This January marks six years Chris Hartman has been with the Fairness Campaign, fighting for equal rights for LGBTQ residents throughout the commonwealth. As the organization’s first director, Hartman and his staff, including many volunteers, have more than doubled the number of Kentucky cities with anti-discrimination laws, adding the small Appalachian coal town of Vicco, the state capital Frankfort, Morehead and Danville to the list of Louisville, Lexington and Covington.
The nonprofit now has vibrant grassroots movements afoot in Murray, Bowling Green, Owensboro and more, and looks to further the progress of a statewide Fairness law in Kentucky’s General Assembly that would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
Hartman took time out of his busy schedule to answer some very important questions.
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
I can’t say I have much of a bucket list. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to do many of the things I love and have set out to do thus far. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling the nation, but I’d definitely love to travel the world. I’m also becoming a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so I’m sure there will be some jumping out of planes and other high-rush activities to come.
I’m afraid I didn’t hang many posters in my youth. In high school, a prized possession that adorned my wall was a program from “Rent” on Broadway signed by most of the original cast. (Some of my high school classmates and I stood devotedly outside the theater doors several nights in a row to procure the prized pen strokes.)
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
Minimum wage workers who may need a place to crash after Mayor Fischer and the Metro Council refused to #RaiseTheWage to a true living wage in Louisville.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Jalapeños, banana peppers, green peppers, mushrooms and pineapple — and very light cheese, to accommodate my lactose intolerance.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
I’m pretty good where I am right now.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Seth Meyers. Hands down. When I was an improviser many years ago, I had a workshop coach who also coached Seth. He suggested some of my uninhibited, unhinged exuberance on stage reflected Seth’s as well — I only wish I were blessed with his comedic timing!
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
There are tons of folks whose brains I’d love to pick — Shakespeare, Audre Lorde, Thomas Merton, John Adams, Bayard Rustin — but since they’ve all passed, I’d hate to be stuck in a lift full of corpses! For those still walking the earth, perhaps Vladimir Putin. I’ve got a few things to say to him.