My name is Jerome Stueart and I used to live in the Yukon Territory, but now have moved to Vandalia Ohio. I’m a writer and writing teacher, mostly, but I’ve been a trolley conductor, a pencil portrait artist, an embedded communications officer for the Arctic Institute of North America, and a Christmas caroling busker. You gotta have a lot of options in the Yukon. For more on the Yukon and why I love it, go here.
When I was coming out to myself, it was resource pages and testimonies that helped me work through the finer details of how God loves us. Without those webpages, I wouldn’t have known where to turn, or who to talk to. When you are deeply involved in your church, you can’t afford to ask anyone about those scriptures that seem to condemn gay people. And if you ask people outside the church, they may not think it’s that important to stop and consider the Bible. You feel trapped–and it’s websites like the ones I went to that allowed me to study in private till I felt strong enough in my convictions and in my faith to come out to my church in 2009. I was also thankful for the help of Many Rivers Counseling who allowed me to come and talk out what coming out might look like. Thank you, Michele.
I am more than the events that happened in 2009-2011, more than my coming out, but if you want to read how I came out to my church, it’s all there. I was raised Southern Baptist, attended a United Church of Canada church, Whitehorse United Church, and now proudly attend First Baptist Church, Dayton Ohio, a progressive Baptist church that still feels like home. I still think that spiritual beliefs are important for anyone–gay and straight, and that they are the foundation for being human. We all have some beliefs about the afterlife, about a higher power, even if it is to reject all current notions of them. I choose to still think that God is important to know and interact with. That He loves us. That He’s interested in us. That He cares about what happens to us. Individually. And I think it’s a privilege and a joy to get to know who He is too.
I probably still think like a Protestant, Baptist-like, but I do think there’s a lot more room in the theology than I was previously told.
I am a writer who seeks to make a difference in the world. I do teach a Writing Faith workshop that is portable to churches.
I’ve taught writing workshops for twenty years in colleges and universities, as well as churches and schools and afterschool programs. I was a recipient of a Milton Center Fellowship in 1996 (now offered through Image Magazine), received a Fulbright Fellowship to Canada in 2001, and earned my PhD in English (Creative Writing) in 2005. My short work has been published in Geist, Joyland, Geez, Fantasy, several Tesseracts anthologies of Canadian science fiction and fantasy, as well as newspapers, magazines, and journals. I’m a graduate too of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop (2007), and the Lambda Literary Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices in Los Angeles (2013). In both 2003 and 2008, I was a featured writer with the Young Authors Conference and Yukon Writers Festival held in Whitehorse, and other years I got to be the emcee. Paraclete Press publishes a lot I’d like to read, and music I like to listen to. I plan to keep going to the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College. The authors they promote are authors I think are speaking honestly, and with great craft, about Faith.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at email@example.com
If you are interested in my statements of belief: My Statements of Belief
In my other life, I am a science fiction writer. I have another blog, Yukon Science Fiction Writer, where you can follow the rest of my life.