Heidi Cullinan was born in Maquoketa, Iowa, and spent her childhood on her family’s farm until they were forced to sell it during the 1980s farm crisis. Heidi attended Wartburg College until 1995, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English; after this she worked at a law office in Iowa City before returning to graduate school at the University of Iowa to receive her Masters of Arts in Teaching, English Education. Heidi taught seventh grade language arts and reading until she left teaching to stay home with her daughter in 2001. Currently Heidi works from her home in Ames, sometimes substitute teaching but mostly attempting to pursue a career in writing fiction in-between sporadic bursts of housecleaning. Heidi enjoys reading, knitting, biking, and watching House, Doctor Who, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, due to a health issue, is learning to love weight training.
Heidi first became aware of the need for LGBT rights during her undergraduate years when the Des Moines Men’s Chorus came to perform at Wartburg, and her interest deepened as the Evangelical Lutheran Church struggled with the issue of ordaining LBGT pastors. Now she volunteers for One Iowa as much as she can and dreams of the day when the organization doesn’t need her anymore because all people are accepted in society regardless of sexual orientation.
Daniel Cullinan was born in Boone, Iowa, and grew up in Carroll, Iowa. His parents, in fact, still live in the house he grew up in. He was a “town boy” all the way, to the extent that he didn’t know that the fields he passed on the way to Ames and Des Moines were not sweet but field corn until Heidi told him. Dan attended both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, making it impossible for him to root for anyone at any Iowa/Iowa State sports face-offs. (This is made easier by the fact that he is not, in fact, much of a sports kind of guy.) Dan has worked as a clinical pharmacist for over ten years, but he’d much rather be surfing the internet or watching X-Files. (He lives to hear Gillian Anderson make science sexy.) Dan particularly enjoys music, especially Dolly Parton, Cher, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and of course, Madonna.
Dan believes in equality for all Iowans, but his initial interest in LGBT rights stemmed in part from his interest in modern definitions of masculinity (perhaps because he fits none of the traditional definitions). Sometimes he thinks he has learned more about masculinity from his gay friends than his straight ones.
Dan and Heidi have been married for over ten years, a fact that and makes them feel happy and depressingly old all at the same time. They believe that the Iowa Supreme Court’s April 3 decision to extend the right of marriage to all Iowans only makes their marriage stronger, because their union is no longer something special allowed them because they happened to be attracted to a societally approved gender. They believe all committed couples who love each other and want to build a life together should be recognized and protected by the state, and they are very proud to be able to say that, in their state, this is now the case.