when did george michael come out

While George Michael is remembered today as a gay icon in his own right, the "Freedom '90" singer's former bandmate recently disclosed that the superstar's delayed coming out cost him dearly.

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when did george michael come out

According to Michael's longtime Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley, the "Faith" singer's decision to keep his sexual orientation a secret until 1998, when he finally came out on live television, ultimately harmed him more than it helped. In an interview published by People on Wednesday, July 5th, Ridgeley stated, "I think it's pretty unarguable." "He made the point that there was a personal price to pay, which I do not believe he ever fully reconciled."

"George was thinking, 'Yeah, I'll just come out and say it,' and I was thinking, 'How will this affect us?'" In addition, Ridgeley told the publication. "The music is still excellent, and once the initial sort of hubbub subsides, it will likely be just that. However, this was not the case, and according to George, this was the incorrect decision for him personally.

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Michael's decision to postpone his coming out was based on his dread of "how his father would react, along with the press and the label," Ridgeley explained. "He was full of ifs and buts, but the decision was made not to make his sexual orientation public, and it cost him personally."

Michael concealed his sexuality from his admirers for years until he was arrested for lewd conduct in 1998, an event that effectively outed him to the public and prompted him to confirm he was homosexual in a CNN interview. Before his death in 2016, the English musician admitted that he regretted keeping his sexual orientation a secret for so long, despite the fact that it likely benefited his career in the long term.

In a 2007 radio interview, he said, "I'd been out to many people since I was 19." "I wished to God that it had occurred then. My ego may not have been satisfied in certain areas, but I believe I would have been a happier individual... Afterwards, AIDS altered everything. I was too immature to realize how much I was sacrificing."

In the new Wham! documentary, which debuted on Netflix on Wednesday (July 5), Michael's struggles before and after coming out are discussed. But while the "Careless Whisper" musician confronted judgment and scorn from some listeners, Ridgeley told People that his longtime friend's revelation had no effect on their relationship.

"Shirlie told me that George was anxious about telling me, which I found a little surprising," he reflected, referring to his ex-girlfriend and singer Shirlie Kemp. "When he told me, I thought, 'Well, okay. That clarifies a few things,' but it was unexceptional. It was unremarkable."

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