Jude Grunder

Date of Interview: February 15, 2020

Interview Location: Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa

Pronouns: They/them

Place of Birth: Champaign, Illinois

Birth Year: 1999

Occupation: Student

Interviewer: Steven Saada

Summary: Jude talks about growing up in small-town Illinois as a multi-racial and gender non-conforming person, their struggles with mental and physical health, and their experiences as a student at Grinnell College.

 

Tom Collingsworth

LGBT Oral Histories of Central Iowa Listening Logo

Date of Interview: Sept. 22, 2020

Interview Location: recorded remotely from Grinnell, IA and Shoreham, NY

Pronouns: he/him

Place of Birth: Belmond, IA

Birth Year: 1971

Occupation: Retail assistant manager

Interviewer: Elliot Wesselborg

Summary: In this interview Tom discusses growing up in a small Iowan town and living in group homes as a teenager, his experiences of gay, rural hook-up culture in the 90s, navigating relationships with his husband’s adult children and life as an essential worker during Covid-19.

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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Part 2:

Michelle Hills

Michelle Hills, centered, sits at a table smiling

 

Date of Interview: July 9th, 2020

Interview Location: Iowa City, Iowa (Zoom)

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Place of Birth: Burlington, Iowa

Birth Year: 1966

Occupation: Teacher

Interviewer: Rylee Dolezal

Summary: Michelle discusses growing up in Burlington, Iowa and navigating stressful relationships before fostering self-growth and meeting her wife, Joan. She also provides various experiences of coming out, whether it be to her family or her students.

Lesley Polek

 

Date of Interview: March 8, 2020

Interview Location: Grinnell, Iowa

Pronouns: She/her

Place of Birth: Vicenza, Italy

Birth Year: 1957

Interviewer: Sieglinde Thetard

Summary: Lesley talks about her life on the east coast, as she navigated dating men and women, factory work, gay bars, and addiction. She then explores her life in Iowa, online dating, and alcoholism in Grinnell.

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. 

 

 

 

R. M. Stineman

 

Date of Interview: April 25, 2020

Interview Location: Jersey City, NJ (recorded remotely)

Pronouns: he/him

Place of Birth: Newton, KS

Birth Year: 1962

Occupation: non-profit executive/consultant

Interviewer: Elliot Wesselborg

Summary: Stine talks about receiving one of the first HIV diagnoses in Iowa, an FBI raid at the Midwest Men’s Festival, RFD magazine and maintaining his connection to Iowa through the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Oliver Lawrence

Photo Artist: Margot Heron

Date of Interview: February 24th, 2020

Interview Location: Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa

Pronouns: They/them

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois

Birth Year: 1998

Occupation: Student

Interviewer: Steven Saada

Summary: Oliver discusses growing up in Illinois, their involvement with Christianity, coming out as bisexual and non binary, and their experience with medical transition in Iowa.

Gina Weekley

Date of Interview: April 21, 2020

Interview Location: Waterloo, IA

Place of Birth: Waterloo, IA

Birth Year: 1983

Pronouns: She/her

Occupation: At-Risk Coordinator

Interviewer: Rylee Dolezal

Summary: Gina discusses growing up in Waterloo, coming out to her family, her relationship with Christianity, and the work she’s done for the community.

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