The public has gotten to know Kris Perry and her wife Sandy Stier through their roles as high-profile plaintiffs in the Perry v. Hollingsworth case that overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage. In 2013, the Supreme Court declined to revisit the case, thus letting the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision stand. The couple first wed in 2004.
That’s major stuff, of course, but Perry says she and her family also enjoy the simple day-to-day stuff as well. This weekend the family will celebrate Mother’s Day together along with families of all shapes and sizes.
“I think it means the same to me as any mom,” Perry says. “Parenting has been a great experience not only because of the interaction with the boys but with their friends, their friends’ parents and teachers.”
Stier’s mother will be visiting them from Iowa though only one of the couple’s four sons will be with them. The others are in California. Perry and Stier moved to Washington a year and a half ago from California for Perry’s new job as executive director of the First Five Years Fund. Their boys are Spencer, Elliott, Frank and Tom.
“We see it as a day to focus on the boys and our moms,” Perry, a 50-year-old Bakersfield, Calif., native says. “We’re the sandwich generation, so holidays are usually, or were, hosted by the two of us.”
She says having such a prominent role in LGBT rights has been one of “supporting the work of others who are still fighting.”
“We were so honored to play a small part in the larger fight for equality,” she says.
The family lives on Capitol Hill. Perry enjoys household projects, entertaining, travel and spending time with each other in their spare time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
My mom asked when I was 18 and I said yes. That was 32 years ago but I think I’ve been this way forever.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
We love Right Proper Brewing, Smith Public Trust and Camino.
Describe your dream wedding.
The one we had two days after the Ninth Circuit lifted the ban and marriage equality was restored in California. We wish all of our boys could have been there but we did have Kamala Harris officiate.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Early childhood education for all!
What historical outcome would you change?
That I would have met Sandy when I was younger so we could have shared more of our lives together.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Attending an Elton John concert in Los Angeles and sitting in the second row.
On what do you insist?
Very good beer.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
“Talking is Teaching” video with Jennifer Garner.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Life is Work and Work is Life”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I haven’t had time to figure that out yet.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
First and foremost, thank you LGBT leaders everywhere. We are so grateful for the personal sacrifice, wisdom, vision, patience and impatience. Our advice would be to be kind to each other versus critical. We need all of you.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
The pink slip for a ’66 bathtub Porsche.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That we want to talk about our coming out story ever again!
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“The Case Against 8”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Tipping. Would rather everyone had a livable wage.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Sandy and I were honorary grand marshals in the 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to celebrate the end of Prop 8 and the beginning of marriages in California again. We loved the joy and happiness everyone felt that day.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That I didn’t need to buy CDs and the furniture to store them.
To help bring more access to education, health for children who could and should reach their full potential.