BOSTON (CBS) – I have some news for you about a very prominent celebrity.
Some of you may be surprised at this news; many of you will not be.
And the main question I want to explore with you is – once you hear this news, will you give a darn?
Singer Barry Manilow is considered the top-selling adult contemporary pop artist of all time, but until this week, he hid a personal secret from his millions of fans.
He’s been in a relationship with business manager Gary Kief for 39 years. The couple were married three years ago.
So, back to our question – do you care?
Next month we’ll mark the 13th anniversary of legally-recognized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, or rather, we won’t really do much to mark it, a sign of how routine gay marriage has become here. Long before that 2004 milestone, Massachusetts voters had re-elected two openly-gay congressmen.
And a full decade before that, my friend and mentor David Brudnoy came out publicly and was almost unanimously embraced by even his most conservative listeners, a reaction that left him relieved and overjoyed.
It turned out he needn’t have worried about fan reaction, the same mistake Manilow made, saying “I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew.” instead, reports Manilow – the reaction has been “beautiful.”
Massachusetts is Massachusetts, and I have no doubt there is still plenty of anti-gay bigotry.
But it seems to me the jury is in – around here at least, people are far more interested in who you are and what you do than in your sexual preference.