Barry Manilow Opens Up About Hiding His Sexuality in Candid Interview

LOS ANGELES, CA – Singer Barry Manilow reflects on the challenges of hiding his sexuality throughout his career in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Manilow, who kept his LGBTQ identity secret for fear of damaging his career, describes the burden of silence and the constant worry of being asked about his sexual orientation.

“I love it. I’m grateful for it. But it was a burden to keep it quiet,” Manilow shares about his queer identity, emphasizing that coming out was never an option. He reveals that he was always concerned about the possibility of being asked whether he was gay during interviews, but surprisingly, the question never came up.

Manilow also recalls a conversation he had in the 1980s with music executive Clive Davis, where the topic of Elton John coming out as bisexual was discussed. According to Manilow, Davis warned him that if he were to come out, it would harm his career, citing the negative impact it had on Elton John. However, Davis denies ever having that conversation and claims they never broached the subject of Manilow’s sexual orientation.

During the interview, Manilow also shares an anecdote about performing at a gay bathhouse early in his career. Asked if the experience influenced his own sexual development, he dismisses any significant impact, stating, “What do you think, they were fucking in front of us? They were just an audience. A great audience, too.” For Manilow, it was simply a job that paid $75.

In 2017, Manilow finally came out as gay in an interview with People, revealing his relationship with husband Garry Kief, whom he has been with since 1978. The response to his disclosure was overwhelmingly positive, with strangers expressing joy and support for the couple. Manilow is grateful for the acceptance he received and acknowledges the fear he had of disappointing his fans when he kept his sexuality hidden.

Barry Manilow’s candid reflection on the struggles of concealing his LGBTQ identity sheds light on the challenges faced by many individuals in the entertainment industry. The fear of potential repercussions on their careers often creates a burden that can accompany them throughout their lives. Manilow’s decision to finally come out in 2017 was met with an outpouring of support, highlighting the progress society has made in accepting and embracing LGBTQ individuals.

In conclusion, Barry Manilow opens up about the difficulties he faced in hiding his sexuality during his career, sharing insights into the impact this had on his personal and professional life. His experiences serve as a reminder of the challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals in the public eye and the importance of acceptance and support.