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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. 5 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. 4 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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….

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 4 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.

  9. 5 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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."

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 5 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 4 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.

  17. 4 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bill Pence

    Jackie Hill Perry is a 29-year-old writer, speaker and artist, who was born in St. Louis. She writes that she has written this book out of love for what a good God what done for her – loving her and giving her new life and a new heart. She tells us that what God has done to her soul is worth telling. It is to invite us into her worship. The book is broken into three parts. Part 1: Who I Was The author tells us that she was attracted to girls before she knew how to spell her name. After discussing Jackie Hill Perry is a 29-year-old writer, speaker and artist, who was born in St. Louis. She writes that she has written this book out of love for what a good God what done for her – loving her and giving her new life and a new heart. She tells us that what God has done to her soul is worth telling. It is to invite us into her worship. The book is broken into three parts. Part 1: Who I Was The author tells us that she was attracted to girls before she knew how to spell her name. After discussing what took place in her second grade classroom, she writes that in 2006 she was asked by a girl at a high school dance if she wanted to be her girlfriend. She said “no” at the time, but really wanted to. But when she thought of the girl she would think of spending eternity in hell. Her heart was saying “yes” but her conscience was saying “no”. Eventually she gave in, however. Satan told her to do what felt good. She trusted herself more than she trusted God. Sin was better than submission. The author’s mother and her father, an employee at her mother’s restaurant met at an East St. Louis club in 1988. This would eventually lead to a pregnancy. The author’s mother considered aborting the child. The relationship between Jackie’s mother and father didn’t work out, and Jackie grew up without a father at home. He rarely visited and she was convinced that he didn’t love her. Jackie writes of him dying unexpectedly at a relatively young age. Jackie was sexually abused by a teen-age family member in a dark basement. As she grew up, her experiences with men in her life were an absentee father and a sexually abusive relative. As a lesbian, Jackie was manly, and her girlfriend wanted her to play the role of the stud in their relationship. She would have at least one other girlfriend. At that time, Jackie was an enemy of God. But God was using her conscience. He was hunting her. In addition, a family member prayed for her. She realized that she would have to choose between God and her girlfriend. She writes about being saved in her room. Part 2: Who I Became Jackie writes that she faced a temptation with a beautiful girl the very next day after she was saved. Fortunately, she was sustained by God. Jackie writes that she wished that she had been told about more about the beauty of God rather than the horrors of hell, a good reminder for all of us. She writes of being discipled by a woman in Los Angeles, and moving there from St. Louis. She writes of missing her girlfriend, but God told her that His word was true, even if it contradicted how she felt. She needed to fight sin with the Gospel. Ultimately, she loved God more that the Gay community. She writes of learning what biblical womanhood was, and starting to dress in a feminine manner. Jackie met future husband Preston at a poet event in Los Angeles. She writes of having hurt him, but he still pursued her. Part 3: SSA and.... Approximately the last quarter of the book is comprised of chapters that serve as helpful resources for others dealing with Same Sex Attraction (SSA). Jackie writes that our identity is only in Christ, not our temptations, but what Christ has done for us. • SSA and Identity: Jackie writes that how you identify yourself will shape how you navigate life. She reviews four categories that will help SSA Christians in their sanctification: 1. Identity of Sin. Sin is not beautiful. 2. Identity of a Saint. You are not your temptations. 3. Identity of the Church. You are not alone. 4. Identity of God. God is better than you can imagine. • SSA and Endurance Jackie addresses the enduring and sometimes difficult struggle that SSA Christians will face against temptation. • SSA and the Heterosexual Gospel (which is not a gospel at all). 1. We are more than our sexuality. We were not ultimately made for sex. We were made for God and his glory alone. 2. Marriage is not the pinnacle of the Christian faith. 3. Singleness is not a curse. 4. Evangelism is about God. Jackie uses scripture effectively throughout the book. I listened to the audiobook version of the book, which was well-read by the author. Highly recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    J. Amill Santiago

