, but that is private business not suitable for the internet, and I do not wish to air any more dirty laundry than is necessary to make my point, or to harm my ex’s future law job prospects.

Whatever. I am too nice sometimes.

My internal struggles with that aside, I *think* (until relatively recently, at least) I am a cis-het presenting white dude.

If you look at my Instagram history you will see what I mean. I try to look like a Brooks Brothers’ catalog from the 60s. I have all of the privilege. I can go anywhere and be invisible. I have not faced adversity in my life due to how I look or act. So I was also afraid of intruding into a space that might not be meant for me, or which was inhabited by people weirder and braver than I.

This was dumb. I have largely been welcomed with open arms.

And then in the last year, I saw as friends and colleagues of mine (of similar vintages, or perhaps even with a few years on me) were brave enough to openly announce their own queerness, whether that be ENBY/trans/gay/pan whatever.

And just like that kid on the water slide, that gave me the strength. I was afraid of losing face, or clients if I did too—but I realized I am good at my job, and that if a client fires me over this, I probably didn’t want them as a client anyway.

So, TL;DR. Hi, I am Leo. I am queer (he/him/they whatever I am pansexual). I’m the same Leo as ever before, I just know myself better now.

“Greetings, Prophet;
The Great Work begins:
The Messenger has arrived.”
—Angels in America Pt 1: Millennium Approaches


Apparently you do not have a First Amendment right to photograph the police in Pennsylvania. Unless you do a little jig.

February 22, 2016

This could be a significant blow to the First Amendment, as apparently videotaping the police is not protected speech in Pennsylvania. Unless, of course, you also decide to yell at them or do a jig at the same time.

I wish I were joking, but I’m not…

Two cases before the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, were recently consolidated into one for the purpose of determining “whether photographing or filming police on our portable devices without challenging police is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment.”

This is the trial court’s entire opinion, if you want to read the decision in its entirety.

The underlying facts are simple:

In the first case, Temple University student Richard Fields was standing on the sidewalk. There were 20 police officers standing outside a house party. Fields thought it was worth photographing for whatever reason. The police officer asked Fields to leave and stop taking pictures. Fields refused and continued to film. The police officer then took his phone and arrested him. Fields wasn’t taping the matter to protest the police or anything like that. He simply felt like recording it, maybe to put on Facebook, Instragram, or Philly Law Blog (holla!). The student did not claim to be protesting the police (or the house party for that matter), but merely recording the event.

In the second case, Amanda Geraci was at a protest. During the protest, the Philadelphia police arrested one of the protestors. Geraci moved closer to get a better view and hoped to videotape the incident. Geraci claims Officer Brown “attacked her” by physically restraining her against a pillar and preventing her from videotaping the arrest. Geraci claims that “I was just legal observing.”

Both sued the Philadelphia Police Department under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for First Amendment Retaliation.

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This Is the Article Central High School Doesn’t Want You To Read

January 9, 2016

A few weeks ago, Central High School student Michael Moroz wrote a piece for the student newspaper. It was part of a series on “Black Lives Matter”. One student wrote a piece supportive of Black Lives Matter, while Michael wrote a piece that was critical. Both articles were approved by a member of the faculty prior to publication. This is a PDF of both articles.

Michael’s piece created a firestorm of controversy at his school with the both the faculty and students. Since writing it, Michael has been subject to death threats and harassment. Others have called on the University of Pennsylvania to revoke Michael’s admission. All because they felt his view wasn’t the “right” one.

Yes, you read that right – there are people who want to destroy the life of a 17 year old young man because he has an opinion different than theirs.

Further, Central High School initially removed Michael’s article without removing the article supportive of Black Lives Matter. Then both articles were removed. Timothy McKenna, Central’s president — the school’s principal also serves as its president — admitted Tuesday that in hindsight, both pieces should have been removed simultaneously.

While Central High School might support censorship, Philly Law Blog does not. This is the article that Central High School doesn’t want you to read.
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The Feminist Inquisition of Heretic RooshV

August 16, 2015

Earlier in the week, I learned that something was brewing up north. RooshV said some stuff that made people upset, so they decided to try and kick him out of Canada, untruthfully brand him a rapist, throw a beer in his face, and then brag about the whole thing on the internet. They even posted a video of the assault on the internet.

As you might imagine, the people responsible for this unlawful mob justice behavior promptly went to jail.

Just kidding.

The Canadian government not only failed to press charges against the assailants, but some government officials actually joined in protests against Roosh.

This weekend I flew up to Toronto to get a closer look (and eat poutine). I even attended an “anti-rape / pro consent” rally to figure out what this is all about.

After spending the weekend in Toronto, I’ve had an opportunity to put my thoughts together.

Flying the Banner of Rape – How Feminism Went From Promoting Equality to Becoming a Cult Religion

Rape is a terrible thing. Understandably, the word and the concept triggers deep emotions in many, especially those who are rape victims.  Read the rest of this entry »


RooshV Wins Battle for Free Speech in Montreal; Also Gets Defamed and Assaulted

August 9, 2015

badb65c2868bc2a60c9bdd0ff56be419There is a new threat to freedom of speech around the world. On the internet, they’re called “social justice warriors.” “SJWs” are basically a loose group of left wing activists who take offense to everything anyone says. They thrive on outrage, no matter how silly.

These are the people who just finished college. You know, the kids we all try and avoid interacting with, because doing so will result in having stupid conversations about the dangers of heteronormative cisgendered privilege. While I find it just absolutely fascinating that you have a masters degree in gender studies, use big words I don’t understand, and work at Starbucks, can’t we just talk about sports or something fun? In years past, they were nothing more than a minor annoyance.

But lately it’s gotten a bit more, shall we say, real. Disagree with a political position? That’s “harassment” and “hate speech.” Suggest that men and women are equally responsible for their sexual endeavors? That’s “misogyny” and promotion of “rape culture.” SJWs fabricate assaults, death threats, rape threats, and all kinds of other crazy stuff to try and turn internet flame wars into real life. Social Justice Warriors are trying to ban speech of anyone who disagrees with their opinions, manipulating the concepts of “harassment”, “safety”, and “hate speech.” At the same time, they make actual physical threats against the people they disagree with, but apparently it’s okay because the SJWs think they’re right and it’s justified. Just look at what they tried to do to Mike Cernovich over an internet flame war.

As PDQ puts it: “SJWs turn to the same identity politics that they espouse to despise on its head and use it in ironic fashion to silence critics based on their identity: sex, gender, age, religion and sexual-orientation.  It’s easier to shut down a critic with “WTF DO U KNOW UR WHITE” than it is to have an NPR-style thoughtful exchange.  In the brevity of Twitter, SJWs have created a social-support system for each other against critics, which conjures up the new suffix “-splain”.   #Whitesplaining.  #Mansplaining.  #Cissplaining.”

Even a college professor admits that “[t]hings have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones. … This shift in student-teacher dynamic placed many of the traditional goals of higher education — such as having students challenge their beliefs — off limits.”

The goal of SJWs is to silence anyone who disagrees with them or challenges their beliefs, through any means necessary.

In 2015, the internet is serious business.

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