chrissgroChris Sgro, 31, knows a thing or two about politics. He’s worked for elected officials and political organizations since graduating from college. It’s a childhood passion, he says, that stems from a youth of engaged and politically-active family members in his hometown of Philadelphia, Penn. But, there’s more to Chris than politics. He’s a fun-loving guy with great, humorous stories who lives in Greensboro with his husband, Ryan Butler. As Chris continues in his first few weeks as the new executive director of Equality North Carolina, we thought we’d hit him up as we relaunched our new version of our old column, “20 Questions.” It’s a perfect opportunity for you to get to know him better as he leads the statewide LGBT equality movement into new projects and campaigns.

What’s your favorite food?
So, I’m a recovering vegetarian right now, and what I mean is that at two different points in my life I’ve attempted to be a vegetarian and have failed miserably, generally in like epic meltdown form. But, as a good Philadelphian, I’d say a good cheese steak is my favorite food, but a Reuben, in terms of what I can get in the southern U.S., is probably my favorite food that tastes like its supposed to, because cheese steaks don’t do that here.

What was your favorite childhood toy?
Teddy Ruxpin. It is a creepy, stuffed bear that you plug a tape into the back of it and it talks to you and it animates itself. I loved that thing. I probably got that for my sixth or seventh birthday.

What was your favorite children’s TV show?
Carmen San Diego. I am a geography buff. I always envisioned I could complete the challenge at the end, where they run around the map and put plungers down on the countries and call it out faster than the kids on the show. I always dreamed I’d be a Carmen San Diego contestant.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly, and you can ask my parents and friends about this, I wanted to work in politics from the time I was a little kid. My grandmother was a precinct captain for the party and she would take me to hand out literature on election day. I would do canvasses when I was 8. My parents took me over to Clinton’s headquarters in suburban Philadelphia to get our lawn sign when I was 10, when he ran the first time. And, we had a little Electoral College thing on election night when we’d track the votes. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be involved in politics.

When you were in high school, what colleges were on your short list?
I actually transferred to American University from Temple University. My short list in high school was that college needed to be super-affordable and close to him, so that was Temple. But, then I decided I wanted to be in D.C.

On a Friday or Saturday night, would you rather sit at home with Ryan and watch a movie, go out to dinner and then a movie or do dinner and then go out to the club for a night of dancing?
Definitely not the night club option. But, we’re big out-to-eat folks. A typical Friday night, if it were up to me, would probably be that we would have dinner somewhere decent and local in Greensboro and then we would go out to a couple of the bars, and when I say bar, I really mean a neighborhood bar. We have about four of those within walking distance of our house. And…increasingly earlier bed times as I get older.

What’s one place you’d like to visit but haven’t yet gone?
Ryan would tell you that at any given time you could ask me that question, because we’re big traveling people, and I would tell you “X” is the place I have to go next. There’s probably a rotating list of 10 such places on that list. Thailand and India are really high up there for me. I’ve never been to Southeast Asia and I really, really want to get there.

Where have you traveled?
The Caribbean. Europe a number of times. We’ve done the northern edge of South America and good amount of Central America. I love Central America. It’s probably the friendliest place I’ve been in the world. It’s inexpensive, it’s tropical and it’s wonderful. : :

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

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