What Coming Out Has Meant To Rob Halford

In a recent interview Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford discussed how publicly coming out influenced his own life in addition to the impact the announcement made on the heavy metal community.

Halford revealed he was gay in 1998 through an interview with MTV News.

At the time he was involved with the side project 2wo as the follow-up to his first solo project, Fight. The singer quit Judas Priest in 1992 and then rejoined the band in 2003.

Halford told the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News that not being part of Judas Priest’s lineup at the time made it was easier to come out when he did. He explained to the paper that he had spent years protecting the band’s image, music and fans rather than putting his own needs’ first.

“I wasn’t able to say and do the things that I wanted to do until I was away and having these other musical adventures. … I probably would have not made the announcement had I been in Judas Priest at that time.”

The singer said that the vast majority of fans took the news well.

Photo: Bobby Talamine / SkipTheDial.com
First Midwestbank Ampitheatre, Tinley Park, Ill.

He added that coming out helped challenge some stereotypes about metal. Halford hypothesized that his announcement might have made some fans view the issue of masculinity and homosexuality in a different way.

“There are areas of music that are more compassionate, more tolerant, more open, more accepting and more aware,” he told San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. “What I think I have done is destroy the myth that heavy metal bands don’t have that capacity. It’s a different world now. Heavy metal now is a completely different world compared to heavy metal in 1980.”

Personally Halford said his life has “changed dramatically” since telling the world what his band and crew had known all along.

“It’s like when any of us step out of that closet and we set ourselves free there is a tremendous feeling of elation. You can be who you are without having to hide, without having to lie, and it makes you stronger, and more complete as a person.”

Judas Priest recently announced the first dates for its farewell tour, including a number of European festival performances. 

Click here to read the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News story.