Photo by Golda Smith
Macklemore’s platinum-selling song “Same Love” suggests that homosexuals can’t change, but former lesbian spoken word poet Jackie Hill’s testimony contradicts this sentiment.
“Someone’s lying,” Hill told Wade-O Radio.
Billboard pegged “Same Love” as the “Gay Equality Anthem” after it rose into the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list following two gay marriage Supreme Court rulings earlier this summer. Here is how Macklemore concludes the first verse of the song.
The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision/And you can be cured with some treatment and religion/Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition, playing God/Ahh, nah, here we go/America the brave still fears what we don’t know/And “God loves all his children” is somehow forgotten/But we paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago/I don’t know.
“And I can’t change even if I tried, even if I wanted to,” starts the hook of “Same Love.”
Hill grew up in a fatherless home. As early as the age of four, she experienced gender confusion and felt like she should’ve been a boy. Her next birthday brought sexual abuse which only led to more misunderstanding.
By six years old, Hill began imitating male tendencies, even standing over the toilet to urinate. Homosexual desires emerged. She fondled girls on the playground as a kindergartener.
Homosexual dreams became frequent and Hill felt attracted to her female friends up until high school. No one knew. A sense of shame that haunted her since her sexual exploration on the playground kept her secret a secret.
A chance to share that secret surfaced at Hill’s senior homecoming when a girl who she had known since middle school flirted with her. Hill initially rejected the girl.
“That’s gay,” said Hill. “Get out of my face.”
Shortly after, the homosexual desires that had tempted Hill all of her life enticed her to reconsider.
“This is my chance to try it,” she thought sitting in her bed.
She did. And Hill was hooked.
She loved how it felt to be with a woman. Hill entered a relationship with her and later into another that lasted a year and a half. During her second relationship, her partner suggested that Hill dress like a stud—the female that dresses like a man, taking on the masculine role in a lesbian relationship.
“As a girl, I was never really called pretty, affirmed or was the focus attention of males,” said Hill. “When I started to dress that way and get all this crazy attention from these girls, it became deeper than lust. It was an addiction to people boosting my self-esteem.”
By the time Hill had entered another relationship, the conviction of her lifestyle began to overpower her sexual desires. She attended church until the age of 10 so God had been instilled in her mind early. The prayer and encouragement from her friend Taylor and Cousin Keisha kept God in the back of her mind and in October of 2008, Hill heard God send her a message as she lay in bed—the same place where she had originally decided to surrender to her homosexual desires.
“The girl who you’re with will be the death of you,” said Hill recalling the message. “At that time, my eyes were opened to that it wasn’t just homosexuality that would be the death of me. It was my complete and entire lifestyle. It’s not just, ‘You’re gay. You’re [also] lustful, you’re prideful, you’re a thief, you’re rebellious, you’re a masturbator and you’re a porn addict.’ I saw all of these things that deserved Hell and I really believed and saw that God would be just in sending me there.”
Given that Hill had just slept with her girlfriend the previous day, she credited God’s amazing grace for helping her do the exact thing that “Same Love” claims isn’t possible—change.
“What I would say to Macklemore is, if we believe the Bible is completely true and God breathed—which it is—then we need to deal with texts like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.”
Here is the passage (NIV).
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
“The word of God itself, apart from Jackie Hill, testifies that people can change,” she said. “So if the word of God is the word of God, then we need to deal with that and believe that it’s true. I think we’ve made God very little if we believe that he cannot change people. If he can make a moon, stars and a galaxy that we have yet to fully comprehend, how can he not simply change my desires?”
Those who defend homosexuality, such as Macklemore, argue that homosexual orientation is a predisposition. Even so, Hill stresses that predisposed homosexual desires aren’t an excuse to follow through with those desires.
“If God chooses not to change my desires, he has promised to give me his Holy Spirit that will help me flee from them,” she said. “There are people who were alcoholics for 20 years, went through rehab and they don’t drink anymore, but sometimes they may be tested. If they see a bottle of whiskey, they’re going to want that whisky, but they have a choice.”
Hill believes that everyone has the ability to submit to their desires—whether a homosexual, idolater, adulterer, thief, drunkard, slanderer or swindler—or repent and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.
In the second verse of “Same Love,” Macklemore raised an issue that Hill likewise opposes—hate against the homosexual population. She lent advice to the Christian community which Macklemore had called out for its bigotry.
“[Christians] should remind themselves that they too once were bound by something,” said Hill. “I think sometimes Christians can look at homosexuals as if they are more a slave than the fornicator is.”
Hill received criticism from a viewer of her poem “My Life as a Stud,” which exposes homosexuality as a sin. The viewer cursed out Hill for doing so, all while claiming that God loves her and she loves God. The spoken word artist challenged the viewer by asking her to remove homosexuality from the picture and ask herself if God would be pleased with her life either way.
“That puts her in a position to see that this one sin is not her only issue,” said Hill. “It’s her whole heart. I think as Christians sometimes, it’s like a tree—we minister to the leaf and forget to minister to the root that caused the leaf to grow. The root is a heart that’s in rebellion against God so we need to approach it like, ‘I’m going to talk to this person as a human being that has an issue with sin.’”
Extinguishing that sin can’t be Christians’ only aim when approaching a homosexual, says Hill. They must offer a genuine, loving relationship. Anything less will be a waste of their time.
“Be authentic,” said Hill. “This generation doesn’t like fake people. Homosexuals don’t like fake people. If they already sense that your motive is to convert them, why would they want to talk to you? ‘You want to change what I love? Why would I want to do that?’ Befriend them. Care about them as a human being before you try to just change them into an apostle Paul overnight.”
Follow Jackie Hill on Twitter: @JackieHillPerry