Review of “Gay Girl, Good God” by Jackie Hill Perry

G I V E A W A Y 

Enter to win a free copy of Gay Girl, Good God!

I had the privilege of hearing Jackie Hill Perry speak this year as she travelled to share with a group of college students I get to do life with.  I was unfamiliar with Jackie and her work but very quickly taken aback by her craft.  She is extremely gifted in creatively wielding words to communicate a beautiful message.  I found this talent to be all the more evident in the pages of her book.  (Hearing her speak though, I was a little distracted by my concern that she would give birth at any second, but we made it through.)

Gay Girl, Good God.  This title captured my attention, knowing Jackie’s story in part, but knowing all the more how often I sit across the table in restaurants and coffee shops from students in my ministry who face a similar battle.  I shared with a friend recently that I am not quite sure why, but I have found myself to be a common confidant for those who are attracted to the same sex.  While this has never been a part of my story, I have found it an incredible honor to hold these precious people’s stories, hearts, wrestlings, fears, and frustrations.  While I hold this privilege, I have also held a lack of resources.  To know me well is to have been recommended a book by me, and I found this topic of Christianity and homosexuality to be limited in its scope of resources and all the more limited in individuals who would speak out about it.  And along came Jackie.

Breaking the mold of other books I had read which took an empirical approach, presenting data and family systems patterns from their research, Perry’s work simply reveals her own story.  She shares with great rawness the realities of same sex attraction, gender identity, body distortion, and sexual assault.  Amidst her rawness, I was consistently taken back by the beauty of her poetic word choice and language, presenting the power of nonfiction with the presentational beauty of a fictional work.

“I found my power to resist sin as feeble as a toddler trying to hold back a hurricane.”

Laced with vivd word pictures and humorous descriptions, Perry’s Gay Girl, Good God illuminates real parts of the balancing act of same sex attraction and Christianity.  She speaks of the fear of leaving the gay community, unsure of a true sense of family and identity she would find elsewhere.  Perry speaks boldly in the direction of Christian culture’s disservice both to same sex attracted individuals and singles as the Church often worships heterosexual marriage more than God and His true calling.  Perry boldly charges the Church to stop ostracizing these people, admit the reality of their struggles, show them community, accept marriage may not be their end goal, and do not let them settle for loneliness.

“I had believed when God looked at me, He was first looking to see a wife and then a disciple.”

Perry reveals in Gay Girl, Good God,  that her earnest conviction is the sinfulness of homosexuality.  Thus, her surrender experience led to her abandoning a homosexual lifestyle and over time eventually marrying a man.  This conviction is one which greatly polarizes evangelicals sometimes leading us to incredible conversations and sometimes to extremely hurtful ones.

No matter one’s view on Christianity and homosexuality, Perry’s presentation of the reality of her experience is not to be overlooked.  Furthermore, her experience of coming to know Christ and eventually entering a heterosexual marriage is not to be the goal for all who experience same-sex attraction.  Many of those individuals, should they choose to forgo a homosexual lifestyle, will enter a life of singleness, of which the Church must rise to the occasion to minister to.

Perry’s work is real, raw, compelling, honest, and a great launching point for the Church to enter significantly more honest conversations regarding same sex attraction, specifically in conservative Christian circles.


dalton-31My name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.

Review of “Remember God” by Annie F. Downs

Should you stop reading here, just go ahead and order Annie F. Downs’ newest book.  I am a huge fan of Annie F. Downs as you can read in my reviews of her past two books (read more).  I love Annie’s works for her creativity, storytelling nature, sense of humor, admiration of Gilmore Girls, and love of glitter.

But this book.  I mean I wasn’t ready.

Knowing Annie, I knew I would love it.  I knew I would get caught up in her stories that are all too relatable then suddenly find myself wrecked by the profound truth she draws out of them.  I knew I would relate, but I never imagined the depths.

God, are you always kind?

This is the question Annie F. Downs whispers in her heart amidst an extremely dark season.  Interestingly enough, a very dark season that aligned perfectly with the timing of my deepest of griefs.  Remember God walks readers through Annie F. Downs journey of wrestling, questioning, and looking around to find God in the darkest of places, seeking with her whole heart to continue to believe that He is good and kind.

And oh is it honest.

“I’m tired of cliches that are just tweetable enough for me to feel like I can’t be sad about what I’m feeling.”

Amidst her journey of wrestling and darkness, she describes a battle with depression, disordered eating, and singleness with such rawness.

I was able to grab an early access audio version of Remember God, which Annie herself read.  And by read, I mean she wept through a majority of the pages, because this season of fighting to believe that God is kind, was just so real.

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And I get it.  I get it and I know it, and I lived it at the very same time Annie was.  The darkness and emptiness she describes, the wondering if you can even get out of bed the next day, is not a battle Annie faced that I read about, but a real journey of my own, speaking Jesus’ name in the darkness just hoping to believe His name somehow still has power, even when I had been really let down.

Remember God reaches into such darkness and so blessedly meets its readers there without any cliches of “choosing” to cling to any Truth or joy, but real and honest wrestling, hoping, believing, and remembering who He is and who He will be.


Thanks for stopping by!

dalton-31My name is Emily Katherine.  On this page you’ll find lessons I’ve learned through my own story.  You’ll find book reviews and recommendations.  And in between you’ll find a few resources I use in teaching middle school through college students.

I would love to hear from you through your comments!  Click the follow button to stay in touch.