“Undo Me” was probably my favorite Jennifer Knapp song for the longest time. I loved her energy, passion, guitar skills…she was GREAT in concert. I think I first saw her when I was a senior in high school at Creation ’98 at the Gorge at George, and then a couple times when I was in college. I still remember seeing her open for Third Day at a concert in Spokane that a bunch of us went to…
Her music was great – and then….she was gone. I don’t remember knowing much about what happened when she took off, but I just remember no more new Jennifer Knapp albums and being bummed.
Yesterday, on my 30th birthday, I received some wonderful presents from my wife, GLEE returned and I found out that Jennifer Knapp was coming back to the music scene with a new album to be released on May 11th. The interwebs were also all atwitter about another fact of Jennifer Knapp’s life that I hadn’t known: she’s gay.
If you want to read some articles with interviews that came out yesterday, you can check out The Advocate’s “Christian Singer Jennifer Knapp Comes Out” and Christianity Today’s “Jennifer Knapp Comes Out.” Here is a portion of the interview from The Advocate:
Knapp no longer feels like being gay and being Christian are in opposition, even if others do. “I’m quite comfortable to live with parts of myself that don’t make sense to you,” she says. She acknowledges that such peace is hard-won in her community. “I keep running across people living closeted, who have literally chosen one or the other,” Knapp marvels. And she knows she risks losing some of her biggest fans when word of her sexuality goes public. “I think it’s going to be shocking and feel like a betrayal to some people who live their spiritual lives through the music they listen to,” says Knapp. That’s part of why she’s decided to come out in advance of the record — she doesn’t want people to love her music and then discover that their own values won’t let them sing along full-throated.
After glancing at some tweets directed at Jennifer on Twitter, I suppose it’s to be expected….some are very supportive, applauding her bravery, courage and honesty. Others…well, you can guess what they are as easily as I can:
I’m just hoping that the supportive/encouraging tweets outweigh the ones where people who have never met Jennifer try to get her to “change” who she is.
I’m grateful for Jennifer’s honesty and integrity with this announcement and know that it couldn’t have been an easy decision. I guess the one thing that comes to mind amidst all of this is that I look forward to a time when a Christian artist can be honest and real about who they are and be fully accepted – when we as a community of believers can get to the point where it just doesn’t matter. I know we’re a long ways off from that…but I guess I do have hope that I will see that in my lifetime…
Jennifer Knapp just posted a blog post on her site that I find to be a beautifully written look into her life. You can find the whole post here, but I wanted to share this paragraph with you.
I share my life with a woman. I have approached this relationship with gratitude, joy and humility. I am honored to have the support of my loving family, a caring partner, friends and people of faith who have accepted me as I come, while encouraging me to become who I am meant to be. My loved ones – you have endured much, loved much and made full the lives of all those around you. I thank you as one who has been blessed by your generosity and gentle spirits.