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 gay.

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.

brudnoy Keller @ Large: Barry Manilow Is Gay, Do You Care?

David Brudnoy. (WBZ-TV)

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.

[graphiq id=”6crwiBZqswl” title=”Barry Manilow” width=”600″ height=”748″ url=”” ]

Comments (2)
  1. Alan B Flood says:

    Yeah Jon who cares…….Yeah Jon there is still bigotry about Gays and minorities and Christians and seniors and followers of the president and even about people who give us the news in their own slanted ways. Yup Who cares – you do John because you choose to push Manilow in our face and use it to turn it into a bigotry issue. I cared enough to tell you who cares. (PS David Brudnoy probably rolls over in his grave to be called the mentor to you)

  2. A question if I may, but first let me remind you of what one of The Globe,’s columnists basiclly said on one of the anniversaries of the Supreme Judicial Court’s excellent ruling on same-,sex in our communities alongside everyone else:. The society hasn’t disintegrated, and same sex couples are living quite peacefully.

    And here’s the question, Jon…

    Why are you so interested that you make Manilow’s being a subject of your column. Haven’t you resolved yourself to the reality?

    Millions upon millions of us could care less about his sexual orientation. He has a great voice and has always had an entertaining show.

    So, why the interest? Or are you trying to coax long-dead ashes into a roaring social inferno?

    Sorry. There are far more interesting and pressing issues​ to discuss.

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