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).

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. 

 

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.

 

Hannah Dorf

Date of Interview: February 25, 2019

Interview Location: Grinnell, IA

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Place of Birth: Wheaton, Illinois

Birth Year: 1998

Occupation: Student

Interviewer: Lydia James

Summary: In this interview, Hannah discusses growing up in a Chicago suburb, and not having a sense of belonging. As she moved to Grinnell, IA for college, she discusses how she has found her people and no longer feels isolated.