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.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Esther Hwang

Date of Interview: May 6, 2019

Interview Location: Music Practice Room in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Grinnell College

Pronouns: she/they

Place of Birth: Lubbock, TX

Birth Year: 1997

Occupation: Student

Interviewer: Lydia James

Esther’s Poem:

Meditation on Asexuality

Part 1

My sex has been coopted by TV, porn, and yellow fever

I want my sex back

Asexuality is a sexuality

It’s the sexiest thing

 

To vow to love myself first

To touch myself first

To desire myself first

Before anyone else

I listen to healing meditation while I masturbate

It’s a spiritual experience.

When I’m horny I don’t seek outside of myself.

I choose myself because I can make myself come like no one else can.

What is climax?

Remember that the Western world has confused itself on the importance of penises entering vaginas and has eroticized any high pitched noise that comes out of a woman’s mouth.

Sex is not the only thing.

And what is sex anyway? Masturbation is sex. It’s the best sex when I can make a juicy puddle with two fingers and a vibrator.

I once made myself come 13 times without laying a finger on myself.

The secret was a lot of weed, studio headphones, and some good beats.

 

Answer me this.

How is melting from human to fluid by hearing the sound of my own songs not sex?

How is going on a run for the euphoria of blood rushing through my body not self-pleasure?

How is biting into a juicy lucy and moaning and sobbing into my burger with my friends not a big circle jerk?

How is rolling around in the grass and feeling every nerve brush against Mother Earth not the purest most beautiful form of physical intimacy and release?

 

Part 2

Asexuality is seeing past all of the noise

And feeling

Feeling myself

Asexuality is feeling only myself

It is pleasing myself

It is removing subject and object

And recovering what always was.

 

Part 3

Asexuality is not lack of sexual desire.

It is lack of sexual attraction to others.

 

ASEXUALITY IS SELF-DESIRE.