Musician Barry Manilow is a celebrity known for being fiercely private and protective of his personal life. However, in a recent interview with People, the crooner revealed that he is gay. He also openly discussed his marriage with husband, Garry Kief. The pair have been together for almost 40 years.
Why has Manilow been so close-lipped about his relationship and his sexuality for so long?
Sadly, the 73-year-old singer feared that he would face criticism from the public. He confessed that he was worried he would “disappoint” his fans, and that the audience would not be accepting of his true identity.
Many other celebrities have grappled with similar quandaries. Rock legends like Elton John and Freddie Mercury also battled with the decision to go public with their sexuality, and like Manilow, they each had public relationships with women. (Manilow was married for a short time to Susan Deixler.)
Thankfully, our society is becoming more accepting and supportive of same-sex relationships, and Manilow says that he now feels comfortable discussing his marriage to Kief.
“When [fans] found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy,” Manilow told People. “The reaction was so beautiful—strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.”
The singer also talked about how lucky he was to meet his husband. Manilow admits he was quite lonely before finding Kief, and he says Keif is the smartest man he has ever met. Aww.
The couple got married in 2014, but the marriage has been kept under the radar. This is the first time the “Mandy” singer has ever publicly discussed his relationship and his sexuality.
Manilow has been a light and a source of comfort and happiness for so many people, so it’s wonderful that his fans are able to send him back that same positive energy and support. Here’s wishing the happy couple many more years of love and happiness.
h/t: Good Housekeeping