The legendary Broadway star, who won an Oscar for his performance in the 1972 film ‘Cabaret’, has courageously come out as gay at age 82. Find out what he said in his emotional new interview with ‘People’ magazine.
Joel Grey kept his sexuality hidden for years — he was actually married to actress Jo Wilder from 1958 to 1982 — but at 82, he’s finally ready to open up about his sexuality for the first time.
Joel Grey Is Gay: 82-Year-Old Broadway Legend Comes Out — ‘I’m A Gay Man’
“I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man,” Joel tells People magazine.
Joel, a veteran actor of the stage and screen who is also the father of Dirty Dancing‘s Jennifer Grey, has never publicly spoken about his sexuality until now.
“All the people close to me have known for years who I am,” he says. “[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”
Of course, Joel grew up in a different time. He recalls “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.”
As a child, he says he “came to realize, along with being attracted to girls, I had similar feelings for boys.”
Jennifer Grey Is Happy For Her Father
Joel was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years, and they share two children together, Jennifer and James Grey.
“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,” Jennifer tells People. “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.”
We’re so happy for Joel too. What an inspiration to the LGBT community, especially gay senior citizens who are still hiding their true selves.
HollywoodLifers, do YOU admire Joel for coming out? Let us know your thoughts.
— Tierney McAfee