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Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been

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"I used to be a lesbian." In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry shares her own story, offering practical tools that helped her in the process of finding wholeness. Jackie grew up fatherless and experienced gender confusion. She abused marijuana, loved pornography, and embraced both masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. She knew that Christi "I used to be a lesbian." In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry shares her own story, offering practical tools that helped her in the process of finding wholeness. Jackie grew up fatherless and experienced gender confusion. She abused marijuana, loved pornography, and embraced both masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. She knew that Christians had a lot to say about all of the above. But was she supposed to change herself? How was she supposed to stop loving women, when homosexuality felt more natural to her than heterosexuality ever could? At age 19, Jackie came face-to-face with what it meant to be made new. And not in a church, or through contact with Christians—God broke in and turned her heart towards Him right in her own bedroom in light of His gospel. Read in order to understand. Read in order to hope. Or read in order, like Jackie, to be made new.


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"I used to be a lesbian." In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry shares her own story, offering practical tools that helped her in the process of finding wholeness. Jackie grew up fatherless and experienced gender confusion. She abused marijuana, loved pornography, and embraced both masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. She knew that Christi "I used to be a lesbian." In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry shares her own story, offering practical tools that helped her in the process of finding wholeness. Jackie grew up fatherless and experienced gender confusion. She abused marijuana, loved pornography, and embraced both masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. She knew that Christians had a lot to say about all of the above. But was she supposed to change herself? How was she supposed to stop loving women, when homosexuality felt more natural to her than heterosexuality ever could? At age 19, Jackie came face-to-face with what it meant to be made new. And not in a church, or through contact with Christians—God broke in and turned her heart towards Him right in her own bedroom in light of His gospel. Read in order to understand. Read in order to hope. Or read in order, like Jackie, to be made new.

30 review for Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Schroeder

    A beautiful memoir and must read even if you think you would relate little to none to her story. I'm not into hip hop or spoken word. I'm not gay (or was). I am a man. I didn't grow up dealing with any of the circumstances like Jackie did. There is very little reason to read this except for the sake of empathy and that in this case, empathy and understanding is the most important reason. Everyone has a story and hers is worth reading. This is not a book just about homosexuality. It is about disc A beautiful memoir and must read even if you think you would relate little to none to her story. I'm not into hip hop or spoken word. I'm not gay (or was). I am a man. I didn't grow up dealing with any of the circumstances like Jackie did. There is very little reason to read this except for the sake of empathy and that in this case, empathy and understanding is the most important reason. Everyone has a story and hers is worth reading. This is not a book just about homosexuality. It is about discovering the beauty of grace and love from the most wonderful savior, Jesus. Jackie's story is a reflection of the gospel and we should all stand up and praise God for how He works in hearts, especially Jackie's. In the book I certainly was educated about what someone who is a gay goes through. I also got an intimate glimpse into how it is grace that triumphs in someone's life, not their sexuality. We get far too wrapped up in sexual identity in our society when where our hearts truly yearn to be known by God. The good news in this case is that He already knows you. He knows me. And his grace is beautiful. He just wants us to to go to HIm. Read Jackie's story and you'll see.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Orion

    For those fellow LGBT Christians: this book is nothing new. It is the same old “love the sinner, hate the sin” rhetoric we have heard for many years. The author doesn’t believe herself being gay is a sin, but that engaging in lesbian relationships is. As a bisexual and trans Christian, it is disheartening for me to see so many “open minded” straight Christians latching on to this book as a way to still oppose homosexuality without seeming hateful. I believe with all my heart and soul that God do For those fellow LGBT Christians: this book is nothing new. It is the same old “love the sinner, hate the sin” rhetoric we have heard for many years. The author doesn’t believe herself being gay is a sin, but that engaging in lesbian relationships is. As a bisexual and trans Christian, it is disheartening for me to see so many “open minded” straight Christians latching on to this book as a way to still oppose homosexuality without seeming hateful. I believe with all my heart and soul that God does not think being LGBT and engaging in gay and lesbian relationships is a sin. Sexuality is a God-given gift, we should embrace it and live our lives fully. I’m glad the author has found wholeness, but acting like this is a prescription for most LGBT Christians is a recipe for repression and mental illnesses, plain and simple.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I don't know how I ran across Jackie Hill Perry, but after hearing her story...and how she talked about her story, I wanted to know more. I've listened to numerous interviews with her and always walk away not as interested in her ex-gay conversation but instead her talk about God. This story is a brutally honest, poetic, saturated in Scripture memoir of exactly what the tagline says, "who I was and Who God has always been." As Jackie tells bits of her story, she then turns to God's Word to explain I don't know how I ran across Jackie Hill Perry, but after hearing her story...and how she talked about her story, I wanted to know more. I've listened to numerous interviews with her and always walk away not as interested in her ex-gay conversation but instead her talk about God. This story is a brutally honest, poetic, saturated in Scripture memoir of exactly what the tagline says, "who I was and Who God has always been." As Jackie tells bits of her story, she then turns to God's Word to explain, to educate and show what God has taught her from those times and events. I really wanted to write something profound about this book but I can't b/c the book itself was so profound I wouldn't do it justice. Here's what you need to know--this book isn't a "what Christians should do about the gay conversation" nor is it a racy listen-to-my-gay-story or a gays-are-wrong manifesto. Instead, it's a beautiful story of how God loves us, how He desires us and how He wants us and wants us to want Him. You will love Jackie's beautiful poetic prose and her attention to Scripture. You'll also walk away with a new love for God. I did.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    I hope anyone who is looking at these reviews wondering if this book could help them “pray away the gay” or anything along the lines of that sees this comment. Your sexuality, no matter gay, straight or something in between isn’t something to be ashamed of. Love is love, and I’m sorry if anyone has ever made you feel like who you are is something you have to change. You are perfect the way you are.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Ventura

    I like Jackie and appreciate her music but this book was only Okay. I found the chapter on the so called "heterosexual gospel" to be rather misguided and unhelpful. She wants to guard against the idea that gays must become straight in order to become Christians (the Galatian heresy of putting sanctification before justification), and I agree with her in wanting to clarify that the gospel is for sinners, not the righteous. But the mistake comes when she tries to disconnect holiness from heterosex I like Jackie and appreciate her music but this book was only Okay. I found the chapter on the so called "heterosexual gospel" to be rather misguided and unhelpful. She wants to guard against the idea that gays must become straight in order to become Christians (the Galatian heresy of putting sanctification before justification), and I agree with her in wanting to clarify that the gospel is for sinners, not the righteous. But the mistake comes when she tries to disconnect holiness from heterosexuality. She talks as if holiness does not make demands of our creational gender, which contradicts other statements she makes about God's grace redeeming and restoring the whole person, including their sexual desires. Herman Bavinck has some good stuff on this in his "Reformed Dogmatics" discussions on Nature/Grace. Grace does not nullify nature, it restores it back to God's original intent. If you do read "Gay Girl, Good God," you should really read "The Grace of Shame" by Tim Bayly as well to help you navigate these errors. Christians keep making these basic category mistakes and it just creates more problems down the line.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Benter

