Between Kristin Perry and Olson
O: You feel other effects of discrimination?
P:: Every day
O: Tell us about that.
P: AS an adolescent, becoming aware of my sexuality, I wanted to be like everybody else. I was well aware of the comments and jokes throughout my school all the time, some of them about me. Later, when I said I was a lesbian, people would criticize or doubt. I like to be liked, so I put a lot of energy into being likable, so that when discriminatory things happen. People in stores ask if we’re sisters, or cousins, or friends — so I have to decide every day if I need to come out to this person I just want to sell me a microwave, or coach my kids’ soccer, or bag my groceries.
O: Did coming out take a long time?
P: Gradual, by the time I was 18 I knew, then I could say to others that I had been gay since the beginning.
O: How have you explained this to your children? Was that difficult?
P: Well they don’t know me any other way — I’ve always been their mom, and I’ve always been out.
O: Are you and Sandy domestic partners? What does that mean?
P: Yes we are, we got legal advice to create an estate plan , durable power of attorney, last will and testament, lots of those documents.
O: Was it estate planning, a property transaction>
P: Yes, it was part of all that. Our health benefits.
O: Was it as good as marriage?
P: No, it’s an agreement, it memorializes our responsibilities, it’s not a celebration, we don’t remember the day it happened or invite people over that day. It was at the lawyers office.
P: The word I would like to use is MARRIAGE. It’s the most important decision you make as an adult. It seems to be REALLY important to people, and I would like to have it too, to describe our relationshjp.
O: Would it matter in your community, your neighborhood, your friends?
P: I think our straight married friends feel sorry for us. They have a word for it — we don’t. At a high school football game, we were greeted at the game in the bleachers by all our friends, all these couples — and I thought They are all married, but we are not.
O: Would these friends be threatened by your marriage?
P: No, they could be supportive of our relationship if we weren’t outside of the traditions everyone understands.
O: You’ve heard the arguments that your marriage might destroy other marriages?
O: Have you talked to Sandy about getting married and what it would mean?
P: Sandy WAS married once, I envy her that — but we would like to be settled in our relationship.
O: Did you seek a marriage license?
P: went to Alameda Courthouse in May, to seek a solution to this problem. WE pulled a number, waited our turn, we went to the Clerk, I she said, I don’t think I can do this, but I’m not comfortable saying no to you, so I’ll get my boss. After a long time, she and her boss returned and he read the Prop 8 statute. Then he said, I’m sorry I can’t do this for you, but I think I will be able to in the future,and I hope you’ll come back when I can.
O: Why this case?
P: We just want our lives to feel better, we want to do this for other people, but mainly we are doing this for ourselves.
O: If courts said yes, would that stop other discrimination?
OBJECTION (speculation) OVERRULED
P: Personally, as a lesbian, if I had grown up knowing the most important decision I had to make as an adult was one I could make like everyone else, that would make a big difference. It’s hard to face the people at work, even everyone here. I try not to take every bit of discrimination personally, but it’s hard not to. If kids like me growing up in Bakersfield could grow up where Prop 8 is not law, that would be wonderful.
O: Nothing further.
Created: Jan 14, 2010Document Media