Grammy-nominated artist Jennifer Knapp will come to Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on Thursday, Oct. 10, where she will share her story of coming out as a lesbian after reaching the pinnacle of success in Christian contemporary music. The concert, called “Inside Out Faith,” is free and open to the public at 7:30 p.m.
“Stories like Jennifer Knapp’s create an ongoing conversation about the intersection of religion and sexuality, to the benefit of people of many different faith traditions” said Jigna Shah, assistant dean of Rockefeller Chapel and director of Spiritual Life. The offices of Spiritual Life and LGBTQ Student Life and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality are sponsoring the concert, with co-sponsors from the student groups Sacred Flame and Becoming Allies.
Knapp confronted widespread speculation about her sexuality in 2010, becoming the highest-profile gay and out Christian musician. Her revelation sparked both rejection and embrace from her fans and in the larger world of Christian rock.
In her performance at Rockefeller, Knapp will talk about how she has experienced the devastating effects of rejection and judgment within her faith community, as well as the healing that she found by breaking the silence.
“Faith is a defining part of many people’s lives and it doesn’t disappear when someone’s sexuality emerges,” Knapp said. “This is a conversation that I’ve had and will continue to have because I want to be involved with the church."
Jennifer Knapp’s visit to the University of Chicago comes in connection with National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.
Also visiting campus this month is Annise Parker, who made Houston the largest U.S. city with an out gay mayor when she was elected in 2009. She will address the student body as part of the RISE campaign, a campus-wide diversity awareness series.
The active LGBTQ student community at the University of Chicago has helped create a campus culture that is nationally recognized as friendly to LGBTQ people. Last year it became the first university in Chicago to receive a perfect 5-Star rating from the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index.