    It's difficult to rate a person's memoir and how they view their own life. However, reading this critically as both a Christian and a member of the LGBTQ community, I found some aspects hard to swallow. First, Jackie seems to avoid the use of the term "sexual orientation" and uses the phrase "same-sex attraction" instead. While this may not seem troublesome, members of the LGBTQ community are likely to read that and come to the conclusion that she is calling the attraction a choice rather than s It's difficult to rate a person's memoir and how they view their own life. However, reading this critically as both a Christian and a member of the LGBTQ community, I found some aspects hard to swallow. First, Jackie seems to avoid the use of the term "sexual orientation" and uses the phrase "same-sex attraction" instead. While this may not seem troublesome, members of the LGBTQ community are likely to read that and come to the conclusion that she is calling the attraction a choice rather than something we are born with. Near the end of the book, Jackie does say that it would be wrong to expect Christian's worth same sex attraction to completely lose that attraction, she says that the person should endure to ignore those attractions and look to God. I am someone who had a relationship/faith in God/Jesus long before I accepted my sexuality. But, like Jackie, those attractions were there from an early age, long before either of us could have known what sexuality was. I appreciate her willingness to share her story, but I fear how these words will be used by Christian's in a damaging way to the LGBTQ community. While Jackie is right that we are more than our sexuality, our sexuality is still a part of us. It is something that I feel we are born with. To write about a loving God who created us, formed us in his image, and then to imply that there is something wrong with those who dont fit the heterosexual mold seems contradictory.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yibbie

    God is good. No matter what we do, or who we think we are, God will never change. This is a beautiful testimony of a woman who found that God was more important than anything we hold dear. She wants us to see, as she did, that God wants us, all of us, all our actions, thoughts, and love. In return, He gives us all of Himself. It is for a mature audience. Jackie is open about her temptations and struggles. She talks about her life before salvation and what that she enjoyed about it. She doesn’ God is good. No matter what we do, or who we think we are, God will never change. This is a beautiful testimony of a woman who found that God was more important than anything we hold dear. She wants us to see, as she did, that God wants us, all of us, all our actions, thoughts, and love. In return, He gives us all of Himself. It is for a mature audience. Jackie is open about her temptations and struggles. She talks about her life before salvation and what that she enjoyed about it. She doesn’t glorify it, but she wants us to understand that she wasn’t trying to escape her life. It was the promise of a relationship with God that brought her to Him not dissatisfaction with her life. She is as delicate as possible, but there are some details. She is also very open about the struggles that continued as she learned to obey the Lord. Even before I found out Jackie is a poet, I thought her style was lyrical almost to the point of being poetic. Her love for words is beautifully obvious. She uses them to open her heart to us about her struggles and the Person who has met her and loved her. At the end she tells us that praise is the ultimate point for her words, to show us God’s goodness. I vaguely regret listening to this as an audiobook. Those last chapters deserve more meditation than I could give it in an audio format. They were good. They would make a good study of the true gospel. But I got a copy earlier in that format so it was good, but I would recommend a hard copy for anyone interested in deeper study.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Eggert

    This book is amazing and humbling. I’m going to be reading it again this week. I read another review on here that if you replace the word “gay” with any other idols of your heart, this book can reorient your heart to worshipping God. It’s completely true! I fell more in love with God reading this book realizing how good He truly is. It will be definitely be in my top 10 favorite books list.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy Morgan

    Jackie’s testimony is powerful. Also, if you replace “gay” with whatever your personal idol is, really good book about worshipping God instead of gods. Convicting book, whether you are gay or not.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aberdeen

    Basically: This story touches on so many important, and misunderstood, issues—same-sex attraction, biblical femininity, repentance, sanctification, evangelism—and Jackie is an honest, winsome, and humble storyteller. Something I've been wrestling with a lot recently is what it means to be a woman, in the truest, best, biblical way. How can I, as a woman, be strong without being rebellious or brazen, or honor the way God made me without succumbing to mere stereotypes? This book is probably the mos Basically: This story touches on so many important, and misunderstood, issues—same-sex attraction, biblical femininity, repentance, sanctification, evangelism—and Jackie is an honest, winsome, and humble storyteller. Something I've been wrestling with a lot recently is what it means to be a woman, in the truest, best, biblical way. How can I, as a woman, be strong without being rebellious or brazen, or honor the way God made me without succumbing to mere stereotypes? This book is probably the most helpful thing on the subject I've read so far—yes, a book written by a former lesbian. But isn't that the whole point of what God does, using our brokenness as a way to more clearly reflect His light? You can tell Jackie Hill Perry is a poet—some of her sentences left me speechless, rereading them for the beauty and power of her turn of phrase. You can also tell she loves Jesus. He is the hero of her story, and this is probably the best part of book for me: how central he is. Jackie doesn't offer easy, trite answers to the issues of being attracted to someone of the same gender or finding sin alluring and desirable or wrestling with how to embrace your femininity when your personality and voice are louder and stronger than most women's. She does, however, always point back to Christ, to the power of what he accomplished on the cross. I appreciate how she depicts how tempting sin is, how hard it is the fight even when you're Christian, but simultaneously how ultimately desirable and satisfying Jesus is. Both of those things are so true, and so opposite, that you don't often find them portrayed so clearly. Jackie offers valuable—no, invaluable—insights for those of us were not attracted to the same gender. She helped me understand what that struggle feels like and also how to minister to those who are in it. Her chapter on how Christians preach a heterosexual gospel (i.e., Jesus wants you to be straight, instead of he wants you to be His, fully saved in every way) is eye-opening and much needed. More than that, her story can encourage all of us because we all struggle with sin, and we all need to be reminded, as her friend told her, “the gospel didn't just save you, it also keeps you.” This book shone light on the lifestyle and culture I know little about but it also revealed truths I need to be reminded of in my own life. Who gave mercy my address? Or told it how to get to my room? On the way down the hall, shouldn't the smell of idols kept its feet from moving any closer. Then I remember the wipers of the Bible that I knew by heart. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The same Bible that condemns me held in it the promises that could save me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jo LeGare

    JHP is an unashamed poet. She encouraged me spiritually and relationally through the power of words... I’m not often moved by someone’s interpretation of Jesus, but she writes as if I’m her confidante and it prostrated me before Him. For instance, I told a friend I was weary of being a Christian lately, and JHP put it into prose: “My back, showing signs of the wear and tear from the cross it was carrying day to day, was weary.” Wow. That had me crying at 2 a.m. She’s got grit; and this hotbed top JHP is an unashamed poet. She encouraged me spiritually and relationally through the power of words... I’m not often moved by someone’s interpretation of Jesus, but she writes as if I’m her confidante and it prostrated me before Him. For instance, I told a friend I was weary of being a Christian lately, and JHP put it into prose: “My back, showing signs of the wear and tear from the cross it was carrying day to day, was weary.” Wow. That had me crying at 2 a.m. She’s got grit; and this hotbed topic was handled with grace, truth, and love.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Robertson

