Barry Manilow opens up about being gay, explains why he kept sexuality a secret

Barry Manilow opened up about being gay in a rare interview about his private life.

Barry Manilow opened up about being gay in a rare interview about his private life.  (AP)

After years of keeping his private life to himself, Barry Manilow has decided to open up about his sexuality and discuss his nearly 40-year romance with his manager husband Garry Kief.

Rumors first swirled about Manilow’s relationship with Kief in 2015, which he told People magazine was “a blessing and a curse.”

“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” Manilow, 73, revealed to People.

But Manilow’s loyal fans were very supportive, he revealed.

“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.”

He said he knew he’d met the right person when he first started dating Kief in 1978.

“I knew that this was it,” Manilow recalled. “I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.”

He said he has always been a private person. He quietly married Kief in a ceremony at their home in April of 2014.

“I’m so private. I always have been.”

Manilow also spoke to People about his first marriage to Susan Deixler, his high school sweetheart whom he married right after graduation. Their union lasted just one year.

“I was in love with Susan,” Manilow said. “I just was not ready for marriage. I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats — I was too young. I wasn’t ready to settle down.”

Of his husband Kief, Manilow gushed, “He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life — and a great guy, too.”