If you’ve got an elderly Fanilow in your life who never had a Gaydar™ installed in her body and thinks that your gay uncle’s longtime partner is his “roommate,” you may want to crouch in front of her while holding a catcher’s mitt as you tell her this earth-shattering news. Because this bombshell news may cause her heart to shoot out of her chest and you’ll need to catch before it hits the wall.
Barry Manilow is gayer than Marcus Bachmann deep throating a corn dog, but he has never publicly came out and said that he’s gay. Now at 73 years old, Barry has decided to talk to People about why he never blurted out the words, “Yup, I’m gay!”, to his fans and he also talked about his nearly 40-year relationship with his husband and manager Garry Kief. Barry talked to People at his and Garry’s home in Palm Springs, CA. Barry briefly talked about marrying his teenage sweetheart Susan Deixler shortly after he graduated high school. Barry was struggling with his sexuality then and also felt like he was way too young to be somebody’s husband.
Barry met Garry (Barry and Garry, they were destined to be), who was a TV executive back then, in 1978 and it was instant love. Garry almost bounced out of their relationship because he had a hard time dealing with the attention that Barry got, but he stuck around and they’ve lasted for almost four decades. Barry was pushed out of the crystal clear glass closet in 2015 after The National Enquirer reported that he married Garry at their Palm Springs estate. That elderly Fanilow in your life probably responded to that news by saying, “Wedding?! Oh, honey, that wasn’t a wedding. It was a roommate commitment ceremony!”
Speaking of his fans, Barry says that they’re one of the reasons why he never came out out. Barry didn’t want to let them down (and coming out back then probably would’ve fucked with his career), but the opposite happened.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything. When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful — strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.”
Some people come out when they’re babies (see: me, because I’m sure my first words were “I love Charo”) and some come out when they’re in the “dinner at 4” phase of life. Shit ain’t easy no matter what.
Barry Manilow coming out as gay is like Richard Simmons coming out as gay. (Don’t tell your Gaydar™ deficient relative about Richard Simmons today. Wait until next week. There’s only so many shocks they can take it.) But it’s still making me raise a glass of the sweet nectar in celebration. Thanks for giving me a reason to morning drink, Barry!
And the real BREAKING NEWS headline here is: Celebrity In Relationship That Has Lasted For Almost 40 Years.