    ‘Oh no’ I thought[‘ here we go again’. Yet another memoir on being a gay Christian. But I had heard this girl was good…..so I ordered Gay Girl, Good God in the hope that it might not be bad. I was wrong….it is superb! This is the book that Vicky Beeching should have written! There is so much that is good about it. It is really well written…as a hip hop artist, poet and writer, you would expect Jackie to be good with words – and your expectations would be correct. I actually found this book hard ‘Oh no’ I thought[‘ here we go again’. Yet another memoir on being a gay Christian. But I had heard this girl was good…..so I ordered Gay Girl, Good God in the hope that it might not be bad. I was wrong….it is superb! This is the book that Vicky Beeching should have written! There is so much that is good about it. It is really well written…as a hip hop artist, poet and writer, you would expect Jackie to be good with words – and your expectations would be correct. I actually found this book hard to put down. She manages to combine a beautiful way of writing with a great story – and the hardest thing of all – a story that ends up not being about the gay girl but the Good God. I couldn’t help but contrast it with Vicky Beeching’s ‘Undivided”. And the contrast is stark. Jackie’s story is about she started off having an identity in sexuality and ended up with her identity in God. Vicky’s is about starting with her identity as a Christian artist/theologian and ending up with a new identity as a gay rights activist. Jackie’s book honours Scripture and glorifies Christ…Vicky’s denigrates Scripture (by twisting and changing it to suit her views) and demeans Christ (by turning him into nothing more than a cheer leader for the current ‘liberal’ zeitgeist). One other difference – Vicky’s is welcomed and lauded by the secular media – she is the new darling of the anti-Christian establishment, with regular appearances on secular tv, radio and in parliament and the big companies. I guarantee Jackie will not be invited on to the BBC, Sky or CNN! The sad thing for me is that even mainstream Christian news outlets give far more publicity to Vicky Beeching than to Jackie Hill Perry. Just go on to any of them and ‘search’ the two names and see who has the most mentions and the most articles. It’s a sad day when we publicise heretics and silence the faithful! Gay Girl, Good God, is highly recommended. Get two copies (soon - before it is banned by those who would argue it advocates conversion therapy - it doesn't - but they won't like the narrative). – one for yourself and one to pass on. My Christian book of the year so far….

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    This book was by far the best book I've read this year. Jackie's writing is exquisite, but more than that her portrayal of our good God and His sustaining grace allowing us to overcome sin, was life changing. This is about SO much more than gayness, although it was fascinating to understand a bit more about someone who has come out of the gay lifestyle. I was particularly convicted about Jackie's commitment to repeatedly battle temptation for the greater gift of communion with God.

  14. 5 out of 5

    NinaB

    I had never heard of this author until this book. I was intrigued by the title and its being promoted by a few blogs I follow. Before I give my review, I must say that my liking the book does not make me a fan of the author’s rap music, nor do I completely agree with her view on social justice. This review is simply based on this book and not on on the author’s other works. The most important part of this book is the author’s biblical emphasis when talking of her sin, conversion and sanctificatio I had never heard of this author until this book. I was intrigued by the title and its being promoted by a few blogs I follow. Before I give my review, I must say that my liking the book does not make me a fan of the author’s rap music, nor do I completely agree with her view on social justice. This review is simply based on this book and not on on the author’s other works. The most important part of this book is the author’s biblical emphasis when talking of her sin, conversion and sanctification. I’ve read a blogpost where Ms. Perry was accused of neglecting the Holy Spirit’s work in sanctification by her emphasizing that the purpose of the gospel is not to make one heterosexual, but to make one love Christ above all things, including one’s sexuality. She states multiple times that we are more than our sexuality, so heterosexuality should not be the goal of the same-sex attracted (SSA) Christian, Christ is! She is quite clear in her book that SSA is wrong and the Christian who struggles with that has to fight to the death to kill that sin. For some like the author, it results in a heterosexual marriage. For most, it may not. But the fight keeps on going for both groups. Ms Perry is clearly a poet. I usually do not like artsy wording (e.g., Vosskamp), but the author’s way with words grabbed both my heart and mind. Her skill in mixing and combining words to make her point is quite inspiring. She starts the book with her life in sin before Christ, but ends it with her life with Him. This book is not about the gay girl really, but about the good God who saved her, who made her see that everything else is unimportant in comparison to Him, and who continually sanctifies her in her daily battle with sin and walk with Him.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Davina

