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.

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. 

 

 

 

Ash Bruxvoort and Marti Payseur

Ash and Marti with their dog, Thistle.

Date of Interview: April 27th, 2020

Interview Location: Remote from Mt. Vernon, Iowa and Sammamish, Washington

Pronouns: They/them or she/her (Ash) and she/her (Marti)

Place of Birth:  Colfax, Iowa (Ash) and Des Moines, Iowa (Marti)

Birth Year:  1990

Occupation:  Both co-own Thistle’s Summit Bed & Breakfast and Amethyst Content Marketing. Ash is also the owner of Ash Gravity Astrology Services.

Interviewer: Steven Saada

Summary: Ash and Marti share memories from growing up in Iowa, their work in the non-profit industry, and their decision to start a queer B&B and homestead in small-town Iowa.

View and Download Ash and Marti Interview Transcript (PDF)

View and Download Ash and Marti Interview Transcript (.txt)

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.

Angelo Mercado

Date: March 12, 15, 2019

Location: Humanities and Social Sciences Complex

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Birthplace: Phillipines

Interviewer: Reed Essex

Summary: Angelo Mercado discusses what coming out for him was like, how he dealt with his identity in college, his relationship with religion, long distance relationships, and relating to one’s family.

 

 

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).

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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