    I've known about Jackie Hill Perry for a while. However, I would say that since last year, her voice has been one of my favorite voices to listen to. She is well-spoken, full of imagination, creativity and, above all weighty in content. She is, after all, a poet, writer and a hip hop artist. The book itself is divided in three main parts. The first two parts tell Jackie's story and how she came to embrace the Christian faith. Coming from an LGBTQ background, Jackie's story is one full of truth, I've known about Jackie Hill Perry for a while. However, I would say that since last year, her voice has been one of my favorite voices to listen to. She is well-spoken, full of imagination, creativity and, above all weighty in content. She is, after all, a poet, writer and a hip hop artist. The book itself is divided in three main parts. The first two parts tell Jackie's story and how she came to embrace the Christian faith. Coming from an LGBTQ background, Jackie's story is one full of truth, grace and compassion. Her story is not a story about embracing a lifestyle or idea of sexuality that is incompatible with the Christian faith, but one of holistic transformation. To be clear, this is not a story about embracing queerness mixed up with religiosity. It is a story about forsaking such identity for a new one, and about how she was able to flourish under this new identity rather being inside a straitjacket. The third part is more practical in nature. It deals with how to approach your struggles if this is indeed something you struggle with. It also addresses those who are not same-sex attracted and how they should approach those who are. I particularly appreciate how Jackie often points out that God did not save her from a sinful homosexual lifestyle per se, but from unbelief. Unbelief was, after all, at the root of who she was. I also appreciate how often she pointed out that according to the Christian faith, God does not require anything more from the same-sex attracted than what He requires from anyone who is single; how marriage is not heaven, how singleness is not hell, and how God is all-sufficient and all-satysfiying in and of Himself; how God is truly enough; how our sexualities ought not to be our identities and how our identities ought to be rooted in Christ and His Gospel. If you want to know what is a balanced Christian understanding on sexuality this is a great book to read. It is simple, yet not simplistic. It is truthful, yet not aggressive. It is nuanced, yet not vague.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    What can I say? Jackie Hill Perry has done it again. Over and over as I've listened to and read her thoughts over the years, I've never failed to be impressed with her skill in expressing God's truth. I had high hopes for this book and it satisfied every one. Her love for God inspires her to string words together in beautiful, fitting ways, crafting beautiful sentences that are infused with intelligence, wit, and honesty. And these sentences are so powerful they pierce to the deepest part of the What can I say? Jackie Hill Perry has done it again. Over and over as I've listened to and read her thoughts over the years, I've never failed to be impressed with her skill in expressing God's truth. I had high hopes for this book and it satisfied every one. Her love for God inspires her to string words together in beautiful, fitting ways, crafting beautiful sentences that are infused with intelligence, wit, and honesty. And these sentences are so powerful they pierce to the deepest part of the heart. Jackie writes from the heart in this book, sharing her story in her own unique way - it is not a theological treatise or an exhaustive chronicle of her life. She gives you glimpses and impressions of her life and freely intertwines Biblical stories with her own, in the process showing how her story fits into the ultimate story of redemption God is making of all of His children's lives. She writes in a very poetic, lyrical style that may be off-putting to some, but to me was pure delight. At the end of the book she has some helpful insights into how to think about sexuality from a Biblical perspective and tips on how to best love both our brothers and sisters in Christ and the lost who struggle with same-sex attraction. Her perspective is fresh, unique, and very needed at this time in the church. The book is full of quotables - here are a few: "Unbelief doesn't see God as the ultimate good. So it can't see sin as the ultimate evil." "It wasn't the programs or the preaching that began to lift my distrust of the church. It was the woman who I knew would remember my name if I ever decided to come back." "Unbelief will always contrast sin with God. Making it and not Him glorious. Making it and not Him what makes life worth living. Making it and not Him worth dying for." "We must place our ultimate identity not in who we are, but in who we know God to be." "Words like gorgeous, amazing, wonderful, or breathtaking are easy, borderline lazy when used to describe the Holy One." I am so thankful for Jackie's boldness in telling her story and her unashamed love of Christ and His Word that shines in every page. I hope she writes many more books in the future! Content: I would not recommend this book to young readers. Jackie does go into some detail about her lesbian life. It's not graphic or distasteful, but probably a bit much for children and young teens.