    It is hard to write a review for a book you love so much, that is full of truth and eloquently, poetically written. Never could I do it justice with my feeble words. But let me say this: this is a book for everyone. It is not primarily about sexuality, but about sin and truth, redemption and the beautiful Christ. Jackie Hill Perry reminds us that we can't find deliverance from sin merely by understanding it is sin, but by understanding its deceptive nature and the glorious, all-surpassing joy th It is hard to write a review for a book you love so much, that is full of truth and eloquently, poetically written. Never could I do it justice with my feeble words. But let me say this: this is a book for everyone. It is not primarily about sexuality, but about sin and truth, redemption and the beautiful Christ. Jackie Hill Perry reminds us that we can't find deliverance from sin merely by understanding it is sin, but by understanding its deceptive nature and the glorious, all-surpassing joy that is to be found in our creator. But she not only says it, she shows you. I seldomly have found so much scripture in one book. Jackie combines all kinds of verses and bible stories to make truth known to the reader. To make Jesus known. Because it is him we will enjoy forever. I also loved that you get a glimpse into what life is like for a gay Christian. I think the christian community has failed to understand their battle and failed to love them properly. The book is a good reminder that struggles with same-sex attraction are not different from the temptations non-gay people experience. But it is also a temptation some homosexuals have to war against all their lives. Heterosexuality and marriage are not the answer to this, as some christians have suggested. For some it is a possibility, but it can not be the reason why they come to faith. But Jesus is the answer. He will always be enough and more. He is the reason why everyone of us can say 'No' to sin and 'Yes' to sanctification. Let's take this book and learn something from it. Let's read it and love the LGBT community better, always showing them that Christ is more.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I loved this book. The context is same sex attractedness, but it is about so much more than that. The author does a fantastic job of making all sin and all joy about the gospel. For those who struggle with homosexuality, the goal is not to suddenly be made straight or to end up getting married to someone of the opposite sex. The goal, like for everyone, is to be made holy through God's saving and renewing work in us. The author talks about her own past with homosexuality, her salvation, her stru I loved this book. The context is same sex attractedness, but it is about so much more than that. The author does a fantastic job of making all sin and all joy about the gospel. For those who struggle with homosexuality, the goal is not to suddenly be made straight or to end up getting married to someone of the opposite sex. The goal, like for everyone, is to be made holy through God's saving and renewing work in us. The author talks about her own past with homosexuality, her salvation, her struggles and how God has changed her, and some really practical tools for dealing specifically with same sex attraction in a biblical way, always bringing the reader back to the point that the goals and means of dealing with sin is the same. I listened to this as an audiobook read by the author and I would highly recommend that version. Perry is a poet and her writing was powerful and enjoyable when listened to with her own flow and emphasis. Her use of imagery and her insight was truly beautiful. Some of my favorite quotes are below (there were a lot!): 1."For he [God] knew that the cruelest thing he could ever do was to not tell me and everyone alive to avoid what would keep us from him." 2. "Sin, when in the body, cannot stay put. It's not a guest that stays in one room making sure not to disturb the others. It is a tenant that lives in everything and goes everywhere. It can bleed into every part, choking out anything holy." 3. "Being born human meant that I had the capacity for affection and logic. Being born sinful meant both were inherently broken." 4. "At the same time that I was teaching myself how to avoid pain, I was also training myself to live without love." 5. "God was not calling me to be straight, he was calling me to himself. The choice to lay aside sin and take hold of holiness was not synonymous with heterosexuality. From my prior understanding of God as told by the few Christians I had met, to choose God would be to inevitably choose men too, even if my liking of them became a way for me to chase away the gayness without God's help. I figured that's what would please him most. That when he looked at me he saw a wife before he saw a disciple, but God was not a Las Vegas chaplain or an impatient mother intent on sending a man my way to cure me of my homosexuality. He was God. A God after my whole heart, desperate to make it new, committed to making it like him. In my becoming holy as he is, I would not be miraculously made into a woman that didn't like women. I'd be made into a woman that loved God more than anything. If marriage ever came, or singleness called me by name, he wanted to guarantee by the work of his hands that both would be lived unto him. To my surprise years later, marriage did come, but in God calling me, it was not to find a man to love or to live as if my same sex attractions weren't a reality, it was to love God with all my heart, mind and soul." 6. "I knew he required me to let go of my girlfriend specifically, but more than her came to mind. What else was I loving that might be the death of me, I wondered. There had to be more executioners that I had made my lover." 7. "If only I could just be straight and lay aside my homosexuality, God would accept me and call me his own. I used to think. This delusion was the belief that only one aspect of my life was worthy of judgment, while the rest deserved heaven. That my other vices were not as bad. They were just struggles that I had to work on instead of repenting of...the error [of people who seek only to have their same sex attractions removed] is this: they have come to God believing that only a fraction of themselves needs saving. They have, therefore, neglected to acknowledge the rest of them also needs to be made right. It is like coming to God offering only a portion of their heart for him to have, as if he does not have the right to take hold of it all. Or as if what has been withheld from him can be satisfied without him. A thorough survey of my own heart, led entirely by the Holy Spirit, allowed me to see what I had never seen. That I not only needed freedom from homosexuality, but from all sin. I was holistically in need of God." 8. "What he [God] called idols had been a kind of joy for me. In him would I find a better one? Or perhaps, would he not merely give me joy, but would he be my joy?" 9. "I was able to want God, because the Holy Spirit was after my affections just as much as he was after my obedience." 10. "If I could leave the love of my life for the lover of my soul, then changing my clothes, though difficult, would not be as horrific as it seemed." 11. "Being a woman was not something that I needed to learn per say. Woman is what I already was. It is unhelpful to paint a picture of womanhood that only involves behavior and not how this behavior involves the body. Eve was called a woman before she ever behaved like one. Though I was a woman biologically I needed to learn how to be one in the fullest sense by mirroring Christ both in body and behavior. As I got to know God better, he surely showed me how." 12. "From the outside looking in, it could be assumed that Preston and my relationship was God's proof of turning a gay girl good. But, really, he had already done that the moment he'd set me free from sin. Marriage didn't prove that I had changed. The fruit of the Spirit did. The power to look at the things I had loved once and conclude them as worthless was all the apologetic that God needed to remind the world of his power. Preston and I were brought together not so that we could become the standard of what is to become of all gay girls and boys turned believers; we were brought together for the primary reason of pointing to the mystery of God's gospel. Marriage was the way God wanted me to glorify him. Becoming one flesh would not complete me. Marriage is not would what make me whole. But it would be God's work in and through my marriage along with whatever else the potter chose to use to shape me as his clay that would. God was my first love. I had married him way before I did Preston and I'd be married to him even after death parted me from the man I vowed to love until then." 13. "It is harder to lift the hardness heart off of the heart of a sinner than it is to give a blind man physical sight. Humans have been unable to open their eyes spiritually since before Adam hid behind the tree in hopes that his hiding from God could save him from God. We've all become very creative at trying to make ourselves see, but we will never succeed. God wouldn't be himself if he could not do the impossible. Before time, he's done it. And when time becomes a distant memory used only to reminisce, he will always be doing what no one can: be God. The God who does the miraculous. And we can be sure that the salvation of a sinner is the greatest miracle that the world could ever see. The same power that made a man born blind able to see through the means of something as foolish as spit and mud is the same enormous power contained in a foolish Gospel brought into the world through a risen Savior. It is through faith in him, initiated by his pursuit of me, that I, a gay girl, now new creature, was made right with God, given sight, able to recognize my hands and how they'd been calloused by sins and how Jesus had come to cleanse me of them all. Now seeing, I worshipped. One thing is for sure, if ever I am asked how I am able to see now, after being blind for so long, I will simply say, I was blind, a good God came and now I see." 14. "I don't believe it is wise or truthful to the power of the Gospel to identify oneself by the sins of one's past or the temptations of one's present, but rather to only be defined by the Christ who's overcome both for those he calls his own. All men and women, including myself, that are well-acquainted with sexual temptation are ultimately not what our temptation says of us, we are what Christ has done for us. Therefore, our ultimate identity is very simple. We are Christians." 15. "The identify I ascribe to God and the identity he gives me will always reveal the true nature of my faith." 16. "Sin can never deliver on its promise to make us happy. Vomit will always be vomit even if drizzled with chocolate, sliced almonds and a cherry on top." 17. "You are not alone. Both the isolated Christian and the isolating Christian are a part of a family, a body, an organism of human beings with different sins and the same savior. Even if many Christians cannot understand the specific struggle of same sex attraction, all Christians can understand the general struggle of sin. It is this body that God has made us all a part of to sanctify the saints, equip the saints for ministry and reveal God and deeper ways to the saints. It was true then and it is true now. And man was meant to be alone and by the grace of God we are not and will never be." 18. "If Jesus needed to the strength to endure for the sake of obedience to his Father, how much more do we...the fact of the matter is, being a Christian and having to deny same sex attractions is difficult, but just as the Father sent and angel to strengthen the Son, he has sent us someone way better: the Holy Spirit...it doesn't make obedience easy, but it does make it possible." 19. "The great contrast between us and Jesus is this. Jesus was sorrowful at the prospect of him experiencing the displeasure of God, but most, if not all of us, become sorrowful at prospect of not experiencing the pleasures of sin. Jesus didn't endure because he was strong. He was most likely at one of the weakest points of his humanity, but he endured because he loved his God. Therefore, he was fully committed to doing the will of God no matter the cost. This love is what will help us persevere. A love that sees knowing God as the body's greatest pleasure. Even in tears and pain and difficulty we keep fighting because we know being in his will is infinitely better than being in our own. And just like Jesus, we endure because we know joy will always be on the other side of obedience." 20. "As crazy as it sounds, God has given humans who've made a covenant before God and man, the blessed chance of playing out the gospel in their homes daily. Marriage truly is glorious. In all of its glory, however, it is not the highest glory..." 21. Sam Alberry says, "Singleness, like marriage, has a unique way of testifying to the gospel of grace. Jesus said there will be no marriage in the new creation. In that respect, we will be like the angels, neither marrying nor being given in marriage. We will have the reality, we will no longer need the signpost. By forgoing marriage now, singleness is a way of both anticipating this reality and testifying to its goodness. It's a way of saying this future reality is so certain that we can live according to it now. If marriage shows us the shape of the gospel, singleness shows us is sufficiency. It's a way of declaring to a world obsessed with sexual and romantic intimacy that these things are not ultimate and that, in Christ, we possess what is." This is such a good book. The gospel is laid out clearly and repeatedly, and it serves as a great reminder that sin is sin and God is God. We all struggle with sin and God's power to save is effective against any measure of it. We need to stop presenting people with a lesser salvation by merely convincing them to stop doing any particular sin. God wants our whole heart and in him we find our joy. Excellent message, beautifully told.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Allyson Todd

