George Michael’s family thinks he’s not really gay, just needs to find the ‘right girl’

George Michael

George Michael has led a troubled past decade or so. I’ll admit to having a raging crush on him in the Careless Whisper days. Do you remember listening to that song during skating rink parties? That was the best. George has since been through drug possession and drugged driving arrests. He’s been caught having public sex with strangers in bathrooms. He got clean a few years ago and apologized for letting gay kids down (never mind the lives that he endangered).

Now George has released a new album for the first time in a decade. It’s a live album, but he is a born performer. George still has some issues with his public reputation. He revealed to CNN in 2011 that he is gay, and now he has mixed feelings about doing so. George says his gay life was a lot easier before he came out. He also says his family still thinks he just hasn’t met the “right girl” yet:

George Michael never actually came out intentionally. It took an embarrassing, public arrest for “lewd behavior” in a park in Beverly Hills back in 1998 to do that.

Only after the bust did he feel forced to admit to CNN that yes, he was gay.

“For some strange reason, my gay life didn’t get easier when I came out. Quite the opposite happened, really,” he tells the BBC in an exclusive new interview.

“The press seemed to take some delight that I previously had a ‘straight audience,’ and set about trying to destroy that. And I think some men were frustrated that their girlfriends wouldn’t let go of the idea that George Michael just hadn’t found the ‘right girl’ [yet]. Which is still what a lot of my extended family still think!”

Now single, the superstar, 50, who ended a 13-year relationship with longtime partner Kenny Goss in 2011, said that he didn’t care that he wasn’t open at the time, and will never judge anyone for when he or she decides to come out.

“Because it’s about family,” he says. “In the years when HIV was a killer, any parent of an openly gay person was terrified. I knew my mother well enough that she would spend everyday praying that I didn’t come across that virus. She’d have worried like that.”

The singer, who this week released Symphonica, a new album of live music, has faced plenty of other uphill battles since his public outing, too.

He had two drug-possession related arrests – in 2006 and again in 2008. He also battled a near-death bout of pneumonia in 2011, a year after he suffered a major car crash in which he was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana.

That arrest, and a month-long stint in jail, inspired him to get sober for good.

“I realized it had to be something to do with me. It shook me out of my denial,” he says. “After that crash happened, I started drug counseling and was two weeks in detox, none of which I made public. It feels so completely behind me now. It really does.”

[From People]

George says he’ll soon be working a “real” album of new songs. He says “one of the things that was going to keep me clean was rewarding myself with music.” I’m glad he’s stayed clean, and George says being released from prison gave him “such a big burst of creativity.” He wants to make a dance album now! A little “Freedom 2015,” perhaps? I hope he’s not serious about his family thinking he just needs to meet the “right girl.” That would be so rude if they really told him such a thing.

George Michael

George Michael

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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56 Responses to “George Michael’s family thinks he’s not really gay, just needs to find the ‘right girl’”

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  1. Dani2 says:

    His version of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” slays me every time. I’m glad he seems to be in a better place now.
    And lol @ his family, I mean he’s how old now?

  2. Kali says:

    I hope he’s joking about his family thinking that. I can’t even begin to imagine how offended I would personally be to be invalidated like that.

    On an upside-new music? To iTunes I go!!

    • gg says:

      They probably can’t help that they are in denial and ignorant in the way it all works. I’m sure he loves them dearly anyway.

      • Kali says:

        I can sympathize with having obliviously offensive family members but it has to be hard 😢 ah well, I really hope he’s happy and healthy. He’s such a good performer!

    • Evi says:

      Well one side of his family is Greek-Cypriot, so don’t be surprised if they do think like that.
      In certain cultures homosexuality is not the ideal. He hid his sexuality from his family for a long time and I think he only came out after his mother died.

