Thursday night, I was blessed enough to be able to attend a Pride Kick-Off event at the Hard Rock Reverb Room in Nashville. I have a friend who is a volunteer for Pride this year, and he graciously offered me my ticket in. I brushed elbows with many amazing supporters, including Lisa Howe, the former Belmont University soccer coach who was fired after revealing her sexual orientation. Mike Curb, owner of Curb Records, was there to accept the Pride Ally Award. Curb took a stand for LGBT equality after Belmont fired Howe, urging the University and the city of Nashville to change its stance on homosexuality.
The highlight of my night, however, was hearing Jennifer Knapp play. I’ve been a huge fan since high school. Knapp was a Dove Award-winning Christian recording artist in the 1990’s. Her songs often centered around grappling with sin, and needing the grace of a perfect God. She dropped off the radar for a few years. In early 2010, she came out as a lesbian, and shocked the majority of the Christian world. I was estatic, though. After all, Christians need to be able to put a face on the gay issue. On the flip side, gay folks need to know they can approach God! Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to hear her new album, Letting Go. And it did not disappoint!
While many Christians today are still trying to understand why Knapp would “ruin her career”, she is out there ministering to those who desperately need to hear the real Gospel. And believe me, her career is far from being ruined. Most of her fans have stuck by her, and her fan base is growing every day. What I enjoyed most about the event on Thursday, was that she played a variety of her old and new stuff… songs about redemption, forgiveness, and grace. I was able to chat with Jennifer after the show. She is one of the most down-to-earth, kindhearted people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is doing what we’re all called to do… love on people.
It was quite surreal to be there. As I listened to her play, I looked around the crowded room. The place was full of gays… and they were loving this music about a God who loves them. I was thrilled to be a part of it.