    Every Christian should read this book. Not only is the content beautiful and glorifying to God, but it is also a non-fiction book that reads like fiction. Jackie's writing style is poetic, she helps you see what she says. I found myself praising God throughout the pages. I hope many more books flow from Jackie's pen in the years to come.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have been following Jackie Hill Perry a while now after running into an excerpt of her writing. I have been concerned about the attitudes of the Christian church towards the LBGT community and her insight was new and refreshing. I really appreciated hearing Jackie's testimony of how she came out of same sex attraction to finding the Lord God, the lover of her soul. When I heard that she had written a book, I had to pre-order a copy. Here is an excerpt from her book: "The most alarming problem I have been following Jackie Hill Perry a while now after running into an excerpt of her writing. I have been concerned about the attitudes of the Christian church towards the LBGT community and her insight was new and refreshing. I really appreciated hearing Jackie's testimony of how she came out of same sex attraction to finding the Lord God, the lover of her soul. When I heard that she had written a book, I had to pre-order a copy. Here is an excerpt from her book: "The most alarming problem with the “heterosexual gospel” is that it is no gospel at all. Its missionaries carry into the world a message unable to save and set free. It points to marriage or a temptation-less heterosexuality as the reason to repent or the fruit of repentance. The reason to turn from sin has always been so we can turn toward Jesus. I don’t doubt that it’s easy to mistake the heterosexual gospel for the gospel of God because many have forgotten that the gospel is actually about God in the first place. When the Christian life has become a practice in doing everything else but making Jesus known, what would we expect of our gospel presentations? They will naturally result in the telling of something empty and void of power—more moral than anything and sufficient to make men and women believe that they can be saved by and for some other means than Jesus. Getting back to the foundational call of making God the center of our churches, our conversations, our doctrines, and our lives will ensure that He won’t be left out of our evangelism. Surely, no man who has made God small in his own life will have the Godward focus to make Him big in their ministry to others. Christ has simply come to make us right with God. And in making us right with God, He is satisfying us in God. Our sexuality is not our soul, marriage is not heaven, and singleness is not hell. So may we all preach the news that is good for a reason. For it proclaims to the world that Jesus has come so that all sinners, same-sex-attracted and opposite-sex-attracted, can be forgiven of their sins to love God and enjoy Him forever."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sherise

    Jackie Hill Perry has a gift: the ability to speak the simple, profound truth of the gospel. Though we also need the deep biblical scholars who mine the nuances of Scripture, we also need the voices of people like Jackie who can speak the truth simply and with power. Gay Girl, Good God is a book for every Christian. Regardless of the sins you most struggle with, you will be edified by the power of Christ to transform us all in every messy, dirty part of our lives. And, bonus, the last chapter will Jackie Hill Perry has a gift: the ability to speak the simple, profound truth of the gospel. Though we also need the deep biblical scholars who mine the nuances of Scripture, we also need the voices of people like Jackie who can speak the truth simply and with power. Gay Girl, Good God is a book for every Christian. Regardless of the sins you most struggle with, you will be edified by the power of Christ to transform us all in every messy, dirty part of our lives. And, bonus, the last chapter will rank as one of my favourite discourses on singleness forever. I "read" this on audiobook (highly recommended as it's read by Jackie herself) and I plan to purchase a physical copy as well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Francine Walsh

    Knowing Jackie Hill Perry mostly for her spoken word work, I don't know why I was surprised to see that "Gay Girl, Good God" was so poetic. Jackie tells her life story in an incredibly compelling way that will keep you hooked. And when she's done, she keeps the amazing work at the parts of the book that are more practical. Great book for ANYONE, whether struggling with same-sex attraction or not, whether a Christian or not. So helpful for understanding and better knowing how to respond to same-s Knowing Jackie Hill Perry mostly for her spoken word work, I don't know why I was surprised to see that "Gay Girl, Good God" was so poetic. Jackie tells her life story in an incredibly compelling way that will keep you hooked. And when she's done, she keeps the amazing work at the parts of the book that are more practical. Great book for ANYONE, whether struggling with same-sex attraction or not, whether a Christian or not. So helpful for understanding and better knowing how to respond to same-sex attracted Christians in a loving way.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carrian Troxler

    This book is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Its prose and poetry, and lyricism spoke to parts of my mind, heart, and soul that often go untouched in memoirs like these. So snaps for that. But to be honest going deeper than that is easy- Jackie's story resonated with me deeply. We didn't have the same exact path (who ever does?) but the way she put words to feelings and thoughts and pointed toward fullness and wholeness that is only achievable by God and The Gospel r This book is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Its prose and poetry, and lyricism spoke to parts of my mind, heart, and soul that often go untouched in memoirs like these. So snaps for that. But to be honest going deeper than that is easy- Jackie's story resonated with me deeply. We didn't have the same exact path (who ever does?) but the way she put words to feelings and thoughts and pointed toward fullness and wholeness that is only achievable by God and The Gospel rang true for me. You literally can change the word gay to anything you want and the path the wholeness will be the same. You don't have to struggle with homosexuality like I did to find value in this book. It is a treasure trove of authentic truth and beautiful testaments to who God has always been and desires to be for all of us. I could go on for days but I will just say that this is a book that shot up to one of my favorites and one I will be gleaning from for years to come I am sure.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Herr

