About Me

 

Clattering bones (AKA Jess Cook) is the Youth Programs Director at Side by Side (formerly ROSMY), an organization serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth. Jess has a BFA in Studio Art from Baylor, an MFA in Photography from North Texas, and a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond.

In their professional life, Jess’s approach to youth programming is pretty straightforward: create a space where young people can safely articulate who they are, give them the opportunity to explore that identity, and celebrate the diversity of personalities that make a community unique. Every day the cinder-block building that houses the organization becomes a sacred space where lives are transformed through conversations that offer the youth something that many of them cannot find anywhere else: the opportunity to belong.

As a queer person currently in the process of ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Jess is drawn to conversations about the gap between the “queer” world and the “church” world (including why that gap exists), and is deeply invested in ways we might create spaces where those worlds overlap. Jess spends much of their time trying to figure out why the gap exists in the first place, and wondering what it would be like if we allowed ourselves to see every person we meet as a child of God, how we might live into the notion that our religious experience can make us more.

For more information on the name of this blog, check out the post that began it all here.

  2 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Just stumbled upon your blog and I wanted to say thank you and God Bless. I’ve always been a lesbian, but I’m only starting to realize that I’m a Christian, as well. And while I study the bible and try out churches and read about Orthodoxy, I know that I am going to have to confront these questions at some point. Luckily I grew up in an a-(well, frankly anti)-religious home and have had the good grace of having really wonderful friends from several fundamentalist communities. I have never felt inwardly or been led to feel by the people around me that God hates gays. I don’t even slightly believe this to be the case. And I haven’t found any good evidence of it in the bible yet. But still, I know that this is the prevailing opinion out there. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. It’s heartening to see that others have gone before, though. So again, thank you.

    • Glad to have you here! It’s not often that I hear someone say they’ve always known they’re gay, but learned later on that they’re also Christian. There’s something quite beautiful about that. . . 🙂

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