Listen: Spoken word poet and rapper Jackie Hill Perry shares chats with Laura Bennett.
Jackie Hill Perry isn’t one to shy away from a tough conversation. As a writer, rapper, and spoken word poet, her art has a reputation for cutting to the core of the human experience. Jackie’s first book, ‘Gay Girl Good God’ is no different.
Summed up as ‘the story of who I was and who God has always been’, in Gay Girl Good God Jackie shares her journey from pursuing a lifestyle of homosexuality, to laying her desires down in her pursuit of God.
Raised in St. Louis, Missouri Jackie grew up fatherless, experiencing abuse at the hands of a number of men in her life. From a young age, in her words, she felt confused about her gender and embraced masculinity and homosexuality wholeheartedly.
Speaking with Hope 103.2 Jackie said, “In the same way that the average girl might feel affection toward the little boys in the classroom, or at the desk next to her, I felt the same way for [both] girls and boys.”
“I didn’t necessarily know where it came form or what it was to be called,” said Jackie, “but I knew it was true; it was a tangible affection I could identify, but didn’t know what to do with until I went to church.”
Surrendering All of Her Life to God
At 19, Jackie reached a crossroads. Desiring to understand what the Bible means by ‘being made new’ in Christ, her curiosity about God’s perspective on sexuality deepened.
“I realised [being made new meant] I had to set aside all of myself,” Jackie said. “God wasn’t just after my sexuality… Everything that I did, everything that I enjoyed, none of it was submitted to Jesus. None of it had a regard for His glory,” said Jackie.
“When I heard and realised that the Gospel wanted all of me – that I was holistically in need of Jesus, then [‘all of me’] is what it means. That’s my sexuality and my pride, that’s my sexuality and my anger, that’s my sexuality and my rights over myself… I saw that Jesus was worth it and it made repentance impulsive,” Jackie said.
“Realising that Jesus was better than everything was really what initiated my change.”
Hearing that our sexual identity needs to be submitted to God’s design and intention, can be a volatile suggestion in modern culture. Asked why she embraced that notion Jackie said, “I asked myself, ‘Am I really willing to live my life serving a creature rather than my creator, whey they didn’t die for me, nor can they keep me, nor will they sustain me when I stand before Him?’
“Realising that Jesus was better than everything was really what initiated my change,” said Jackie. “It wasn’t a fear of hell, but that everything I had been looking for, was already found in Jesus.”
How She’ll Raise Her Own Children
Now married to husband Preston and with two young daughters, Jackie is already mindful of how she’ll broach conversations about womanhood and sexuality with them.
“I want to begin preparing my daughters,” said Jackie ”to see that just because [they] feel a particular type of way, doesn’t mean that [they] have to do it.”
“What’s happened [today] – especially when I talk to a lot of teenagers – is that as soon as they are tempted with same-sex attraction, or tempted with a particular sin they assume that, ‘this is who I am’, so this is what I should do,” Jackie said.
“I think we can begin early by saying, ‘No, just because you feel a particular affection, that doesn’t govern your identity’. And if it doesn’t govern your identity that means it doesn’t have to be your master.”
Jackie’s book, Gay Girl, Good God is available now.
Listen to Jackie’s full interview with Laura Bennett above.