    Listened to this on audio (Jackie reads it herself and she is a compelling reader/speaker.) This is worth the listen/read - a story of God’s goodness that we can all relate to with practical encouragements for the church.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Whittum

    An artist with words Jackie Hill Perry beautifully tells her story and even more beautifully tells the story of God's grace and relentless pursuit of her in this book

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dominique Evans

    I read Jackie Hill Perry‘s #GayGirlGoodGod book for my own personal reasons, and really enjoyed her heart for God, her husband, and other people who are having a hard time with this. Incredible book. One of the best books on the ACTUAL feelings of anyone who identifies with LGBT, and a new believer in Christ who is struggling with same-sex attraction. And I know this because I can relate. I highly recommend her book. Her story and His Story is told with a very high view of God and a correct (not I read Jackie Hill Perry‘s #GayGirlGoodGod book for my own personal reasons, and really enjoyed her heart for God, her husband, and other people who are having a hard time with this. Incredible book. One of the best books on the ACTUAL feelings of anyone who identifies with LGBT, and a new believer in Christ who is struggling with same-sex attraction. And I know this because I can relate. I highly recommend her book. Her story and His Story is told with a very high view of God and a correct (not demeaning or prideful or ignorant) view of the human being.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I’ve read dozens of books in the same genre of Christian titles of which “Gay Girl Good God” by Jackie Hill Perry is the latest entry. Perry’s first book is a memoir of her life thus far from “gay girl once” to “what God’s goodness will do to a soul once grace gets to it.” (p. 1) Memoirs are challenging to review because we each have a story uniquely our own. Still I am reviewing this book because what I most care about is how stories like Perry’s are used. Though it may not be the intention of th I’ve read dozens of books in the same genre of Christian titles of which “Gay Girl Good God” by Jackie Hill Perry is the latest entry. Perry’s first book is a memoir of her life thus far from “gay girl once” to “what God’s goodness will do to a soul once grace gets to it.” (p. 1) Memoirs are challenging to review because we each have a story uniquely our own. Still I am reviewing this book because what I most care about is how stories like Perry’s are used. Though it may not be the intention of the author to tell LGBTQ people that they too can be “once” gay and go on to marry heterosexually, this will become the message as the book is “gifted” to, or read by LGBTQ Christians. And, the book will be idolized by many parents with gay children as a solution for their own children if they would just try harder, or submit more fully to God. You can search my profile on Amazon and see that I have reviewed dozens of this sort of book over the years. Many memoir-style once-I-was-gay books have indeed become sacred weapons in the hands of straight Christians, parents, pastors, and leaders. I don’t get to tell Perry, or anyone, what they should or should not do. What I am offering some historical background of same-sex behavior, our understanding, and how the Christian church has engaged LGBTQ people, in particular, those who identify as Christian. Then, I’ll place Perry’s story in context of that foundation. Next, you get to decide if the framework we’ve constructed in the Christian church should be imposed on LGBTQ Christians, and if Perry’s story is a fully viable option for other LGBTQ Christians, maybe even yourself. Perry’s chapter titles throughout her book reflect a series of time spans; my format mirrors that. 6,000 BC—AD 1870 In Chapter 2, Perry recounts the Creation story using beautiful language, telling of the introduction of desires and sin into the world. She writes: “Desires exist because God gave them to us. But homosexual desires exist because sin does.” (p. 20) Attributing homosexuality to The Fall is common. Though I do not agree with a young earth view of creation, I will honor it in the context of this review. From whenever the beginning of humans was through about 1870, the views and understanding of sex, sexual relationships, and the roles of men and women both sexually and socially have little resemblance to how we understand these topics today. Historically, in ancient cultures, including the entire time in which the Bible was written, women were little more than fertile planting grounds for a man’s semen. His semen was believed to hold the entirety of a human. Hence, where he placed that semen was important. Procreation was important. So masturbation and other forms of non-procreative sex were taboo, or, in biblical language, abominations. Almost unbelievably, it was not until 1870 that scientists discovered that women contributed an egg to the process of procreation. Women, or those abased and placed in the role of a woman (lesser men, the conquered, male prostitutes, or boys) were socially inferior, placed in a submissive role, and sexually penetrated. Penetration of a male always reduced him to the feminine submissive state. We see examples of rape, even in the Bible, used to humiliate and debase men (the Sodom threatened rape of angels). Then, beginning in the 1870s, a few men observing and studying human sexuality offered an alternate way of viewing sexual relationships. Rather than defining people by male/masculine/penetrator or female/feminine/penetrated, they suggested a new concept with a complete shift. They categorized people according to the partners they were attracted to: was that partner the same or opposite sex? How we looked at sexuality began a slow, very slow, shift over the next sixty years from the role you played (male/masculine/penetrator or female/feminine/penetrated) to who you were attracted to (men, women, or both men and women). We call this sexual orientation today. They did not even have that terminology and would not for another century. Obviously, Scripture passages, including those used to condemn same-sex relationships today, were written through the lens of the role you took in sex, not who you were attracted to. You simply cannot impose our categories or understanding of human sexuality onto an ancient culture. Though it is likely clear, it must be stated again: any writings in ancient times, the Bible included, could have never envisioned people of the same sex engaging in emotional, romantic and sexual relationships that did not place one person in power and dominance while rendering the other powerless and submissive. Sex was not something you did with someone, it was something you did to someone. It was a zero sum game; one person gained power, one person lost power. 1870—1930s The words homosexual and heterosexual were coined in Germany. Throughout the next sixty years, sex experts primarily in Germany struggled to understand how people were attracted to the same sex, and what may have caused it. It wasn’t just homosexuals that were the focus of sex experts. They were also trying to understand anyone who participated in sex for erotic pleasure without the intent to procreate, what we now call heterosexuals were included in that scrutiny. So, even men and women, married or not, who had sex without intent to procreate (there are lots of ways men and women have sex that are not procreative, right?), or just for the fun of it, were similarly viewed as “perverted.” Hard to believe, isn’t it? By about the 1920s, sex slowly became unhinged from procreation, and passion in sex moved from perversion to normal. Homosexuality, still a mystery to sex experts, became a topic of speculation as to what may have caused it. Was it incomplete childhood psychosexual development? An immature heterosexuality? Did an overprotective mother and distant father create a gay child? By the 1940s, it was generally settled on that homosexuality was a mental illness. Heterosexuality, the kind that was once a perversion, the non-procreative, erotic kind takes it place as “normal sexuality.” 1935—1946 A translation team working on the Revised Standard Version translates two Greek words, arsenokoitai and malakoi, which had meaning most closely related to: one who uses another sexually, and one who is penetrated, as a woman is penetrated, to the single word “homosexual.” The word “homosexual” had only been in a U.S. dictionary since 1934. It was a poor translation choice for the two Greek words, but in a culture where homosexuality was a mystery and contrary to procreative sex, the word was unfortunately used. The translation to homosexual was culturally and ideologically based, not theologically rooted. 1950s—1970s Very few people seemed to care or notice the word “homosexual” in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Virtually no church leaders used the Bible to condemn those who are homosexual during this time period. Homosexuality was not a moral issue. It was considered a mental illness, or a criminal issue. There was no theology around homosexuality. That would not be created until about 30 years after the RSV introduction of the word. Another hard to believe concept. 1973 Homosexuality was depatholigized by mental health care professionals, meaning, it was seen as a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality. 1978—1990s Homosexuality, no longer considered a mental illness by experts, becomes a moral issue and sin in conservative Christian circles. In 1971, The Living Bible, a paraphrase, inserted “homosexuality” into two more passages: Romans 1 and Leviticus 18. For some, the beginning of the gay rights movement in the late 1960s indicated a moral crisis in America. Conveniently, it was used by some, mostly televangelists of the day, as both a donation tool, and a wedge issue motivating voters to side with conservative social and religious issues. Theology to support this stance was created for the first time. That may be tough to envision, but all historical records of books, journals, and denominational newsletters support this assertion. Christian organizations promising to change homosexuals to heterosexuals envisioned transformation to be so effective that they could even successfully enter into heterosexual marriages. Subsequent translators after the RSV, for the most part, neglected to revisit those original assumptions and ignorance on the part of the 1946 translation team. 1988 Perry is born into this culture. 