      • miriam says:

        I have a friend, also Greek, and he’s been living in London for close to 20 years. His family in Greece still have no idea that he’s openly gay in London and has been in serious relationships with men. He’s never been able to tell his family because of their viewpoints on homosexuality, and it’s such a shame, as I’m sure he would love to be himself with them whenever he visits Greece.

        Maybe because I know him better than they do, but I really cannot understand how anyone would not realise he was gay. It makes me think that perhaps his family are just in denial about it. I hate that people can be so intolerant.

    • Sonya says:

      I am married to my wife, we have been together for nine years, we are raising our daughters and living our life and my mother will still make comments about the “right man” or “this phase” – she will also swear that “real lesbians” that she knew in the early 70’s told her that “femme” or “lipstick lesbians” (which I am, I guess and my wife happens to be “butch”) are not actually lesbians, they are straight girls pretending their partner is a man. Though my attitude is that I don’t really need to discuss what goes on in my bedroom with my mother and I often try to avoid conversations that can go in that directions she still finds ways to bring it up. It is so hurtful, especially when she goes to the “real lesbians” place because it says that she values the outdated thoughts of acquaintances from the 70’s over her daughter’s actual situation.
      It also is hurtful when discussions of marriage equality comes up because I am married – we went out of state – but in Louisiana we still have a lot of road blocks and my parents would still, despite their daughter’s established and healthy relationship, vote against us having equal rights. It is sad…

      • Kali says:

        Christ almighty, I’m so sorry that you have to deal with that. That’s absolutely depressing. You would think that previously “traditional” parents might have to expand their horizons somewhat if they’re faced with someone in their family who doesn’t fit their viewed “norm”. I hope they come around.

  3. Quinn says:

    Lord- poor Michael, if that’s truly his family’s stance. 🙁

  4. PunkyMomma says:

    If these comments about his family’s feelings about George’s sexual preference are true, my heart goes out to George.

  5. blue marie says:

    The headline makes me incredibly sad.

    • ya says:

      The headline is pretty misleading – tabloid style stuff – all he said was that ‘some of [his] extended family’ think that — certainly doesn’t mean that his entire family does, and I think I remember reading somewhere that he is very close with his sister.

      I’m sure all of us have some deluded extended family members out there.

      Also didn’t he come out back in 1998? Definitely not 2011 – I remember being a teenager and learning that he was officially out.

      • mayamae says:

        I don’t remember the year, but it was way before 2001. It’s always sad to hear stories of people who feel they can’t express their true sexual identity for fear of harming their career. I read once that Elton John regrets every calling himself bisexual.

  6. Nev says:

    Yayyyy about the albums!!!

    BOOOOO about the homophobia…

    voice of an angel. Go George!!! still a SUPERSTAR.

    • Ag says:

      I know – can’t wait for his new stuff. My toddler and I listen to his duets with Queen basically every morning on the way to daycare.

  7. YummyMummy says:

    I think he is so talented. The faith tour was my first concert! Hope he stays clean and healthy.

  8. Bananapants says:

    I’m a huge fan. I was so disappointed during his shenanigans years. He has so much talent and is incredibly under rated.

  9. gekkca says:

    I can picture George Michael’s old greek parents. “What do you mean you no like the girls? I find you good greek girl!” I picture it being said by Andrea Martin à la My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It’s sad in this day and age, but a lot of the older generations feel that way. Sad. Hopefully he just lets it roll off his shoulders. He is one of my oldest guilty pleasures, love him!!

    • yogapants says:

      Ha! Love that film and of course Andrea’s performance. Hopefully George’s parents will see the light: “Okay, you no like girls? How about a nice boy? How about Nicky? Or his brother, Nicky? Or his cousin, Nicky?”

      Saw George once many years ago at an Elton John AIDS benefit in New York. George sang like an angel.

      • gekkca says:

        I’m in Canada and there was an Italian version of exactly this. Mambo Italiano. It was so funny. My boy, he’s a homo-sexualleh…lol All about being closeted in an old-fashioned european family.

        I love me some George.

