This book is far from comfortable. While reading, I could just picture gasps from the Christian community, from the gay community, from women and men around the overly sensitive world. I’m reviewing Jackie Hill Perry’s debut book, Gay Girl Good God, because this blog is all about what it really means to be a woman.
This is not an easy read. More like an aired glass of red wine that needs to be sipped and savored to experience layers of complex flavor and texture. In order to fully appreciate it, the reader needs to intentionally adopt Perry’s mindset and read each poetic stanza-like paragraph with her diction. I’m not used to reading books with so many fragmented sentences, but this book is here to break rules.
I’d categorize this as an autobiography – but with less of the sensory nostalgia that we’re used to & more universal revelation. As a Christian myself, I am familiar with the theology presented and while ever-refreshed by the Word, I can also appreciate how Perry equips the reader with an arsenal of applicable Bible passages for private meditation specifically related to various facets of identity.
The tagline of the book is The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been. A central theme of the story is identity: Who the world tells us we are vs. Who God tells us we are. Being a woman is SO much more than wearing dresses and carrying purses. Being a woman is not about lip gloss or high heels, but rather about loving and submitting to God – our creator, savior and friend. I can see this book in the hands of anyone who feels as though they don’t naturally fit into the category in which people try to lump them, gender or otherwise.
This book comes at the throats of Christians who are quicker to try to change people than love them, debunking what Perry calls the “heterosexual gospel.” She anti-Freudistly argues that humans are more than our sexuality, and even further: more than our sin. She and I picture a world where women see themselves as fearfully and wonderfully created spiritual beings with purpose other than fulfilling another person’s fantasy.
Perry prompts readers to step outside of themselves and see themselves & others through the eyes of Jesus, who loves to love and constantly forgives. The reason same-sex-attracted people should know Jesus is because Jesus loved them first, not because they should change who they are. Everyone’s story is still being written.