  21. 4 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.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I had pre-ordered this book a few months ago and was so happy to find out that the pre-order came with a free audio-book download - I love listening to autobiographies read by the author. I've been a fan of JHP for a couple of years now and I met her at TGCW conference this summer; that's where I learned that she had a book coming out. I've heard her testimony on Jamie Ivey's podcast and YouTube but this book was an expanded and detailed telling of her life before and after she became a Christia I had pre-ordered this book a few months ago and was so happy to find out that the pre-order came with a free audio-book download - I love listening to autobiographies read by the author. I've been a fan of JHP for a couple of years now and I met her at TGCW conference this summer; that's where I learned that she had a book coming out. I've heard her testimony on Jamie Ivey's podcast and YouTube but this book was an expanded and detailed telling of her life before and after she became a Christian. She is a poet and her beautiful way with words really came through in this book; she's incredibly talented. I was on point with pretty much all of her theology throughout the book and I really liked how she used the last part as a reference for Christians thinking through this topic and different categories to keep in mind. She was charitable, honest, thoughtful, and bold. She wove good theology into the telling of her story which is a real skill. I laughed and I cried. Highly recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Most spiritual type books have mediocre writing with great content, mediocre content with good writing or none of the above. Jackie Hill Perry is a gifted artist and her words are absolutely beautiful. Even more, the content is deep, profound and meaningful. There are few books that I want to slow down, yet also speed through at the same time. This is one of those books. It is honest and real from a person who has such a deep love and compassion for people but an even deeper love for God.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Goetz

    Jackie Hill Perry has written the most honest, straightforward, clear description of sanctification I have read. As Perry shares her story, she paints vivid pictures for us of the beauty of the gospel, how the Holy Spirit convicts & changes hearts, and that the center of the Christian life is not a set of behaviors, but the living God himself. Jackie Hill Perry is also a spoken word poet, and she reads the audiobook, which is what I listened to. Highly recommend.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wes Smith

    This book was extremely honest and biblical. Jackie Hill Perry speaks with honestly as she talks about her former lesbian lifestyle. She also does a good job explaining that when she came to Christ it was not just her sexual orientation that God was changing. She walks through Scripture throughout the book as well. Since she is a poet it is very well written. I listened to it and she read it herself. I think it is a great book to listen to.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bucky Elliott

    A remarkable and beautiful book; especially the audio version. The author candidly shares her profound and honest journey of identity through masterful prose. She tells us why – and how – did she left the love of her life for the lover of her soul and the reader is provoked to ponder what they need to exchange for that same fulfilment. If you're gay and wondering if Jesus truly loves you, or if you're not and you're wondering what it's like to be in that position, this is a need-to-read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hoch

    This book is awesome to listen to on audible because Jackie Hill reads it herself. I loved her poetic words and her biblical knowledge. I also appreciate reading books that I don’t agree with to get a different perspective. All in all great book, but I can’t get over the “God can make you straight” idea.

  28. 4 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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I wanted to like it but ultimately was not a fan of her writing style (mainly because it is so myopically focused on her inner emotional changes.) Full review here

