For LGBTQ students across Iowa, the new school year is starting under a cloud. Mean-spirited, confusing and medically irresponsible laws signed this past legislative session amid a rightwing anti-trans culture war will become real in classrooms and school libraries, and may make marginalized students feel more alone. Fortunately, there will always be at least one safe space: the GSA. In this issue, Little Village explores the role of gender-sexuality alliances (traditionally called gay-straight alliances) in Iowa schools, and how the constitutionally-protected clubs can help trans, queer, questioning and allied kids meet their peers, fill gaps in their education, stage a protest or simply be themselves.
Also in this issue — as abortion rights hang by a thread in Iowa, LV takes a look at accessibility in neighboring states; columnist John Busbee takes aim at ESAs as Reynolds’ school choice program ratchets up costs; one of Cedar Rapids’ favorite pizza spots turns 70, while Des Moines gets ready to eat in the streets; Dreamwell Theatre resurrects their “cabaret of queer love”; and Kembrew McLeod profiles probably the most prolific songwriter in Iowa City.
Plus: A bilingual ode to Kirkwood’s Iowa City campus, Ankeny gets (another) K-dog cafe, Kiki offers guidance to a reader who feels like they’re “a lot” in social situations, and a fresh batch of local album and book reviews.
Cover art by Jameson Malone