There will never be a queer icon in heavy metal like Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford. That the metal god came out as gay when it was still taboo in the metal scene (or at least much more taboo than it is now, although the struggle remains very real) is respectable enough on its own; that he did so as the frontman of one of heavy metal's most traditional and "masculine" bands is downright awesome. But in a recent interview, Rob makes it clear that while we've come a long way, being gay in America often feels like an uphill battle.
While discussing his new Christmas album with NME, Halford said, "Don’t get me started on the Christian right pushing the LGBTQ community under the bus. They’re passing laws here where if you’re gay you can lose your job, based on whether the people who run a company follow a religion that doesn’t accept people like us. It’s horrible. America is supposed to be the world’s leading superpower and some of this stuff is medieval.
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"It’s not a country where you feel especially safe, and I do think I feel less safe now," he continued. "You are aware that by walking down the supermarket you might get shot. But I try not to let that stuff intrude on my life. The politicians, the media, they want you to be scared and I refuse to be.”
Interestingly enough, while Rob feels pissed off at evangelicals attacking his lifestyle, he follows it up by saying he's always felt accepted by one specific community -- metalheads.
"The metal community has always been inclusive and yet we’ve been kicked around like a football over the years," says Rob. "It just makes us stronger though. I genuinely believe that metal is the strongest component of rock‘n’roll. It’s still growing – only today I was listening to a new band I really like from my old stomping ground in the Midlands; they’re called Wolf Jaw and they’re great. Metal will always be there. We’ll always be loud! We’ll always be proud!”
Let homophobes how you feel this holiday season by blasting Rob's version of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing out of your car: