BOOKS: New book set during the Harlem Renaissance tries to
shed light on gay life while focusing on A'Lelia Walker. Page 19.
FILM: Now on DVD, The Children's Hour' and 'Victim' offer
compelling reminders of past cinematic repression. Page 17.
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ut on the Bayou
By STEVE WEINSTEIN
THE RUMORS BEGAN CIRCULATING
during last month's Winter Party D J David
Knapp would not be appearing at the after
party; another DJ would be subbing for him.
Several hundred miles away from the
crowds partying on the makeshift dance
floor on the sands of Miami Beach, Knapp
and his partner, Scott Bell, were in a hospital room
in Ashville, N.C, where they were awaiting the
birth of their son. In a few minutes, they would be
cradling Ryan Belknap, and David Knapp — one of
the most prominent DJs in the club world — would
enter the ever-increasing legions of gay parents.
Knapp's odyssey began when he first began seeing Bell. "Seeing" is the operative word here,
because the two have known each other for seven
years but in "When Harry Met Sally" fashion, the
two only began a relationship three years ago.
Knapp was then living in Miami and not long
after, moved to New York. He has since relocated yet
again, this time to Atlanta, where Bell lives.
Using Atlanta as a base, Knapp travels nearly
every weekend for his club gigs. Originally trained
as a lawyer (he passed the bar and can practice in
Florida), the native Californian Knapp established
his reputation in the hothouse club scene of
Miami's South Beach.
The White Party, which he played annually,
helped solidify his standing as one of the hottest
DJs on the circuit. More and more gigs in New
York's competitive club scene initiated the move
there. He now spins around the country and the
world, including a 2000 tour of Japan.
IN NOVEMBER 2001, KNAPP WAS IDLY LOOKING
through Creative Loafing, a local alternative weekly,
and saw an ad for a meeting to learn about open
adotion. He and Bell intrigued enough to attend an
April 2002 mandatory two-day workshop.
There, they learned how rigorous the process
would be and the difficult choices involved. One of
Superstar spinner David Knapp had it all —
but he wanted something more. Meet son Ryan.
the most difficult would be deciding how much contact to allow the mother or whether to reveal the
birth mother to their child.
The two decided they were ready to become co-
dads and signed a contract. The entire process ends
up costing somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000,
including lawyers' fees. But, Knapp adds, he is eligible for a $10,000 rolling tax credit. If two people are
willing to take a child who is a ward of the state,
they can even receive a subsidy worth hundreds of
dollars a month until the child is 18 (although the
child probably has suffered some emotional or physical abuse along the way).
"My mom's a social worker," Knapp says. "I
learned some things from her. She counseled us a
little bit. And inspired us, too."
Ironically, according to Knapp, in Georgia, gay co-
parent adoptions have managed to fly under the radar
of conservative state legislators. "We can both petition for adoption," he says. "Some states don't allow
it. In Georgia, there's no law forbidding or allowing it.
So you find a friendly judge, with the help of a good
lawyer. Adoptions are sealed, so legislators will never
know how many gay adoptions go through. As long as
no law is on the books, there are no statistics."
Even so, one person is listed as the principal
caregiver, the other — Knapp, in this instance — the
AFTER PAYING THE CONTRACT FEE, SOCIAL
workers came to visit. The couple had to sign a
stack of papers. Did they smoke? Was there a gun in
Please see DJ DADDY on Page 16