Check out our new L-List interview series! Meet our good friend Kate Kendell, the first of many fascinating lesbians that we will ask pertinent and inane questions…
E: Gay Marriage has made huge headway in the past few years, with much of the credit due to NCLR and all the hard work you’ve done. With your Mormon/Utah roots and being such a savvy spokeswoman, you certainly had a lot to do with mobilizing us all to get involved. What do you see as our community’s next big challenge?
KK: At NCLR we always ask “who is being left behind” when you look at the country some places have made huge gains, like California, others lag or are seeing big backlash attacks, look at Arizona for example. We have not won marriage yet and even when we do, those who are most vulnerable—the poor, transgender folks, young queers, folks who live in rural areas, many LGBT people of color—will not see much change in their lives. Our future challenge is to make sure we look over our shoulder and assure that everyone is feeling an expansion of equality. We can’t be in this fight just for ourselves.
E: Tell us about your passions in life, what drives you?
KK: I feel like the luckiest person in the world to do the work I do. My life feels meaningful and interesting and filled with joy and gratitude. Between my spouse Sandy, my three delightful and fun kids and this amazing job—passion is a given. If you add food, wine, music and a long bike ride, even better.
E: What would you do if you had only one day left to live?
KK: I’d bargin for more time… 😉 And then I’d spend the day with Sandy, my daughter Emily and her spouse, and our kids Julian and Ariana. Somewhere sunny, maybe a fabulous house with a pool in Maui.
E: What is your advice for our readers on living a happy and fulfilling life?
KK: Do something you love if you can. And if that can’t be your day job, find a way to give time to something you care about as a volunteer. Be grateful. Tell people you love them. Have sex with your girlfriend, wife, partner…or boyfriend, husband, partner.
E: Would any of your ex-girlfriends still sleep with you?
KK: That is an amazing question. Maybe if the world were about to end.
Kate Kendell is the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), a national legal organization that fights for the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Through direct litigation and advocacy, NCLR works to change discriminatory laws and to create new laws and policies protecting the LGBT community.