1989—2007 Perry grows up and falls in love with a woman. LGBTQ Christians in church environments were told they were an abomination to God, and could change according to Scriptures, even those these very passages that had never been used in this way before the 1970s. Contrary to the expert opinions of medical professionals, Christian organizations and reparative therapy counseling boom with the promise to change gay people into straight people. Gay Christians are given a few options: leave the faith altogether, find a new church that welcomes them, hide their orientation, submit to change therapy, marry heterosexually, or remain celibate for life. 2008 Perry, a lesbian, becomes a Christian in this environment. As would be expected, to identify as a Christian, she has few options open to her. She chooses to leave the relationship with the woman she loves. 2008—2014 Perry grows in her faith and begins a difficult heterosexual relationship with Preston. Eventually they get married and have two children. Again, this is one of the acceptable options placed on gay Christians remaining in conservative faith environments. Summary Though I’ve created a long and seemingly tedious timeline on which to place Perry’s story, I hope it’s an effective tool showing that discussions around human sexuality and orientation has progressed toward fuller understanding EXCEPT in conservative faith environments. As medical experts better understood sexuality and orientation, conservative Christians took a step backwards to about the 1950s and created a theology to substantiate that move. Now to Perry’s story in particular. As one would expect, to remain in a conservative faith environments, Perry views homosexuality as sin. She admits she still struggles with being drawn to women, but, rather than identifying as a “gay Christian,” along with many of her peers, she opts for a semantics and nuanced angle calling herself “same-sex attracted.” Admonishing those who would identify as “gay Christian,” Perry writes our (Christian’s) identity is to be rooted in Christ. I can partially agree with her reasoning, our identity is to be in Christ. But, consider this, my fellow heterosexual Christians, Christianity and the lens through which the Bible was written and interpreted, has revolved around us and a strict male with female only scenario based on roles for millenia. Historically, LGBTQ people have not even had the language to express their life experiences that existed outside the binary of men with women and women with men. Now, they have the language and a way to express that their feelings and experiences. Is it really so difficult to allow people the space, language, and community to define their experience as unlike yours (mine)? Believers in Jesus have no hesitation declaring our denominational loyalties saying “I am a Baptist, I am an evangelical, I am a Nazarene.” No one yells back, “No, you are not, we are all one in Christ Jesus and just Christians.” No, we allow ourselves to be grouped by experiences, beliefs with and an array of labels. It is quite common for people to form groups of shared experiences and label themselves as such. Using an identity label of “gay” does not negate Jesus or supercede Jesus, or limit a rich spiritual life. We straight Christians don’t need to label ourselves. We don’t need to say heterosexual Christians. We are the default; we are the “normal.” Yet, Perry and others are adamant about using the term same-sex attracted rather than “gay.” This is surprisingly a major issue for many conservative Christians, including Perry. She says, “I don’t believe it is wise or truthful to the power of the gospel to identify oneself by the sins of one’s past or the temptation of one’s present but rather to only be defined by the Christ who’s overcome both for those He calls His own.” (p. 148) Additionally, “LGBT culture has done an excellent job of renewing or should I say destroying, the mind of many, mainly by consistently using words as their greatest tool in their efforts to draw people into finding greater joy in identifying with their sin rather than their Creator.” (p. 150) If using self identifiers common to the culture is enough to keep one from heaven or even from greater joy in God, that is a darn weak gospel. As to the viability of the celibacy option offered to LGBTQ Christians, this too is a newly created “theology.” Once Christians started the attempts to change LGBTQ Christians in the late 1970s, the goalposts of expectations have been constantly on the move. In the late 1970s to 2010s when Christian reparative therapy was introduced, the expectation was a change to heterosexuality, marrying heterosexually, or remaining celibate for life. The blame for being gay gradually shifted from bad parenting to rebellion against God on the part of gay people themselves, and onto to the sinful result of The Fall. More recently, with focus on the ineffectiveness and damaging effects of reparative therapy, in some Christian environments, a “same-sex attraction” identity has become more acceptable, but with it, remains a lifelong demand for celibacy. As laws banning reparative/change therapy are being introduced and passed in many states, there is a new option to the offering: “reintegrative therapy. With it, the LGBTQ community is being asked to step back to the 1960s-ish. Perry invests about 30 pages telling her readers of the struggle to trust and fall in love with her husband, Preston. I’ve heard hundreds, actually likely thousands, of stories of LGBTQ people heterosexually marrying. Some can and do accomplish this with minimal tension. In most instances that do work, there is some degree of bisexuality, a natural attraction to both sexes. Deceptive and dishonestly, bisexuality is never written about as a real scenario in these sorts of books. For the overwhelming majority, did I say OVERWHELMING majority, a mixed-orientation marriage, as it is called, is not a healthy option for either partner. Once out of a heterosexual marriage, these same LGBTQ folks go on to same-sex relationships and marriages and flourish emotionally and spiritually. Again, Perry’s scenario may work marvelously for her, but clearly her story is not at all typical. After the marriage, she leaves the readers almost flatly at the altar. I know that I was curious. How is that working? Are you both fulfilled, happy, joyous? I really would have wanted to read about the love and joy they experience as a married couple, but the reader is shut out of that insight. Credit to Perry where it is due. Her telling of her journey to relationship with God is lovely and moving. Her language in many places is poetic, though in other places it feels forced and too ethereal for the point she is making, like a writing assignment where a student is told to use a maximum amount of word pictures. The writing throughout the book is unfocused. The reader goes from wandering in a sea of Jungian like-dream sequences to a jammed in oh-yeah-it’s-not-okay-to-be-gay point. Really awkward. Like others before this (Christopher Yuan and Rosaria Butterfield’s books—I reviewed those as well), it is highly likely that this book will be used as the latest sacred tool shoved as a burden on the backs of LGBTQ Christians, particularly young women. The message offered, unspoken or not, is “Look, Jackie is married with kids. You can do this too, if you really try.” If you are tempted to do this to another person (in love, of course), please really consider the history that I laid out at the start of this review. This entire category of “what to do with the gays in churches” is a new one in Christianity. Perry doesn’t deal with the passages used to condemn same-sex behavior. So if your intention is to compel an LGBTQ person to change via Scripture, that’s not included in this book. This is Perry’s story only—unfocused, ethereal, flat, and forced in content. It’s the kind of writing that for me would typically only merit a skimming, but I read all of it because I take the task of book reviews seriously. Perry is a successful spoken word artist, as is her husband. It’s evident that she does have a gift for words and the blending of them into effective mind pictures, but a book of this sort is not the communication mechanism for that gifting. Finally, I try to imagine what the reaction might be if this book were given to my LGBTQ Christian friends. The supposition that they have not tried hard enough, not read those secret verses in the Bible, not submitted to God enough, not practiced submission deeply enough, not sought after God as hard as Jackie is false. For the most part, the majority of LGBTQ Christians I know have struggled with verses and God far more than any person who hands them yet another “hopeful, “loving” book. So, here is my suggestion. Skip the book-giving. Skip reading the book if you think you are going to get insights into the lives of those who identify as LGBTQ Christians. Rather, ask an LGBTQ Christian about their relationship with God, about the person they love, about their journey in life and with God has looked like for them. And then, listen some more. If you don’t personally know any LGBTQ Christians, start with Justin Lee’s wonderful memoir, “Torn,” or maybe Amber Cantora’s “ReFocusing My Family.” You may find, as I did, that it’s not LGBTQ Christians that need to change. It is the exclusionary conservative church that needs to revisit wrong assumptions and bad translations and get a good education in the history of human sexuality. If you are LGBTQ and Christian, also check out Lee’s or Cantorna’s book, or one of many LGBTQ affirming faith organizations can help you find your journey and story. Skip Perry’s “Gay Girl Good God,” but do listen to her spoken word loveliness on other topics. She has a gift, it’s just misplaced in this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Lynn

