Judas Priest’s Rob Halford: ‘I changed metal’s attitude to homosexuality’

Singer says he believes the genre is a lot more tolerant now

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has spoken about how he believes his decision to come out publically as gay helped destroy the myth that metal fans and bands could not accept homosexuality.

In an interview with the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, Halford said he believed that him coming out in 1998 challenged the view that heavy metal doesn’t have the capacity to be tolerant.

“There are areas of music that are more compassionate, more tolerant, more open, more accepting and more aware,” he said. “What I think I have done is destroy the myth that heavy metal bands don’t have that capacity.”

He said he believed most of his fans were supportive of him and that he helped metal fans to confront issues of sexuality. “The vast majority of them did [receive him well after he came out], yes,” he said. “Those that didn’t were the ones that have difficulty accepting people’s sexual orientation in general. I think I made some people confront issues they were not ready to deal with.”

Halford also said that, although he believed progress had been made in the metal community, there was still a way to go. “Heavy metal now is a completely different world compared to heavy metal in 1980,” he said. “The gay and lesbian world is very different now to what it was in 1980. We have all grown to some extent. There is still a long way to go. There are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed, but I think slowly but surely our lives are getting better.”

Judas Priest recently announced that their world tour next year would be their last.