Former Christian singer Jennifer Knapp, who came out as a lesbian a few years ago, spoke at a TEDx Talk at the University of Nevada.
She was talking about her fear, as she sang a love song for another woman for the first time in front of a largely conservative Christian audience.
“I’ll never actually forget the first time I played that song in front of an audience after 20 years of experience of coming up on stage … my hands were sweating, my knees were shaking, I was absolutely terrified because this the first time I’d ever put anything even remotely close to the intimate feelings of my heart about somebody that I had loved”
Knapp told the audience, after singing that song.
“And that was for another woman, and I thought everyone is gonna see through me, [that] it was definitely a gay song. With the largely conservative Christian audience that I had, I thought pretty much I had a 50 percent opportunity of somebody throwing a shoe at me, having people walk out,” Knapp said. “It was a pretty terrifying experience.”
Jennifer, who rose to stardom in the Christian music industry in the late 1990s after signing with Gotee records, added that it was as if she became part of a demographic rather than being seen as a normal human being.
She has sold over one million albums – hits albums include Kansas (1998), Lay It Down (2000), and The Way I Am (2001).
In 1999, Jennifer won her first Dove Award for Best New Artist. The Kansas-born musician later scored a Grammy nod in 2002 and another Dove nomination in 2003.
Jennifer left the scene in 2002 due to stress and in 2010, she came out as gay. However, she did not denounce her faith.
“It’s difficult for prejudice to survive proximity. If you learn to tell your story and in turn have a genuine curiosity about somebody else’s story and adventure, it’s really difficult for us to maintain our prejudices in that environment.”
Last August, Christian musician, Vicky Beeching also came out saying “I feel certain God loves me just the way I am”.