Three articles appeared today about my book Open: A Memoir of Faith, Family, and Sexuality in the Heartland.
Writing in Tulsa’s Black Wall Street Times, Casey McLerran covered my Tuesday night reading and discussion at the Black Wall Street Gallery. She wrote, “Jones’ humor and poise; which has carried him and his family through the tumultuous public and internal struggles of being an openly gay man; creates an ease around the politically and emotionally charged situations detailed in his memoir while allowing you to join the celebration of his open lifestyle.”
The Omaha World-Herald published an interview with Micah Mertes about the book and my life. An excerpt:
Q: There are a lot of stories about people who left the Midwest or left the South to go to the coasts where people were generally more progressive and accepting. But you stayed here.
A: I think that’s one reason I wrote the book. Because I hadn’t really seen a lot of stories about people who stayed in the heartland. Who stayed in the church. Who didn’t stay connected with the family. Part of it was, this was home. My husband is also from Oklahoma so the center of the country is just where we’re from, it’s where our family is, it’s the place we know. And early on we perceived that these states were actually the frontlines of LGBT rights. And there needed to be people leading the charge as activists in these states.
Finally, ahead of my appearance in Dallas this weekend, the Dallas Voice published an article about the book. When David Taffet interviewed me he had many questions about Royal Lane Baptist Church and my time there and also many questions about my life in Omaha and as a father, topics not covered in the memoir. The article concludes, “Jones reminds us that coming out can be hard, but even a Southern Baptist minister who happens to be gay can end up in the right congregation.”