  10. Luca26 says:

    I used to love him so much going all the way back to Wham. I still know every word to those cheesy songs. I don’t think people stopped listening because of his sexuality it’s that his music became dated and his audience outgrew it. While technically good music it’s just so of the 80s and early pre-grunge 90s.

    I guess what he’s trying to say is you can’t shame anyone out of the closet and because he was forced out he has regret around it. Maybe the sense of freedom comes to those who seriously make the choice. It’s just really hard to respect people who lie about their sexuality.

    • Kiddo says:

      I agree with the message, overall, that people have the right to come out at their own pace, but in this circumstance I might consider that the ‘outing’ may have saved his life. His undercover and excessive drug use no doubt had at least some entanglement with concealing his sexuality and who he really was. Like he was living his entire life in the shadows.

      • Kim1 says:

        He continued using drugs and having sex with strangers for years after he was exposed.So coming out did not stop his high risk behavior.I believe he said it got worse.
        Regarding parents, a man in Houston beat his lesbian daughter to death and shot her GF to death on March 4 here in Houston. So nothing shocks me.

      • Kiddo says:


    • Lee says:

      I have no problem with people keeping their sexuality private. In fact, it’s no one’s business. There is a big caveat however. I do have a very big problem with those who hide their sexuality from their spouses. From personal experience, I can say there is no bigger betrayal than using someone as your “straight” cover, without their knowledge. So, tell, or don’t tell, I don’t give a crap, but just don’t make an innocent person part of a cover-life to keep your parents happy.

      • Kiddo says:

        Here’s another caveat: If pols are ramming conservative family values and only marriage between a man and a woman, gays are walking sins and whatnot, then outing may be fair game there too.

        Also, I’m sorry for your experience. Anyone being lied to about who their SO truly is, will feel terribly betrayed, and this can happen in many ways, even if their sexuality is not the core issue being hidden.

      • mayamae says:

        Kiddo, it is a gray area, but I agree with you. Not so much because they spew “family values”, but because they actively work to legislate these supposed values, and strip people of their human rights. There are also a small few who knowingly incite the haters, seemingly uncaring of the violence that may be triggered.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      I don’t find it hard to respect people who “lie about their sexuality”. i find it repulsive that society makes life so difficult for anyone other than heterosexuals to the point that they have to “lie about their sexuality”.

      • Luca26 says:

        @ Dame I think you are totally right ultimately it’s society’s fault. I should clarify my words to say when people who live a public life and can help a bunch of young people by being completely out they are helping to change things. So while I understand why they may lie to protect their image and careers it’s hard to reconcile the lies (ie ‘beards’). It’s not fair and things are changing mostly because of the people who were brave enough to come out but hopefully this discussion won’t be necessary in years to come and people can just be who they are.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Oh yes, this is true. We completely agree.

  11. SamiHami says:

    Regardless of his checkered past, there’s no denying that he has one of the best singing voices ever. He really is remarkably talented.

    • Dhavynia says:

      Agree, I don’t care if some think he’s outdated, his voice will find any genre because he is that talented

      • TheOneandOnlyOnly says:

        And they don’t make pop songs or vids like Freedom; This generation doesn’t realize how big that was; it helped launch the supermodel era of the 90s. Pop music was much more influential then than now; surprised no one has mentioned this.

  12. Adrien says:

    My meemaw keeps asking me, “When are you going to give me grandchildren?” My mom would tell her I’m not into girls but grandma thinks I can still be “cured”. Haha.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I have a neighbor who says an older man “turned her son gay.” It makes me want to slap her. I’m sorry you have to put up with that.

    • Kiddo says:

      If you actually want kids, you can tell her, “When I find the right guy”.

