The cast of characters in ‘Gay Girl, Good God’ is not only real, but they also play roles that directly or indirectly shape the life of the author. The most important characters include; Jackie Hill Perry, Jackie Hill Perry’s father, Jackie Hill Perry’s mother, Santoria, Keisha, and Preston Perry.
Although their opinions and contribution to Jackie’s life are not deeply explained, the book gives the reader a tangible idea of their effects on Jackie Hill Perry’s salvation.
Jackie Hill Perry
She is the author as well as the protagonist in this book. Growing up without proper fatherly affection and getting abused, she learns to be wary of men. From a young age, she finds herself attracted to the same sex. Still, she doesn’t act on this fascination until she is older and more confident. As a gay woman, she embraces a man-like disposition and begins to dress like a stud. She enjoys the attention that being gay brings from other women. It is worthy noting that even with her ungodly life, the voice of God remains in Jackie’s heart.
Unable to contain her troubled mind, she reaches out to her cousin, who is a Christian. Her cousin confesses that she is praying for Jackie’s restoration from sin, and this confuses Jackie more. When Jackie’s father dies, she becomes more rebellious and disrespectful. Besides lesbianism, Jackie smokes weed and is heavily into pornography. One day she is smoking when the Lord tells her that her lover will be her end. Afraid of destruction, she accepts Jesus into her life.
Becoming a believer teaches Jackie to turn away from her previous lifestyle and follow the commandments of God. She ends the relationship with her girlfriend and changes her clothing style. She begins to attend a local Church and is touched by the true love the members give to her. They are not bothered about her sexuality and treat her with importance.
A few years later, Jackie moves to Los Angeles to live with a mentor who guides her through Christianity. She learns from her mentor the structure of her other shortcomings. Soon, Jackie embraces poetry as a means to communicate her thoughts. This also becomes one of her methods of evangelism. Jackie Hill eventually meets Perry Preston at a poetry event in 2009. They become friends and, finally, lovers. Although their relationship is initially rocky, Jackie learns to trust the Lord and accept Preston’s love.
Jackie Hill Perry’s Father
Even though his name is not mentioned in the novel, he plays a role in Jackie’s initial wariness of men. He is introduced to Jackie’s mother when he got out of the army and needed a civilian job. She is his boss, yet somehow they become friends. He is a curious man who asks a lot of questions.
When Jackie is born, he is inconsistent with his love for her. He comes to visit sometimes, and sometimes he doesn’t. His resemblance with Jackie is quite striking, and she adores him. He is eventually shut out of Jackie Hill’s life when while they are out one day, he tells her he loves her but does not care much about being in her life. He talks about his other children and says if any of them decides to stop seeing him, the decision will not break him.
Jackie Hill Perry’s Mother
She is also anonymous in this book. She is the manager of a small restaurant when she meets Jackie’s dad. At first, she’s uninterested in his presence, but seeing him off his uniform, she is struck by his handsomeness. They become friends and then lovers. She enjoys his company as she learns things about herself by interacting with him.
When two months into being his lover, she becomes pregnant, and she contemplates an abortion. She tells her best friend she does not want a baby with Jackie’s father. Well aware of the kind of man he is, she knows he will not take his fatherly duty seriously. Her best friend dissuades her from having the abortion, and Jackie Hill is born. When Jackie’s dad is not steady with his visits, she consols Jackie and then stops telling her about his promises.
She is a working-class woman who drops Jackie at a family friend’s house before she goes to work. Before her daughter opens up about being gay, she knows it. She is an observant mother who notices the little acts of intimacy between her daughter and a lover. Later on, she confronts Jackie about her sexuality during a talk radio program. When Jackie’s dad dies, she has to deal with her daughter becoming highly disrespectful.
He meets Jackie Hill at a poetry event in Los Angeles. He becomes friends with her after texting on Facebook to ask for help with a poem he is writing. He lives in Chicago, yet he and Jackie continue to communicate as if they live close by. Preston is very open with Jackie about his past and tells her silly things he did as a child.
One day he tells Jackie how the other guys they interact with are scared of her, but he isn’t. He is compassionate and cares more about people than he does about himself. He cares about things that matter to other people, like their birthdays, prayer requests, and middle names.
When friendship turns to romantic attraction, Preston and Jackie begin a relationship. It is not a smooth ride as he has to deal with Jackie’s insecurities. He does not know how to give Jackie love, and she does not know how to receive it. This makes them fight a lot. Even when they are being counseled by a few leaders from the church, things do not get easier.
One day when they are out for a poetry event, Preston confronts Jackie about her aggression toward him. Jackie gets annoyed and breaks it off with him. When she leaves for Chicago, he texts her proclaiming his love. Preston, who knows it is the will of God for them to be together, refuses to be dismayed by her warlike attitude. A month later, he asks her to marry him.
One night Jackie is watching YouTube videos and stumbles on a video of Santoria quoting the scriptures confidently. Her knowledge of the scriptures inspires Jackie. She eventually meets Jackie physically when she comes down for a poetry event in Los Angeles. She is a director of Women’s ministry and allows Jackie to live with her. Santoria is a wise woman and discerns parts of people they do not see in themselves. She disciples Jackie and then strikes a friendship with her. Santoria tells Jackie that homosexuality is not her only sin, and she has to overcome the others. Almost daily, she gives scriptural materials to Jackie to help her have a clearer understanding of God.
When Jackie complains about fighting lust, Santoria tells her to fight lust with the Bible. When Jackie develops a romantic attraction toward Preston, she tells Santoria, who tells her to pray about it.
Did Preston and Jackie immediately fall in love when they met?
No, Preston and Jackie started as friends after they met at a poetry event. They were very comfortable in each other’s company and shared facts about their present and past. Preston Perry even told Jackie Hill that other guys were afraid of her, but he wasn’t. It was after a while of friendship that Jackie Hill start to feel emotionally attracted to Perry.
When did Preston and Jackie get married?
They got married in March 2014. Preston Perry asked Jackie Hill to marry him at a poetry event. Their dating period was not smooth, however. Even when they received counseling from the church, Jackie Hill and Perry struggled. Before Preston asked Jackie to marry him, she had tried to break up with him.
What role did Santoria play in Jackie Hill Perry’s life?
Jackie Hill Perry first meets Santoria online. When they meet in person, Jackie Hill lives with her. Santoria teaches her more about the word of God, she also opens Jackie’s mind to other shortcomings. When Jackie Hill talks about temptations, Santoria teaches her to fight temptations with the scripture. Jackie Hill was Santoria’s disciple.
Why did Jackie Hill Perry’s mother initially want to have an abortion?
Jackie Hill Perry’s mother did not think it was a good idea to have a child with Jackie Hill Perry’s father. She believed he was not cut out for fatherly responsibility. When Jackie is born, he proves her right. He is very unavailable and uninvolved. Jackie Hill Perry soon learns to live without him and stops reaching out.