Two years after confirming that he is gay, Barry Manilow sits backstage after his Vegas show and tells of his joy at being able to call Garry Kief, the man he fell for in 1978 and married in 2014, his husband.
Manilow married his high school sweetheart, Susan Deixler, in 1964 but was divorced soon afterwards. Further on, He wed Garry Kief, his partner since 1978 and also his longtime manager, in 2014.
Manilow, 75, says: “It’s absolutely wonderful. I went through many, many years when I couldn’t do that. It would have killed my career. Immediately.”
The American singer-songwriter came out as gay during a 2017 interview with people magazine. He recently shared that coming out as gay during that time would have surely killed his career.
“It would have killed my career. Immediately”, he shares.
“It was stupid then but it was true. Everybody knew it, we had to watch out for making a mistake. Not that everybody didn’t know, people are very smart,” Manilow said.
“I thought I wasn’t hiding anything, but I was also not publicising it. If I publicised it, especially in the 70s and 80s – no way”.
“When I started, I knew I was gay, I had a hit record and I was on the cover of Teen Beat magazine. Now, what do I do? I guess it became OK a couple of years ago.”
A positive response from fans
In the interview, he revealed that the reaction from fans when he came out was extremely positive. Furthermore, he did not receive “one note of negativity” from any of them.
“I knew they would be OK with it. All they ever cared about was my happiness. I think they were thrilled I had someone in my life like Garry”, he said.
Before coming out, Manilow married his high school sweetheart, Susan Deixler, in 1964. After just a year of marriage, he walked away from the relationship. Manilow and his husband Barry were together for 40 years when he publicly came out in 2017.