Jay grew up in the rolling hills of the Palouse region of the northwestern United States. In his twenties, circumstances and realizations urged him to more proactively embark on a personal journey through the tension between his orientation, life path options, relationships, and beliefs about life, the universe, and everything. Having considered himself very much a literal, true believer who happily served a mission and held many church callings, eventually parting ways with the LDS Church due to changes in fundamental paradigms and outlook was a slow, careful, and demanding decision. With a continuing sense of wonder and awe at how much we have yet to understand, his outlook is now more naturalistic and humanistic than religious, but he has worked to maintain relationships with his actively LDS friends and family. The rewards and challenges he has found from navigating the sometimes difficult adjustments in his own perspective and relationships have increased his resolve to build bridges of understanding.
In 2006, with three others, he co-founded North Star, a support organization for LDS people seeking to respond to same-sex attractions in ways congruent with Church standards, and stepped out in 2009 due to diverging beliefs. He’s been a blogger off and on since 2007 and has assisted in copy editing and other small ways with the Far Between project and Empathy First Initiative. He currently is the Director of Circling the Wagons. He has felt a continuing vested interest in building open, authentic, and sometimes even lighter-hearted dialog. He hopes such efforts will continue to help all of us navigate more deftly by bringing to light the struggles, triumphs, options, and perspectives of seemingly disparate, sometimes alienated worlds in which many find themselves.
Jay earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho, currently works in specialty food import and distribution, and lives in Salt Lake City with his partner since 2011.