In a recent interview with Birmingham Mail, JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford spoke about his involvement with the LGBTQ community. Halford came out as a homosexual during an MTV interview in 1998 and has long since been an outspoken advocate for gay rights.
Having been born in 1951, Halford said he used to read the papers and note that people were being sent to prison for being gay.
"I still think that's a struggle for a lot of people, regardless of the times that we live in," he said. "Particularly for me as a young guy I was figuring things out. It was difficult. I read the papers like everybody else and it was about this gay man and that gay man being thrown into jail just because they were a gay guy. That's not the best terms to try to understand yourself as a person. Is that going to happen to me? There was a terrible oppression and persecution, as there still is in some parts of the world today."
He continued: "We have a long, long way to go before we get complete equality. These are the things that affect you as a young person and start you on this journey of self-discovery and particularly to do with your sexual identity."
Back in 2018, Halford told Newsweek that he is "not a Donald Trump supporter," explaining that the U.S. president's policies have turned political divides into chasms and alienated minority groups like the LGBTQ community.
"It's a very shaky time right now," Rob said. "I have so much faith in this country. But it does seem as though the brakes have been slapped on. It's indeed disturbing, and it's such a shame, because throughout the Obama administration, tremendous things were achieved on the basis of human equality. That's the issue here. Treating one bunch of people this way, and treating this bunch that way. You can't do that. You have to give everybody the same rights."
Halford acknowledged that many PRIEST fans won't agree with those views, saying that "there's a ton of metalheads that are supportive of [the Trump] administration." But, he added, "That's great. That's okay. You're not bringing that to the show. We're there to all join together, and that is the beautiful thing about a free, transparent society — which we don't appear to have right now. Some fans are completely opposite to me politically. But we can still be in the same room and have a good time and hopefully have a good discussion while respecting each other's opinions."
Halford's autobiography, "Confess", will arrive on September 29 via Hachette Books. The book has already been described by the U.K.'s The Telegraph as "one of the most candid and surprising memoirs of the year."