    The clearest, most gospel-forward look into how God transforms the lives of his broken children. Full of grace and truth, Perry gently cuts away church stereotypes and cultural misnomers. I would recommend this to anyone—because it speaks to all. Churchgoers, atheists, same-sex attracted, straight, single, married. Everyone can find questions to wrestle with, testimony to hold on to, and ultimately a God to be enjoyed in these pages.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chase Tremaine

    Try as I might, I earnestly cannot recall the last time that I read an entire book in one sitting. (Nowadays, it's rare enough that I finish a booklet or lengthy blog in a single go!) Yet that's exactly what happened a few hours ago, as I picked this book up and couldn't put it down. Jackie Hill Perry's writing style exudes the rhythm and flow that we know from her spoken word and hip hop, and it mostly translates quite well to the medium of a full-length book. I had occasional issues with the s Try as I might, I earnestly cannot recall the last time that I read an entire book in one sitting. (Nowadays, it's rare enough that I finish a booklet or lengthy blog in a single go!) Yet that's exactly what happened a few hours ago, as I picked this book up and couldn't put it down. Jackie Hill Perry's writing style exudes the rhythm and flow that we know from her spoken word and hip hop, and it mostly translates quite well to the medium of a full-length book. I had occasional issues with the style, alongside a handful of typographical errors, but they did not distract much from the utter readability of this incredible memoir-of-sorts. Perry has so much to say about sexuality that the most frustrating thing about this book is how frequently she stops short. One short chapter about her views on womanhood -- and her experiences with struggling to define it -- was not enough! Between wanting more of her personal stories, more of her exposition of Scripture, and more of what life is like with her husband, I happily would accept a book that's twice as long. Who cares if I can read it in a single sitting or not! But what we have here, greedy as I may be for more, is still an absolute gem, filled with insights that should be helpful to anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    This book does exactly what she says she wanted to do. It shows you a little about her and a lot about God and His goodness. Beautifully written

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tavaris Johnson

    His book was written beautifully but executed poorly. This is a book for people who already believe that homosexuality (or the acts associated with it) is a sin, but it does nothing for anyone who questions that assumption. She states that it is a sin to be SSA, but she fails to explain why. I honestly spent the majority of my time reading this book feeling bad for her. I felt bad for her, because she denied herself the opportunity to love the women in her she was attracted to. She spent so much His book was written beautifully but executed poorly. This is a book for people who already believe that homosexuality (or the acts associated with it) is a sin, but it does nothing for anyone who questions that assumption. She states that it is a sin to be SSA, but she fails to explain why. I honestly spent the majority of my time reading this book feeling bad for her. I felt bad for her, because she denied herself the opportunity to love the women in her she was attracted to. She spent so much of her life believing that she was broken because of her sexual attraction, and it seemed to be the case that the only reason she felt that way is because others did; I have yet to find a verse in the Bible that will lead me to believe someone’s attraction to members of the same sex is a sin. Every reference to homosexuality I have seen has been about actions, and they’ve also been accompanied by other verses about things like adultery, which she oddly referenced at some point in the first half of the book to justify her believe that homosexuality is a sin. Didn’t know adultery was limited to SSA individuals. I did not enjoy this book at all.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hyapatia Lowe

    "God is not calling gay people to be straight, He is calling them to Him" This book was a amazing. I truly felt the love in each page. It is primarily based on struggles in sexuality but every person weather you are gay or not can take something from this book. Jackie touches on many areas, such as dangerous dogmatic teaches, worldly views on identity, false Christian teachings, and the confusion of sin. I just loved this. She truly captures and shares the importance of our lives being about God "God is not calling gay people to be straight, He is calling them to Him" This book was a amazing. I truly felt the love in each page. It is primarily based on struggles in sexuality but every person weather you are gay or not can take something from this book. Jackie touches on many areas, such as dangerous dogmatic teaches, worldly views on identity, false Christian teachings, and the confusion of sin. I just loved this. She truly captures and shares the importance of our lives being about God and for Him, not our sexuality. We are so much more than who we are attracted to.

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