  30. 5 out of 5

    Controversial Reviews

    To those who hate Christians and the Bible since they say homosexuality is a sin, you will hate this book. If you call yourself a Christian but are grossed out by gay people, think it is a choice to have non-heterosexual attraction, treat them with disrespect and make them the butt of jokes because you believe you are superior and your sins are lesser and not important to God because you are straight, YOU NEED TO TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT BEING CHRISTLIKE AND I AM ASHAMED THAT To those who hate Christians and the Bible since they say homosexuality is a sin, you will hate this book. If you call yourself a Christian but are grossed out by gay people, think it is a choice to have non-heterosexual attraction, treat them with disrespect and make them the butt of jokes because you believe you are superior and your sins are lesser and not important to God because you are straight, YOU NEED TO TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT BEING CHRISTLIKE AND I AM ASHAMED THAT YOU CLAIM THE TITLE OF CHRISTIAN BECAUSE YOU ARE AS UNLIKE GOD AS SATAN HIMSELF. If you are a Christian or someone with an open mind who has trouble believed that God would make people gay just to condemn them, you might like this book. If you are gay and you love God but are feeling hopeless because you want to follow his word but also be happy. THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. If you're reading this title and thinking "Yay, finally a good Christian book that shows you can be with whomever you want and still serve God" you will be greatly disappointed. You're second thought is likely "Well if that's not what it's about, why did you read it? How can you justify a 4 star rating for this homophobic bs? Didn't you just praise a gay book two days ago? You are confusing me!" I understand your curiosity and possible anger. The thought of people reading this almost kept me from reviewing it. ALMOST. So this is why I'm doing it anyway. Someone needs this book. It's easy for some to dismiss or twist the word of God to suit their own needs, EVEN THE POPE HAS DONE IT. Calling sin good is the Devil's bread and butter. Acknowledge that sin is not good and that abstaining comes with personal sacrifice is HARD. Homosexuality is a topic Christians and even no believers struggle with. Is is really a sin if no one is getting hurt? That's what many of these books say, or they condemn the LGBT community, tell them how sinful they are, and shout Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. Neither is helpful. If you are to believe the word of God in full, then you must acknowledge sin and rid yourself of it. Homosexuality, as defined in the Bible, is a sin. There are several, though many so called Christians will point it out as if it's the only one and use it as fuel to light a fire of hatred that helps no one and hurts everyone. If the Bible is to be believed, then one experiencing non-heterosexual attraction is left with few options. Believe the world over God and be secure in who they are and find love with those they wish to love. End their life so they don't act on the attractions, which is also a sin since it is murder of the self and would ultimately defeat the intended purpose. Or remain celibate for life. For a believer, none of these options are suitable because they either lead to a lifetime of loneliness and self-hatred or a life of happiness that ends in the fiery pits of hell. Please understand that I am stating these as facts rather than viewpoints, because for a real Christian (one who believes in the word of God in full with no exceptions and tries to abstain from sin and live as Christlike as possible) these are irrefutable facts. So where is hope when the church has turned it's back on you and the world tempts you to pursue sin, whatever that sin may be? It's in God. In trusting Him. In putting Him before yourself and your desires for a sinful nature. This goes WAY beyond sexual sin, and sexual sin is in heterosexual relationships as well. This book is about a black lesbian woman who did just that. And it wasn't easy. It didn't remove the temptation. She wasn't instantly thrown a man to turn her straight so she could pop out babies. She even spends a chapter of this book speaking against the heterosexual gospel. She talks about how singleness is not synonymous with loneliness. She shows that temptation is real and not a choice but that you should always chose to love God more, and that's for ANY and ALL sins. It's different for everyone and it's often much more than one sin. Temptation is NOT sin. Jesus was tempted. It is acting on the temptation (whatever it is that you put before God: love, money, fame, food, etc.) that is the sin. Though this book deals heavily with her being a lesbian, it is not about being a lesbian. It's about repentance in all forms. It's about how God can step into your life and make you whole. It's about hope. Don't we all need a bit of that? If you deny God and His word, this book will not be of use to you. But if you accept Him and His word and you need hope for yourself or your loved ones, or you need to be renewed though Him, then this book could change your life. And that, my friend, is why I chose to review it. *I will not be replying to negative comments or ones that tell me to provide evidence. If you want the scriptures that say homosexuality is a sin, or you'd like to see what the other sins are, Google is at your service. If you want to have a debate about the Bible or make points about matters that seem to be promoted in the Bible but do not fit into modern day, etc., I'm not interested. If you want to know my personal take on these topics, I'm not interested. I simply wrote this review from a Christian lens since that is who this book is for and it's important to point out when a book is accurate in it's portrayal of a belief system. I will also not be having a debate on whether you are a Christian or not. If you have to ask, I'd say the answer is likely no, but if you are sincere and not wanting to stir up trouble that I'd recommend speaking with a pastor and praying. This is a book review. Not an appeal to convert you or start an argument in which there is no winner. And it's not a therapy session either. This disclaimer is quite lengthy but these are things that always happen when sharing information about religious doctrine, so if you chose to process after this, you will successful show everyone your lack of intelligence. Good day, sir!

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