Rob Halford To Gay Metalheads Who Want To Come Out: “Don’t Be Afraid”
Ahead of the release of his upcoming autobiography, Confess, in September, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford has been reflecting on the moment he publicly came out as gay in 1998, as well as giving advice to fellow metalheads who are wanting to do the same.
The Metal God tells Rolling Stone that his own coming-out experience taught him that “you can’t live your life for other people”, and that it brought him “a lot of peace and helped me in my work more than anything else”.
Rob continues: “If you’re still in the closet, you can’t really focus on life and what you’re here to do in life when you’ve got that shadow hanging over your head. Black it out, smash it down, burn it, tear it apart. You’re entitled to live your life as a human on this planet on your own terms.”
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When asked for specific advice for metalheads who want to come out, the frontman points to the many resources available to “help steer you through making that decision”. He emphasises that it’s totally up to the individual person to decide what to do, but offers a welcoming message to fans: “Gay metalheads, man, just come and join us and just get out and just have a blast. Have a good time with your life and don’t be afraid.
“It’s just fear more than anything else: fear of rejection, fear of being kicked out of the house by your family,” he continues. “It’s just unbelievable how there are always cruel aspects within a family that you didn’t know. But please don’t let that stop you. It’s your life. Claim it. It belongs to you.”
In a 2018 interview with Kerrang!, Rob discussed what it was like to come out as gay in the ’90s, and how the world at large has some work to do in regards to why people “still talk about sexual orientation, skin colour, or ‘my religion’s better than yours’.”
“We’ve still got a long way to go,” he said. “I think the LGBTQ [community], as we call ourselves now, still have to figure a lot out in terms of equality. But much like metal was regarded as the black sheep of rock’n’roll – with people being like, ‘Oh, you don’t like heavy metal, do you? That’s not music. That’s crap’ – you can apply that same thing to the gay community. It’s a similar experience in some of its elements.
“But then again, it’s 2018 and we still talk about sexual orientation, skin colour, or ‘my religion’s better than yours’. You’d think there would have been some kind of change and people would have moved on after such a long time. Now that I’m moving through my OAP heavy metal years (laughs), I thought a lot of it would be gone by now. And it’s a shame. We don’t really get to spend a lot of time on this planet together, so there’s no point in wasting it being divided. Love yourself, love each other, and love heavy fucking metal!”
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The metal community must do better to support the LGBT+ community online – and in the real world…
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