Broadway star Joel Grey has officially come out as a gay man.
The Cabaret star, who was married for 24 years and has two children, has previously kept his sexuality a secret.
Joel told People magazine, “I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man”.
He realized his feelings as a young man, revealing, “I came to realize, along with being attracted to girls, I had similar feelings for boys. All the people close to me have known for years who I am. [Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”
The 82-year-old actor grew up “hearing the grownups talk in the next room, my mother included, talking derisively about ‘fairies’ and men being dragged off to jail and even worse for being who they were.”
Grey went on to marry actress Jo Wilder and have two children, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey and a son named James.
Jennifer said of her father’s big reveal, “I feel very happy for my dad that he has come to a point in his life where he feels safe and comfortable enough to declare himself in a public way as a gay man. Mostly because the more people are free to own their true nature and can hopefully come closer to love and accept themselves as they really are, no matter what age, no matter how long it takes, to finally be free of the lies or half truths, it is freedom.”
Joel Grey is a photographer, written a memoir (to be released later this year), and has starred on television shows including Private Practice and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Joel’s former co-star, Bernadette Peters, stated, “He won an Oscar and a Tony for his iconic role in Cabaret and now he’s at an interesting time in his life. He can look at how he’s lived and how he can impact other people. It’s a whole attitude towards life and his is one of joy.”
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