Manilow, Barry/Barry and Garry
Hello J. B..
I wanted to get you take on Barry's marriage to Garry Kief. Suzanne Sommers has now confirmed it. It would be nice to get a man's point of view on it. I have seen what is being said on the message boards.
I'm not surprised at the wedding itself (it actually took place last year, although B&G have been wearing matching rings for at least a decade).
I am surprised at how the story broke. I first saw it last Wednesday on RadarOnline, which I'd never heard of. They got the names of Barry and Garry right, and Suzanne, and even Barry's assistant Marc. But, no pictures, other than stock and recombinations. Odd.
A couple hours later it was picked up by the Enquirer, same words, verbatim, same pictures. No source was listed.
Two hours after that it ran on People online, quoting the Enquirer as its source. You see where this is going....
At 5:35pm, the story was shown on The Advocate website, and then by LGBTNews.com, citing People as its source.
By the next morning, MSNBC was running it as a news story, and by 2pm Thursday it was in the "Trending" section of my Facebook feed.
Over the weekend, the print version of the Enquirer ran the banner "Barry Manilow Marries a MAN!", and a side story about Susan.
Sometime Thursday, Dave Koz tweeted a congratulatory message to B&G. Soon thereafter, Garry tweeted "LOL, and how was your day?".
So, a week later and we're getting confirmation from Suzanne, who probably did not want her "Dancing With the Stars" appearance muddied with extra news.
I found it odd that this story crawled out from under the floorboards, instead of just being announced by B&G. Garry is usually very careful about press releases and such, and nothing usually gets picked up online without word from Stiletto. No confirmations or denials were made from Stilletto, and no one has interviewed Barry on the story. It was just assumed to be true and run without any editorial oversight. I also found it odd that every other single performer that suddenly comes out -- George Takei, David Odgen Stiers, David Hyde Pierce, Lily Tomlin, Anderson Cooper -- have had huge, explosive coverage on their being out. Barry's story was quietly ignored after a few days, no fanfare from the Gay Press.
Personally, this doesn't change my opinions about Barry's music or personality, because B&G have been together for 30 years. None of this affects me, and his personal life is none of my business. But, finally, I have something in writing to answer the question "is he or isn't he", because for years I could not tell people that wrote me here anything but my own opinion and observations.
Enjoy your weekend, --JB