Just Love — a journey of self-acceptance

Jul 2, 2018 by

Book Review by Dr Peter May:

Jayne Ozanne was formerly a member of the Archbishop’s Council of the CofE and the Director of ‘Accepting Evangelicals’, a group which campaigns for acceptance of same-sex partnerships at every level of church life. Last summer, her Private Member’s Motion persuaded General Synod to oppose therapeutic counselling for those who wanted help to move away from homosexual desires and behaviour, and to urge the Government to make such counselling illegal. Contrary to the most basic of human rights — to have your beliefs and desires respected – those who are gay, on this view, must ‘stay gay’ whether they want to or not. Most recently, she has been appointed Director of the Ozanne Foundation, which aims to eliminate discrimination based on sexuality or gender.

Just Love is her story. It is lightweight, gossipy, disjointed but otherwise easy to read. One does not need to read far to become strangely uncomfortable. Her story is an extraordinary, emotional roller-coaster. She plunges into the depths of despair then rises to the heights of exhilaration — again and again. Resolution, which I anticipated from the title, never comes.

Everything is described in dramatic terms. All her friendships are ‘close’ friendships and she basks in their fame and status. Her capacity to ‘drop names’ is shocking,(e.g. on page 244: “A close friend, Bishop James Jones KBE urged me to start writing.” Being a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire makes all the difference to Jayne.) She boasts of her achievements. She excelled academically (Cambridge, of course), and climbed the ladder in a marketing career, moving from Pantyliners to the BBC. She doesn’t appear to stay long in any job and moves from one intense relationship to another. There seems to have been no period in her life where she enjoyed anything resembling quiet stability.

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