This month Pop legend Barry Manilow revealed his sexuality in an interview with People Magazine, coming out as gay at 73 years old. He also openly talked about his almost 40 year relationship with Garry Kief, whom he married in 2014. Fiercely private, Manilow has not really ever spoken about his relationship or his sexuality, despite the fact that their marriage hit headlines in 2015. He thought that he “would be disappointing [the fans]” if they had found out he is gay, so he never talked about it. However, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with fans and even people who are not fans showing their unwavering support in Manilow as an entertainer and a person, telling them how proud they are of him for having the courage to come out.
This just shows how much society has changed that even fans who might not have stuck with Manilow had he come out back in the ’70s are now showing their support for him. The reaction to his coming out may serve as an inspiration to young and old people alike who may be struggling with coming out, showing them that there will always be people who will support them and be proud of them for showing the world who they are. Manilow’s relationship with Kief also serves as a model for a healthy and happy same-sex relationship, something that is not always present in the media.
The two have been together for almost 4 decades, and have stayed together through thick and thin. It has not always been easy for the two, especially with keeping their relationship a secret for so long, but they made it through it and are still together after so long, a rare for Hollywood couples. Manilow coming out as gay and a married man may do wonders for the LGBTQ+ community by teaching us all that there is a possibility for us to be happy, despite the troubles we all face in our daily lives.