Legendary singer-songwriter Barry Manilow has come out as gay and revealed his 39-year relationship to his husband, Garry Kief.
“This is my life, we’ve been together for all these years,” Manilow, 73, told Entertainment Tonight. “Everybody knows that we’re a team. Everybody that I know knows. So, it never really dawned on me to say anything about it. I mean, I’m a very private guy.”
“I don’t even like people knowing the names of my dogs, so for the public to get that close was really very … it was strange that we were even talking about it,” said the “Copacabana” singer, who was previously married to Susan Deixler from 1964 to 1965. “But I don’t mind at all. I’m proud of it, I am. I’m proud of it.”
Manilow and Kief kept their 2014 wedding a secret until Manilow’s close friend Suzanne Somers confirmed Manilow’s sexuality during an April 2015 appearance on Watch What Happens Live.
“I thought I would be disappointing [my fans] if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” he told People magazine. Turns out, “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.”
“I have not read one negative response,” he told ET. “These strangers out there, and I’ve always known it, they care about me. … It is so moving, it is so deep that these strangers were so happy that I was happy. That I wasn’t alone, that I had somebody that was with me that I loved and that we’d been together for 37 years. We’re in great shape, and I was very grateful for that response.”
When asked what the secret was to keeping his long-lasting romance alive, using “separate bathrooms.”