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Christian music star Jennifer Knapp comes out

LOS ANGELES – Jennifer Knapp, once a rising star in the Christian music scene before mysteriously dropping out of sight for the past seven years, has publicly declared that she is gay.

Knapp, 36, is also coming out with a new album, which targets a mainstream audience rather than a Christian one.

The album, “Letting Go,” is available for pre-sale on her Web site, and debuts on May 11.

The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter has won four Dove awards, the highest honor in the gospel music community, including for Best New Artist in 1999. Her three albums, “Kansas,” “Lay It Down” and “The Way I Am,” have more than one million in sales.

Knapp says she has had a special woman in her life for the past eight years after previously dating men and being celibate for 10 years. She told Reuters, "I'm definitely getting a lot more friendly winks from the girls (at concerts) than I have in the past."

She took a break from her career to travel the world and found herself in Australia and became a citizen. While there, Knapp said, she underwent a sort of early midlife crisis and re-examined her spirituality, sexuality and the way her career was going.

Knapp still considers herself a “person of faith,” according to Yahoo News.

She told Christianity Today that she is not a pro-gay activist but is happy with who she is.

“I'm just a normal human being who's dealing with normal everyday life scenarios,” Knapp said.

“As a Christian, I'm doing that as best as I can. 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.”