Some of the themes in this book focus on Christianity and sexuality. Using this short account of her life, Jackie Hill Perry speaks on the reassurance that trusting the Lord’s instructions brings. Jackie Hill Perry’s initial lack of faith in God prevents her from seeing the goodness in his creation. She is not comfortable with her natural body and tries to be masculine.
In ‘Gay Girl, Good God‘, the liberating effects of redemption are highlighted. Using the novel, Jackie Hill Perry intends to begin a discourse on the salvation of people attracted to the same sex.
Gay Girl, Good God Themes
Sin and Unbelief
Jackie Hill Perry, the main character in this novel, struggles greatly with sin. Born into a family where Christianity is not deeply practiced, she learns about the Bible from Church. In addition to being a lesbian, Jackie abuses marijuana and is a pornography addict. She initially feels that satisfying her worldly desires makes more sense than God’s words. On days when she feels lying would prevent her from being reprimanded, she would lie. She also does what she likes, so long as it feels good.
As an unbeliever, Jackie Hill Perry does not see God as the ultimate good, she sees him as a stumbling block. She says unbelief will always contrast sin with God. Jackie Hill also uses the example of Adam and Eve to show how sin entered the world. Adam and Eve’s refusal to trust the commandments of God made them doubt and eventually disobey him. The wages of sin is death, so when they sinned, they died spiritually.
Jackie Hill links her homosexuality to the remnants of the first man and women’s sin. As Eve doubted God’s words, so does Jackie initially believe sin looks better than submission to God. In Jackie’s view, homosexuality exists because sin exists. Jackie also believes she was conceived out of the sinful lust of her mother.
In this novel, the leading character wrestles with her sexual preference. At a young age, Jackie Hill Perry realizes she’s drawn to the same sex. She describes her attraction to women as a born craving that makes her delight in unnatural things. The author describes the attraction to the opposite sex as natural, since God created Adam and Eve, He designed their bodies in different ways, made them affectionate towards one another, and said their affection was good. Jackie says in the final part of the book that identity is important. It is a means by which people can tell how you view God, yourself, and others.
In the same breath, Jackie Hill implies that it is the identity ascribed to God that determines how we will give ourselves to him and what sort of life we will live. If you believe God does not lie, then you believe his promises are true. She posits that new and old believers will be tempted to identify as something other than what the scripture has declared, but faith in God’s word settles the argument about identity. By trusting in the finality of it, Christians remain strong even when their flesh is weak.
Salvation and Grace
‘Gay Girl, Good God’ points through and through to Jesus Christ. In this book, Jackie says God is not calling people to be straight. She calls preaching that sort of salvation the “heterosexual gospel”. Jackie Hill states that God is calling people to a life of faith in Jesus Christ. She proclaims that salvation does not prevent a Christian from being tempted. What it does is to free the believer from the penalty of sin and its power.
‘Gay Girl, Good God’ addresses the lie that when someone who is Same-Sex-Attracted gets saved, the attraction automatically dies. To be cleansed by Jesus does not mean that one becomes immune to sin. The author also uses this book to promote the theme of God’s grace and mercy. Even while Jackie is deep in sin, the Lord continues to speak to her. She heavily feels His presence and she takes up intense smoking to drown His voice out.
Finally, Jackie says that marriage to the opposite sex is not the only way the grace of God is testified in the life of a person who fought with Same-Sex-Attraction. Singleness is also a unique way of testifying to the gospel of grace.
Another theme that is addressed in this book is the way Christians relate to people who are perceived as unbelievers. Before Jackie becomes a believer in Christ, she is wary of Church gatherings. This is because she is addressed based on her sexuality. As a lesbian, she is judged by self-righteous members of the Church. Jackie suggests that this should not be so. She thinks that isolating Christians (Gay Christians) and those who isolate them are a part of a family that is brought together by different sins, but one Savior.
For this reason, they are no longer strangers but fellow citizens in Christ. Jackie shares her experience when she attends a local church and is given proper attention. She is encouraged to open up more and she does not miss the Gay community she had depended on for support in the past.
Analysis of Key Moments in Gay Girl, Good God
- Jackie’s mom meeting Jackie’s dad.
- Jackie’s mom’s pregnancy and resolution to have the child.
- Jackie getting molested at a family friend’s house.
- Jackie’s decision to stop reaching out to her father.
- The first romantic relationship Jackie has with a woman.
- The wrath-bent man Jackie encounters while with her girlfriend. She knows then that even when she dresses as a stud, she is not as strong as a man and cannot protect her girlfriend from harm.
- Jackie confessing to her mother that she’s a lesbian.
- Jackie’s confession to Keisa that she feels the Lord calling her. Keisha tells her she’s praying for her.
- The death of Jackie’s father. Jackie becomes more rebellious and her mother has a difficult time parenting.
- The Lord warns Jackie through thoughts that her female lover will be the end of her.
- Jackie’s salvation. She knows she cannot live a righteous life on her own and asks God to help her.
- Jackie finding Santoria’s videos on YouTube. She eventually sends her testimony to Santoria’s Church and is invited to physical worship.
- Jackie moving into Santoria’s home in Los Angeles. She becomes a disciple and learns about her other sins.
- Jackie and Preston meeting at a poetry event.
- Jackie and Preston’s marriage.
Tone and Style
Jackie Hill Perry’s submission of her autobiography and walk to salvation is striking and straight. Her use of metamorphic imagery is brilliant and her language is easy to understand.
Analysis of Symbols
When Jackie becomes a full-fledged lesbian, she begins to dress like a stud. This was to communicate her identity even before she said a word. She begins to get more advances from women as a confident lesbian. Also, when she surrenders her life to Christ, she goes shopping for more feminine clothes. The clothes worn by the author are used to brandish her sexual identity.
In the book, Jackie Hill Perry smokes weed to keep the presence of the Lord away from her. Knowing how much her conscience plagues her while she’s with women, Jackie abuses drugs to ensure that she is left with no guilt from the Lord.
What is the main theme of ‘Gay Girl, Good God’?
The main theme of ‘Gay Girl, Good God’ is salvation from sin. Jackie Hill uses her failures and achievements to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The role the Holy Spirit played in calming her struggles with sin and her sexuality is explained in the book. However, this is not to say that salvation turns a gay person straight.
What symbol does Jackie Hill Perry’s clothes possess in ‘Gay Girl, Good God’?
Jackie Hill’s clothes symbolize her identity. When Jackie Hill Perry becomes a full-fledged lesbian, her girlfriend suggests that she dresses as a stud. Becoming a stud changes the way other women regard her. Jackie Hill confesses that she is given more attention as a stud. Also, when she becomes saved and denounces lesbianism, she returns to dressing like a woman.
What advice does Jackie Hill Perry have for Christians in ‘Gay Girl, Good God’?
Stating how she was skeptical about church gatherings because of the criticism, she advices Christians to be less judgmental. Since it’s hard for heterosexual Christians to understand the fight against homosexuality, Jackie Hill Perry suggests that they remember how difficult it is to fight against any form of sin. She also warms against preaching the heterosexual gospel.
Was homosexuality Jackie Hill Perry’s only sin?
No, it was not. Focused on her sexuality, it was easy to forget every other aspect of her sinful life. However, her mentor, Santoria was able to show her a part of herself she mistakenly ignored. Before the Lord intervened, Jackie Hill Perry was addicted to pornography and smoked heavily.