Cherry studied at journalism and art history at the University of Iowa. After graduation, she worked as a newspaper journalist and studied in Japan on a Rotary International Journalism Scholarship.
She later studied Christian theology at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She was ordained by Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), an international denomination that ministers primarily in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. She worked at MCC San Francisco, and then moved to Los Angeles to serve as MCC’s national ecumenical officer. One of her main duties was promoting dialogue on homosexuality at the National Council of Churches (USA) and the World Council of Churches.
As part of her ecumenical work, Cherry organized demonstrations for justice in the church, including Hands Around the God-Box at the New York offices of the National Council of Churches in June 1994. She also handled media relations for The Wedding, a group blessing of 2,000 lesbian and gay couples at the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation.
In recent years, Cherry has promoted artistic and religious freedom online through JesusInLove.org, which she founded in 2005. She blogs regularly at the Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts.
Cherry is the author of six books, including Art That Dares, a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for 2007.Her books have been translated into German, Polish, Chinese and Japanese. She lives as an open lesbian with her life partner Audrey in Los Angeles.
2008: Jesus in Love: At the Cross ( AndroGyne Press) ISBN 978-1933993423.
2007: Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ and More ( AndroGyne Press) ISBN 978-1933993294.
2006: Jesus in Love: A Novel ( AndroGyne Press) ISBN 978-1933993188 German translation ISBN 978-3940071040.
2006: Hide and Speak: A Coming Out Guide (AndroGyne Press reprint of original 1991 HarperSanFrancisco edition) Harper ISBN 978-0062501653. AndroGyne ISBN 978-1933993119. Polish translation ISBN 978-83-246-1430-1. Chinese translation ISBN 9579002444.
2002: Womansword: What Japanese Words Say About Women (Kodansha International) ISBN 978-4770028884. Japanese translation ISBN 4828811974.
1995: Equal Rites: Lesbian and Gay Worship, Ceremonies and Celebrations (Westminster John Knox Press) ISBN 978-0664255350.