Christian Singer Jennifer Knapp Says She's Gay

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After years of rumors about her sexuality, former Christian music artist Jennifer Knapp has announced she is gay.

The award-winning artist took a seven-year hiatus from her music and had been living in Australia. She is now returning to the music scene with a mainstream album, titled Letting Go.

Although the 36-year-old Kansas native dated men during her college days, she says she now has a girlfriend.

Knapp still considers herself a "person of faith," and doesn't believe she is turning her back on the Church.

"The heartbreaking thing to me is that we're all hopelessly deceived if we don't think that there are people within our churches, within our communities, who want to hold on to the person they love, whatever sex that may be, and hold on to their faith. It's a hard notion," she told Christianity Today.

According to Knapp, her 'coming out' should not be taken to mean she's become a pro-gay activist.

"I'm in no way capable of leading a charge for some kind of activist movement," she said. "I'm just a normal human being who's dealing with normal everyday life scenarios."

Knapp says she's prepared for a backlash from religious fans. She added that her album is not targeted for Christian retailers and radio stations.

"I just wouldn't find it respectful at all to say, 'Hey, this is something that you want in your store next to your Jesus statue,'" she said. "It would just be disingenuous to try and convince someone that they needed to do that."

Knapp has sold more a million albums with her three releases, which include Kansas (1998), Lay It Down (2000), and The Way I Am (2001). In 1999, she won her first Dove Award for Best New Artist. She later scored a Grammy nod in 2002 and another Dove nomination in 2003.

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