NEW YORK — Barry Manilow tells People magazine that he hid being gay for decades because he thought he would be “disappointing fans if they knew.”
The 73-year-old music legend married his longtime manager, Gary Kief, in a 2014 ceremony at their home in Palm Springs, California. Manilow tells the magazine’s April 17 issue that keeping their romance out of the media was stressful.
His diehard fans, or Fanilows, showed the singer an outpouring of love on social media, prompting his heartfelt “thank you” on Twitter.
I'm loving all of your responses. You guys are truly the greatest.
— Barry Manilow (@barrymanilow) April 5, 2017
Coming out or being outed can pose a threat to the security and esteem of LGBTQ individuals, especially those who belong to other marginalized groups. But in Manilow’s case, any detriment to his career is unforeseeable.
Check out what his fans had to say on Twitter:
@barrymanilow is #1 trending on twitter. I've been a fan for 36 years has anything changed? Hell No!!!
— Bev Shortley (@beevly70) April 5, 2017
— Mark Worrall (@MarkWorrall) April 5, 2017
— Megan McCafferty (@meganmccafferty) April 5, 2017
@barrymanilow hats off to you! A very brave move, your fans would never feel disappointed. I applaud your honesty ???? respect
— Liz Coyne (@liz_coyne) April 5, 2017
Now look at what everyone else was saying:
Congrats to him for speaking/living his truth. It's great. But Barry Manilow coming out as gay, kind of feels like me coming out as Hispanic https://t.co/wQzv9q7fGx
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) April 5, 2017
Is Barry Manilow trending because people are surprised he's gay or because everyone's saying "I thought he came out years ago"?
— Neva ♮ (@pipandbaby) April 5, 2017
"Barry Manilow" being gay – not a shock. Barry Manilow being in a relationsip for 40 years. Now that is fantastic news
— Anne Gillvray (@DoncasterLass) April 5, 2017
Read more here: http://hrld.us/2nYvsjK
The Associated Press contributed to this report