David E. Hays

Date of Interview: June 29, 2020

Interview Location: Waterloo, IA (recorded remotely)

Pronouns: he/him/his

Place of Birth: Iowa

Birth Year: 1951

Occupation: retired – Public Info Coordinator, Public Radio KUNI/KHKE

Interviewer: Elliot Wesselborg

Summary: David recalls the Waterloo gay bar scene of the 1970s and 80s, the emergence of local activism and an evolving sense of community in the face of HIV/AIDS and homophobia within recovery programs. He also discusses his own research into local gay history, describing a Waterloo sheriff’s efforts to arrest and institutionalize local gay men in 1960, the “gay purge” of students and faculty at University of Northern Iowa from 1965 to 1967 and the underground gay scene that existed prior to Waterloo’s first gay bar.

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Richard Gralnek

 

Date of Interview: May 5, 2020

Interview Location: Iowa (recorded remotely)

Pronouns: he/him

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, NY

Birth Year: 1948

Occupation: retired, worked for insurance companies

Interviewer: Elliot Wesselborg

Summary: Rich tells about growing up in Marshalltown, his early experiences dating girls, transitioning in Des Moines in the early 1980’s and his thoughts about aging as a trans person.

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Sr. Clara CumPassionata/Joshua Carpenter Brown

 

Date of Interview: April 23, 2020

Interview Location: Newton, IA (recorded remotely)

Pronouns: she/her

Place of Birth: Peoria, IL

Birth Year: 1956

Occupation: substance abuse counselor, performance artist (Sister of Perpetual Indulgence)

Interviewer: Elliot Wesselborg

Summary: Sr. Clara talks about her involvement in the Peoria, IL drag scene in the 1970s, RFD magazine, her introduction to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at Short Mountain Sanctuary in TN and her experiences creating community from a farmhouse in Newton, IA.

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David Graham

Date of Interview: May 2, 2019

Interview Location: David’s Home in Grinnell, IA

Pronouns: he/him

Place of Birth: Hamilton, OH, USA

Birth Year: 1955

Occupation: Designer/Retired

Interviewer: Evan Hurst

Summary: In this interview, David spoke with me about his experiences growing up in Grinnell, IA, during the 60s and 70s, moving around the Midwest as a young adult not in college, navigating his new found freedom in gay spaces, moving to NYC while the AIDS crisis was just starting, and meeting his husband Frank (See Frank Appleton page for his interview) who he’s now retired with back in Grinnell, IA.

 

Terry Lowman

Terry (left) with his husband Mark Kassis shortly after their marriage in Ames in 2007

Date of Interview: May 6, 2019

Interview Location: Ames, IA

Pronouns: he/him/his

Place of Birth: Ames, IA

Birth Year: 1947

Occupation: retired restaurateur

Interviewer: Cassidy Christiansen

Summary: Terry describes his life growing up in Ames, his initial marriage to his wife with whom he had two children (who now both identify as LGBT as well), coming out in his late 20’s and subsequent divorce. His husband of 40 plus years, Mark, occasionally adds commentary as Terry discusses adopting two children with Mark in 1990, their various enterprises, and experiences together. Terry also talks about his activism, particularly within his church, the Unitarian Universalist congregations in Ames and in Des Moines. Content Warning: mentions of suicide and death. 

 

Loren Olsen

 

Date of Interview: April 20, 2019

Interview Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Interviewer: Cassidy Christiansen

Summary: Psychiatrist and author Loren Olsen MD describes his life growing up in rural Nebraska, his time in the Navy, marrying and then divorcing his wife with whom he had two children, his coming out in his 40’s and partnership with his husband Doug, whom he married in Iowa in 2009. (Check out his personal website and autobiography at www.lorenaolson.com!)