But then I started seeing all the people wondering why he waited, what the big deal was, and the "he thought it was a secret?" snark. And I realized I did have some thinks after all.
And they were this: I'm old enough to remember when it was a big deal. When rumors about your sexuality could damage a career, and coming out was the bravest, scariest thing a performer (or a businessperson) could do, And Barry's older than I am, so he was already IN the business when all this was happening: he probably saw it firsthand, at the very time when he was falling in love, coming to terms with who he was falling in love with.
You internalize that shit, same as we internalize all discrimination, are constantly aware of the penalty for being different. And yeah, he's been cautious and closeted because that was what he felt he had to do.
And now - in a time when all the gains we've made over the years to protect those who aren't heteronormative are being threatened, both legally and personally - he chooses to come out. When there is nothing personal for him to gain - but maybe something for some of his fans to think about.
And my thinks are: you go, Barry. Thank you. And a belated congrats on your marriage.
(for those wondering about the title of this post: Manilow started out as a jingle writer. Including the still-famous State Farm ad referenced above. His "very strange medley" is still one my my favorite of his concert bits)