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Folk Rocker Jennifer Knapp On Coming Out, Faith & Acceptance

Jennifer Knapp

She shared her feelings and experiences at a TEDx Talk in Reno last week

Last year, Jennifer Knapp released an album on Ani DeFranco's Righteous Babe label titled Set Me Free. She published a memoir, Facing the Music, and she launched Inside Out Faith, an initiative that seeks to tackle the issues of LGBT inclusion and affirmations in religious environments by engaging and educating communities of faith. Last week, she took her guitar onstage with her for a TEDx Talk at the University of Nevada, Reno, that blended strumming, singing, and speaking.

Once a singer on the Christiam music scene, Knapp came out publicly in 2010, and told The Advocate last fall that she received an unexpected amount of public support when her sexual orientation became public knowledge.

In her talk, she recalled that the first time she performed a song that drew from the "intimate feelings of my heart," her hands shook and she was terrified to perform in front of her largely conservative Christian audience. "I thought, Everyone is gonna see through me," Knapp explained. Up until that moment, she said, she had been "just Jen." But after coming-out, she became part of a demographic, a percentage.

"There's no love song that I'll ever play that's inherently gay... I mean, I'd like to write a gay love song," she said. "Apparently gay Pride parades need more anthems. But I'm just me, and I know what love is, and I think you know what love is too."

Watch the video below:

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