In a brand new interview with Rolling Stone, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford reflected on his decision to publicly declare his homosexuality back in 1998 during an appearance on MTV News. Asked what he learned from that experience, Rob said: "I learned that you've got to let yourself out of the cage and you can't live your life for other people. To come out into what was at the time, and still is to a certain extent, a very alpha-male–dominated experience — and that's no disrespect to the great female metalheads — it brought me a lot of peace and helped me in my work more than anything else. 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."
Asked what advice he has for metalheads who feel like they're stuck in a very straight culture but want to come out, Rob said: "Well, you don't have to feel as alone as I did. At your fingertips are all of these resources, places you can go to help steer you through making that decision. It is up to you to decide. I have friends that are still deeply closeted of their own choice. That's just the way it works for them.
"Gay metalheads, man, just come and join us and just get out and just have a blast," he continued. "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. 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."
Three years ago, Halford told Fox Sports 910 AM's "The Freaks With Kenny And Crash" radio show in Phoenix, Arizona that the response to his addressing his sexuality publicly for the first time was overwhelmingly positive.
"So I said that thing [during the MTV interview], and I went back to the hotel, and I thought, 'Oh, what have I done? There's gonna be a fallout,'" he admitted. "[But] I'd never seen such an outpouring of love from people in all my life — the letters, the faxes, the phone calls from everybody in the metal community: 'Rob, we just don't care. We want you to be who you are. We want you to sing those songs. We wanna come see you.' And that was a tremendously uplifting moment for me. And it was also a tremendously uplifting moment for metal. Because, for the longest time, metal was the underdog in rock and roll, metal was never getting any respect, metal was always at the back of the line. And so I thought, 'Well, isn't this great?' This just goes to show you that we in the metal community, as we call ourselves — probably because of the pushback that we felt because of the music that we love — we are the most tolerant, if you wanna say, the most open-minded, the most loving, the most accepting of all the kinds of music that we know in rock and roll. So it was a great moment."