Rob Halford inspiring gay metallers
Phil Freeman of Metal Edge recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford. An excerpt from the chat follows:
Metal Edge: When you came out, and in the years since, have you heard from metal fans who were able to come out themselves as a result?
Halford: All the time, yeah, and that’s just something that you don’t even think about, when you get this type of feedback. It just makes it apparent that people from all walks of life are into metal music, from all different types of jobs, different religious backgrounds, different ethnicities, and different sexual orientations. It was no big surprise to me to find that there were other gay metalheads, it’s an absolute fact. I would get some of the coolest emails, especially from younger metalheads struggling with their sexual identity, saying because you did what you did, I was able to tell my friends at school, or tell my family, or whatever, and they’ve accepted me.” And you don’t expect that, so it’s an absolutely wonderful thing to see and hear about. Because I’ve lived with this issue all of my life, it’s no longer a big deal to me. But I appreciate, for people that are confronting that situation for the first time, maybe certain readers of Metal Edge, who may be going through that difficulty — you use whatever resources you can. What I always tell people is, you’re not alone going through that struggle, that a lot of us have gone through that struggle, and the most fulfilling and freeing thing you can do to yourself is come out and be straightforward, and let everybody know who you are. To me, it’s the definition of unconditional love. If people have unconditional love, they couldn’t care less about that side of your sexuality. They will love you and accept you for who you are. If you can understand that you’re not alone, that there are people out there to help you, even if you’re going through difficulties of making that type of exposure of yourself, there are people to talk to, different organizations and all types of resources. ‘Cause it’s heartbreaking when you hear about teenagers who are being kicked out of their houses, or being forced to leave because they can’t face these conditions — rejection, hate, or whatever — and that’s unfortunately still part of the world we live in. But if you’re able to break through and make that declaration, it’s like freeing yourself. It’s wonderful self-truth that you’re able to kind of put out there, and all of the fear and rejection that you may have experienced from all these different areas sort of vanishes, because the truth is there. And once the truth is out there, you can’t be attacked anymore, things can’t really be directed at you. Which I still get, you know — people say really hateful things about me sometimes on message boards and blogs or whatever, but it has no effect on me, because I’m not hiding anymore, and it’s ridiculous to make that kind of statement. It has absolutely no value. So I would encourage people, if you can, to face the moment and say “This is who I am, take it or leave it.”