Tom Collingsworth

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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.

Erica Barz

Headshot of Erica Barz


Date of Interview: May 24, 2020

Interview Location: Des Moines, Iowa (Zoom)

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Place of Birth: La Porte City, Iowa

Birth Year: 1993

Occupation: Community Engagement Associate at ACLU of Iowa

Interviewer: Rylee Dolezal

Summary: Erica discusses growing up in La Porte City and her involvement in non-profit work.

View and Download Erica Barz Interview Transcript (PDF)

View and Download Erica Barz Interview Transcript (.txt)

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.

View and Download Gina Weekley Interview Transcript (PDF)

View and Download Gina Weekley Interview Transcript (.txt)

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.