03/19/2014 12:25 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

George Michael: 'My Gay Life Didn't Get Easier When I Came Out'

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George Michael has been living openly as a gay man following his very public 1998 arrest for a "lewd act" in a Beverly Hills restroom.

But as People magazine is reporting, the 50-year-old pop singer, best known for smash hits like "Faith" and "Father Figure," says life didn't get any easier for him after the media revealed his sexuality.

"For some strange reason, my gay life didn't get easier when I came out. Quite the opposite happened, really," he is quoted as telling the BBC in a 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]."

As it turns out, it isn't just his fan base who believes the singer might be confused. He went on to note that "a lot of my extended family" thinks he may be holding out for the right woman.

“In the years when HIV was a killer, any parent of an openly gay person was terrified," he said. "I knew my mother well enough that she would spend every day praying that I didn't come across that virus.”

In 2011, Michael revealed he and his longtime partner, Kenny Goss, had called it quits after 13 years.

"My love life has been a lot more turbulent than I've let on," he said at the time, according to the AP. "This man has brought me a lot of joy and a lot of pain."

After a decade-long hiatus from the studio, Michael is back with a new album, "Symphonica," which was produced by the legendary Phil Ramone.

The Associated Press's Gregory Katz gave the album a glowing review, noting, "Michael sounds effortless and free, as if he could do this for decades to come."



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