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George Michael's coming out engendered personal sacrifice

George Michael kept his sexuality hidden due to fear of father.

George Michael, the late singer known for his hit song "Careless Whisper," kept his sexuality hidden for many years due to fear of his father's reaction. He had confided in his Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley about being gay during their time together in the group. Although George had initially planned to make a formal announcement, he ultimately only revealed his sexuality to the world in 1998 after being arrested for a lewd act in public. Andrew admitted that keeping this secret had a personal cost for George.

According to Andrew, George had contemplated coming out and thought it wouldn't change anything for their music. However, they decided to wait because they were afraid of how George's father, the press, and the record label would react. This decision took a toll on George personally. Andrew acknowledged that George had initially come out as bisexual to him before later acknowledging that he was gay. Andrew was there as an ally throughout this journey, witnessing George's struggle.

Andrew believes that the impact of George's coming out was never fully resolved before his death. George had mentioned that it had a personal cost, and Andrew doesn't think he ever fully reconciled with it. Reflecting on George's coming out to him, Andrew described it as an unsensational and unremarkable moment. Despite warnings from Shirlie Kemp, Andrew's girlfriend at the time, that George was anxious about opening up, Andrew found the revelation to be unsurprising and accepted it without any fuss.

George's journey and Andrew's were intertwined, as they spent a significant amount of time together with Shirlie. Shirlie, who was a close friend to George, had informed Andrew about George's anxiety regarding coming out. However, when George eventually told Andrew, it was a non-event. Andrew simply thought, "Oh, well, yeah. That explains a few things." The moment was devoid of any sensationalism or drama.

In conclusion, George Michael's decision to keep his sexuality hidden for years was driven by fear of his father's reaction and concerns about the press and the record label. This choice had a personal cost for him, as admitted by Andrew Ridgeley. The impact of George's coming out was not fully resolved before his untimely death, and he struggled with it. However, when George first came out to Andrew, it was a casual and unremarkable moment, despite initial anxieties. Their friendship remained strong throughout their journey together.

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