Kelsey Sawtelle

LGBT Oral Histories of Central Iowa Listening Logo

Date of Interview:  March 8, 2020

Interview Location: Marshalltown Public Library

Pronouns: She/her

Place of Birth: Marshalltown, Iowa

Birth Year: 1988

Occupation: Library Assistant, Dance Teacher

Interviewer: Hope Nowak

Summary:  In her interview, Kelsey discusses growing up in Marshalltown, Iowa, discovering her sexuality in college, and redefining the role of religion in her life.

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Bojana Crnomarković

Bojana Crnomarković gives two peace signs, kneeling in bed

Interview Date: February 28, 2020

Interview Location: Grinnell, IA

Pronouns: she/they

Place of Birth:  Beograd, Serbia

Birth Year: 1998

Occupation:  Artist

Interviewer: Maya Dru

Short Summary of the Interview: Bojana, a young lesbian from Serbia, reflects on family.

Interview Part 1

Interview Part 2

Isabel Cooke

Date: March 16th, 2019

Location: High Street, Grinnell, IA

Birthplace: Waterloo, IA

Interviewer: Reed Essex

Pronouns: she/her, they/them

Summary: Isabel talks about the nature of religion and how it has effected her own identity formation, her family and the relationships that we maintain, and Iowa as the center of many of her stories.

Reverend Anna Blaedel

Date of Interview: May 1, 2019

Interview Location: Wesley Center in Iowa City

Pronouns: they/them

Place of Birth: Colorado

Birth Year: 1981

Occupation: United Methodist Clergy

Interviewer: Hannah Dorf

Summary: Anna Blaedel discusses their experiences as being an openly queer Clergy member in the United Methodist Church. Anna discusses the multiple complaints filed against them because they are openly queer Clergy.

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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. 

 

Cassidy Christiansen

 

Date of Interview: February 11, 2019

Interview Location: Cassidy’s home, Grinnell, IA

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Place of Birth: Flagstaff, AZ

Birth Year: 1996

Occupation: student

Interviewer: Lucid Thomas

Summary: Cassidy talks about sex, High School, taking two gap years to travel around the world, and their experiences coming out as a non-binary trans person their first year at Grinnell College.