Published Jun 10, 2020Rob Halford is not only the cat-cuddling, phone-kicking, Christmas-loving frontman of Judas Priest, but a trailblazer for coming out in a time where metal and overt masculinity went hand in hand. Now, the iconic vocalist has shared some advice for those who may be in a similar situation as he was.
When asked by Rolling Stone if he had advice for closeted metalheads, Halford expressed, "You don't have to feel as alone as I did," elaborating as follows:
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. 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.
When asked to reflect on his experience coming out as a gay man in 1998, Halford explained that he 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.
Halford was also asked about his instantly recognizable, leather-clad look, and spoke to style individuality and "the beautiful kaleidoscope of life":
There are all different types of gay people, as there are all different kind of straight people in the way that we show ourselves off, how we speak, how we dress. I think that's the beautiful kaleidoscope of life in the way it manifests itself, regardless of whether you're gay, straight, bi, black, white, Asian, Latino. That's just the glory of it all.
When I'm dressed to the nines in leathers, that's a personification of me that's really no different to when I'm offstage. I love drag queens; I fucking love drag queens. They're some of the most fiercest people on the planet. One of my great friends, Chi Chi LaRue, is just the master of that world. And so, that's another way that we express ourselves in the gay community. And then when you take all the drag off, you're unrecognizable, and yet your heart and your soul and your spirit are still in the same place.
Halford is set to release autobiography Confessions this September.