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I arrived in Miami, OK in 1974 the first child of Cheryl and Randall Jones. Four generations of us have lived in Miami -- we were small town Oklahoma folk who were embued with a deep faith, a love of the land, and a drive to improve our lot in life. My sister Kelli arrived when I was three.

Despite some time in Eufaula and Grove, I grew up in Miami. When I left home for college I went to Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee. I was planning on being a minister and that's where Oklahoma baptist boys went to become one.

College was the best time. I envy young people the chance to experience all those things for the first time.

Out of school I planned on teaching philosophy and pursued my graduate work at the University of Oklahoma, completing my Ph. D. in 2001.

But my friend Tim Youmans helped in guiding me back to Christian ministry. So, I've served as a youth minister at churches in Fayetteville, AR and Dallas, TX, and as Pastor of the Cathedral of Hope in Oklahoma City. I am currently the Senior Minister of the First Central Congregational United Church of Christ in Omaha, Nebraska.

In 2003 I began my journey out; you can read about it in my archives. That led me back home to Oklahoma and to a new role as a public spokesperson and leader in a civil rights cause.

On Feb. 7, 2009 I asked Michael Cich to marry me, which he did on June 6 of that year with 200 of our friends and family as witnesses. In 2010 we moved to Omaha, and just this year our son Sebastian was born.

In 2012 I helped lead the successful effort in passing an employment non-discrimination ordinance in Omaha. In 2014 I attended the Yale Writer's Conference and began teaching in the philosophy department of Creighton University. And in 2015 I finished a memoir, Open.

So, that's just the basics. I continue to have a deep faith (though it has changed a lot over the years), to love the land, and to strive to improve myself. My ambition is to live a good, simple, yet fabulous, life.