Saturday, April 11, 2015

And the groom wore yellow feathers in his hair ...

... and a dress cut down to there.

So this man is gay. The news broke this week that Barry Manilow has been secretly married to his manager. A man.

Female Fanilows -- primarily post-menopausal women -- are shocked because they didn't know he was gay. Look at that photo. They didn't know. Okeedokee. Some insist that since Barry himself hasn't officially confirmed the marriage, it's just a filthy lie and the man in this photo is straight. Okeedokee.

I find this very sad.

First, Barry Manilow is now 71 years old. He didn't just "become" homosexual. So he's been in the closet all his adult life. He waited until now -- when he's well over the age to begin collecting Social Security and on his farewell tour -- to finally marry the lover he's been with for decades. And he's still not announcing and openly celebrating his relationship. There's something poignant about that.

Secondly, his fans are pissed. Not all of them, of course. The man has sold a staggering number of records (hell, even I bought one) and many are wishing him well. But others are truly upset.

"I'm unhappy he lied to his fans for 40 years and wasn't honest years ago at the gay bath house he and Bette Midler played. But I'll forgive him & move on and pray that God forgives him too!"
Doesn't look prepared to kick ass, does he?

"Barry is going to sue! Barry needs to get them good for doing this to him!"

"Who's the low life that started this ridiculous story? They're in for it now!"

I've been a fan girl all my life, beginning with my pre-school crush on Little Joe Cartwright. So in a way, I can tap into the Fanilow mindset.* I suppose I understand how they'd feel betrayed. I'm told that onstage he really plays to the ladies, presenting himself as something of a romantic ideal, and every night the competition is fierce to be the CSWY Girl -- the one he plucks from the audience to dance with during "Can't Smile without You."

What makes me sad is the implicit homophobia in some of these posts. Is "gay" really the worst thing you can accuse a person of? In 2015? Maybe Manilow was right to not trust his fans with the truth.  

Obviously Barry Manilow brought these women a lot of joy. His music meant something to him in a very real way. Clearly it's not my cup of tea, but that's not the point. The man who sang the love songs that set their hearts a pitter patter has found love himself.  

I wish they could be happy that he's finally found what he's been singing about.

*Though I insist that Michael Landon is far more attractive than Barry Manilow ever was, and maintain that at age 3 I had better taste, and a more finely tune gaydar, than the some Fanilows.



  1. Oh, that damn river of Denial! It runs fast and deep, doesn't it?

    I'm with you - so what if he's gay? So f'ing what? None of those ladies were ever going to get close enough to him for that to become an issue anyway. (sigh) Glad we are much more enlightened fangirls, Gal.

    If I found out my own sweet Cookie was gay, more power to him. Go! Be with who makes your heart happy! I've always felt that way, as long as I can remember. Heck, back in the late 80s, I was writing letters to the editor of the Richmond Times Dispatch about civil rights for all.

    What does it matter to you what someone else does as long as they're not infringing on your rights or those of someone else? I. just. do. not. get. it.

    Anyway, I wish Barry Manilow much joy in his marriage and am glad he chose to make it public. I'm sure even at 71 and in 2015, that had to be a difficult choice for him.

  2. There is nothing I can add--other than to agree that I'm surprised people are shocked that he's gay.

    Lisa said all that I was going to say. And better than I would have said it.

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  7. I can't say I'm surprised or saddened by the news. Manilow's sexuality has nothing to do with his music - and I LOVE his music. Especially the older stuff. No one puts more heart and soul into his music than he does.
    So whatever life he's chosen, and whether he chooses to make it public or keep it private, I wish him much happiness.


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