"I was surrounded by homophobia, which still exists today."
Judas Priest’s Rob Halford has opened up about the homophobia he experienced when he came out as gay in the nineties.
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In a new interview with the Edmonton Journal, Halford was asked if he was concerned that he would lose fans over his coming out, which he revealed in The Advocate in 1998. “Oh yeah, absolutely,” Halford replied, before detailing the homophobia he experienced at the time.
“I was surrounded by homophobia, which still exists today. There are places I can’t go back to because I’ll be stoned to death.
“As far as that whole business, I discovered when I did come out that I was in this trap gay people find themselves living in that you’re living your life for everyone else, but not yourself. During the ’70s and ’80s it was incredibly difficult.”
Halford continued: “I love Priest more than anything, so while always in my mind — I have to be careful how I say this — it’s not important to the music. Though I will say, a straight man can’t do my job [laughs]. That’s the way I view it.
“Freddie [Mercury] said it wasn’t important, but if Freddie hadn’t have been gay, Queen would’ve been a totally different band. But that’s a really important part of my life that I have to get down on paper at some point.”
Halford also revealed in the same interview that he would like to duet with Elton John. “In a heartbeat!” he replied.
Video captured during Judas Priest’s Rosemont Theatre show in Rosemont, Illinois on May 25 shows the band performing the song ‘Judas Rising’ when Halford suddenly sent a front-row fan’s phone flying with a swift and powerful kick.