When Barry Manilow came out in April of this year, it was on his terms in his time. Fans were able to learn about his sexuality and his marriage to longtime partner Garry Keif from Barry himself. Some fans took this as news but others had an inkling that this was a long time coming. Especially since he was outed, without his consent, when news of his wedding was made public.
Now, however, he sees that situation as both a blessing a curse. He was so afraid to be himself because he didn’t want to let his fans down, that he was living a double life of sorts. Not being able to be yourself is one of the hardest things in this world. Hiding love is another. Barry had to experience both at the same time.
He says that life after coming out is beautiful and he has received more love and support than he ever imagined. It is a weight off of his shoulders but it’s also a healthy step in his relationship with his husband. They no longer have to hide certain aspects of themselves, although neither are overly public anyway…but we imagine it still feels nice to walk down a crowded street and feel comfortable in ways they weren’t able to before.
On coming out, Barry says this.
‘It’s turned out to be just great. I’ve really enjoyed it, most of all because the fans and the public have been so supportive. I thought, ‘Oh, man, I’m gonna get a lot of negative stuff.’ Not one negative letter, comment — anywhere. These people, these strangers — they care for me. Isn’t it odd? I’m just a musician who sings. And these people care about my happiness — and that’s what’s been going on. It’s been a beautiful, beautiful experience.’
He was scared that he’d be disappointing his fans if they knew that he was gay. His fans showed their true colors when they reacted with nothing but happiness when Barry was able to be honest with them.
‘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.‘
We’re happy that Barry was able to be so honest and open with his fans, and we hope he always feels the love and support that he’s got from all of us.
‘…but I knew him’