Out Broadway legend Joey Grey last week
got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in New York.
Speaking with PEOPLE, Grey, 88, said
that he got the vaccine because he wants “to be safe.”
“We've lost so many people to COVID,”
Grey said. “I've lost a few friends. It's heartbreaking.
Frightening. Like boxing with the enemy. What's been helping me is a
solid belief that there is an end. I want to live. I love life."
"Quarantining has been lonely at
times, but somehow you get a night's sleep, wake up and the sun is
shining and you see a flower. Life is fragile, but the flower is
still here, and I'm still here,” said Grey, who in 2019 released a
photo book of flowers titled The Flower Whisperer.
came out publicly in 2015, compared the current pandemic to the
AIDS crisis. In both cases, New York became an early epicenter.
"I remember during the AIDS
crisis, so many people were getting sick and dying quickly. It was
terrifying. All these nice people, ordinary folks, suffered and died.
Somehow we lived through it. And today people are still loving each
other and living,” Grey
"We have an unknown source of
belief in life and love and humanity that saves us from all quitting.
We must not quit. As theater people, one of our aims is to enlighten
and tell the story and open a person's heart. Hopefully we can do
just that when the theater returns."
"I've been in Manhattan since
March. I didn't want to leave. I'm hopeful that somewhere in the
darkness there's still a light shining, and I want to be a part of
it. As soon as it's safe, I can't wait to have a hamburger and a malt
with my dear friends. I'll be there on Feb. 9 for my second shot of
the vaccine. It's a good feeling to know you've got the first and
you're on your way,” he said.