ROB HALFORD Looks Back On Coming Out As Gay 21 Years Ago: 'In My World Of Metal, It Was Kind Of A Big Leap Forward'

December 17, 2019

In a brand new interview with the "Music Vibes With DC Hendrix" podcast, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford reflected on his decision to publicly declare his homosexuality back in 1998 during an appearance on MTV News.

"When I look back on that, I kind of feel good about the fact that I didn't really have a plan or an agenda when I went into MTV studios to do an interview that day," Rob said. "I was in there talking about a record that I made with my good friend John 5, who is a tremendous guitar player. We made a record called TWO. And I was in the studio promoting that record, if my memory serves me correctly. It was kind of an off-the-cuff type of statement. I forget what the question was that the producer asked me, but I said, 'Yada yada yada, speaking as a gay man, yada yada yada…' And that's how it kind of broke through.

"It only takes a fraction of a second of your life to step forward and tell the world — tell your family, tell your friends, tell your schoolmates, tell your co-workers — who you are," he continued. "'This is the way I am.' And it's the most wonderful, liberating feeling you can ever experience.

"After I got back to the hotel, my brain was, like, 'What have I done?' And secondly [I thought to myself], 'I feel great now. Now I've got a huge weight off my shoulders. I don't have to hide. People can't make snickery remarks about me — it's all kind of out in the open.' That's why we call it coming out. And it's the best thing you can do for yourself. In my world of metal, it was kind of a big leap forward.

"We're all connected," Halford added. "We've still got a long way to go in terms of equality and acceptance, but great things never happen overnight. So we've still got a long journey to make. But I'll never stop talking about it, 'cause it's important to me and so many other people."

Two 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."

Find more on Rob halford
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email