  13. Blannie says:

    I’m happy that George seems to be in a healthier place. I just wish he’d grow his hair out a bit. I hate that skullcap hair he has. 🙁

  14. Skins says:

    Earth to George Michael’s family, He IS gay, get over it

  15. Dame Snarkweek says:

    I may be in the minority but I don’t feel like his family members are raging, rude homophobes, in a sense. I got the impression from the tone of the quote that George knows that a certain generation of people just don’t get it. It could be my interpretation but he seems close to his family. I imagine some older aunties or sonething with their glasses on their noses hoping George meets a nice Greek girl to make babies with. I sort of see him shaking his head and giving up on explaining himself further. But ignorance doesn’t preclude family love or pride. In other respects, they could be close.
    Of course, if they are hurtful, malicious or judgemental that is completely different. That is a toxic family relationship and he should avoid them.

    • Kiddo says:

      Good points. Someone not gay might also get the pressure from grandparents to have kids or to marry within a specific ethnic group, and so on.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      Past generations seemed to have a narrower world to live in. They don’t get that we can spread our wings much more and fly much higher than they could.

  16. Feebee says:

    He released a snippet of each track on Facebook and his voice still sounds amazing. I wish he’d converted more of his songs but in the BBC interview he did talk a bit about the song choices. He’s been doing this a long time I guess he knows what he’s doing.

    He sounds happy enough. But he’s always had a good sense of humor about things. I wonder if the ‘enough’ part is to do with what he says about being out is sometimes harder.

    I’m hoping his family aren’t telling him he just needs to find the right girl. I’d hazard a guess that they’re not but he knows that that’s still what they’re thinking. He did say extended family… His dad and sisters are probably cool.

  17. Ag says:

    OMG, this is some vintage gossip. I used to looooove him when I was like 10-11 (“I want your sex” era). Haha

  18. Alex says:

    I have a friend in Israel (a gay guy) who used to work as an escort in London. He saud George Michael used to call him and like 10 escorts over for crystal meth-fuelled sex parties. He ended up getting hooked himself and had to flee too.

    • Dame Snarkweek says:

      Whoa! I hope everyone involved in that scene is living a healthier, happier life.

  19. Evi says:

    The first time I saw George Michael live, I was dragged to the Australian Wham! concert. I wasn’t a fan, but had to concede that he was a great performer and decent singer. Respect. Then when Wham split, I started buying his solo albums, which were higher quality and truly showed his talent as a singer/songwriter.

    • Cecilia says:

      My fav album of his is Listen Without Prejudice — he really took himself out of the box with that album.

  20. Nicole says:

    GEORGE MICHAEL FOREVAH!!!!!!!! I have all your music and I will go to my death lovin you. I still remember listening to Wham! in elementary school and yelling at my mom that he wasn’t gay. Oh the 80’s. Freedom is in my iPod now. GM fan til I die!

  21. LilyT says:

    Sure. If that “right girl” has a penis.

  22. TrixC says:

    I love George and think he’s super talented. I think he’s joking about his family – probably he just has some conservative older relatives who don’t really ‘get’ gay. I actually live near him in London, and the time he crashed his car into a local business, damaging the wall, someone graffited ‘Wham!’ on it. Still makes me giggle.

  23. Her Indoors says:

    Glad he’s in a good place now and looking forward to some new music.

  24. Sarah says:

    Love him, such a talented performer. I went to his “25” tour a few years ago and he was amazing. I’ve listened to much of Symphonica already but am super-psyched for a dance album. “Patience” was pretty good so I have high hopes.

  25. spock says:

    Maybe his parents can pretend he’s a really hairy girl who wants to be with men. Maybe that might be easier for them to grasp than their son being gay.

  26. silly you says:

    if i live to be 1,000, i will never understand parents who won’t deal with their own sh*t and get past whatever problem they have with their own child’s gayness. i’m really lucky to have parents who truly love us and want us to find our own happiness (shout out to mom and dad!), so this attitude breaks my heart and that pisses me off. WISE UP, parents, time runs out on all of us. whatever is bothering you is your stuff. fix it so you can love your kid for who he or she is.