Stephany Hoffelt

Stephany preparing lunches with the Iowa City Mutual Aid Collective

Date of Interview: August 7, 2020

Interview Location: recorded remotely from Iowa City, IA and Shoreham, NY

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Place of Birth: Plattsville, WI

Birth Year: 1970

Occupation: Herbal Consultant and Educator

Interviewer: Elliot Wesselborg

Summary: Stephany discusses her activism and community organizing as a natural response to material injustices she witnessed and experienced growing up. She shares about her work as a herbalist, co-founding the Iowa City Mutual Aid Collective and their response to the crisis conditions of Covid-19 and her experiences as a medic during Black Lives Matter protests in Iowa City.

Heather Dunn

 

Date of Interview: August 3, 2020

Interview Location: Iowa City, IA and Shoreham, NY (recorded remotely)

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Place of Birth: Urbana, IL

Birth Year: 1982

Occupation: Mail Sorter

Interviewer: Elliot Wesselborg

Summary: Heather discusses her early experiences with leftist activism, her involvement and eventual disillusionment with conservative politics, being trans within lesbian communities, and finding an affirming faith community in an evangelical church. She also offers her thoughts on intergenerational dialogue among queer people and kink as a means of coping with dysphoria.

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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Sara Riggs

Date of Interview:  May 7, 2020

Interview Location: Zoom (remote)

Pronouns: She/her

Place of Birth: Phoenix, AZ

Birth Year: 1972

Occupation: Library Assistant

Interviewer: Hope Nowak

Summary:  In her interview, Sara discusses growing up in Cedar Rapids, redefining her religion and spirituality, navigating relationships, and raising her kids. 

 

 

 

Tyler Franklin

Date of Interview: April 24, 2020

Interview Location: Zoom

Pronouns: he/they

Place of Birth: Switzerland

Birth Year: 1974

Occupation: Therapist

Interviewer: Payson Dai

Summary: Tyler talks about their identities, growing up with Transcendental Meditation, joining lesbian separatism, their involvement in the prison abolition and political activism scene, and parenting as trans.

Chris Wilde

Date of Interview: May 10th, 2020

Interview Location: Remote from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Sammamish, Washington

Pronouns: He/him or They/them

Place of Birth: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Birth Year: 1966

Occupation: Queer Zine Archivist, Sexuality Educator, Computer Tech Support Consultant

Interviewer: Steven Saada

Summary: Chris shares their experiences at Grinnell College during the 1980s, including the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis and the student organizing to found a gay and lesbian resource center on campus. They also discuss their continued advocacy around intersectional issues at Grinnell and beyond.

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.

View and Download Sister Clara Transcript 2020(PDF)

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Ash Bruxvoort and Marti Payseur

Ash and Marti with their dog, Thistle.

Date of Interview: April 27th, 2020

Interview Location: Remote from Mt. Vernon, Iowa and Sammamish, Washington

Pronouns: They/them or she/her (Ash) and she/her (Marti)

Place of Birth:  Colfax, Iowa (Ash) and Des Moines, Iowa (Marti)

Birth Year:  1990

Occupation:  Both co-own Thistle’s Summit Bed & Breakfast and Amethyst Content Marketing. Ash is also the owner of Ash Gravity Astrology Services.

Interviewer: Steven Saada

Summary: Ash and Marti share memories from growing up in Iowa, their work in the non-profit industry, and their decision to start a queer B&B and homestead in small-town Iowa.

View and Download Ash and Marti Interview Transcript (PDF)

View and Download Ash and Marti Interview Transcript (.txt)

Marlu Carolina Abarca

 

Date of Interview: April 14th, 2019

Interview Location: JRC

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Place of Birth: California

Birth Year: 1992

Occupation: Bilingual Services Library Assistant at Des Moines Public Library

Interviewer: Amari

Summary: In this interview, Marlu talks about growing up in California, the cultural differences between her American and Mexican identities, discovering her multiethnic identity and learning to embrace it despite pushback from her peers, coming out to her parents as bisexual, and how she ended up working as a librarian (and how much she loves it).