Some 20 years after he first came out publicly as a gay man, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford said in a new interview with Noisey that the struggle for true equality continues. Halford explained, “The battle goes on for me; as a gay man,” adding, “I shall not be happy until I see equality across the board. That’s vital. I don’t think it’s right that there’s one set of rules for one individual and another set of rules and laws for another individual. That’s not the way the world should work.”
Halford said he was encouraged over the years by the response he got from fans after coming out, remarking, “The moment I came out as a gay man, I never really thought of the consequences . . . you then get these beautiful messages back from your fans around the world saying that because you’re able to step forward and proclaim your sexuality in a strong way, in a proud way, that that’s helped them in life, and you go, ‘Wow.’ So as a gay guy in metal, I welcome this opportunity to reinforce that statement.”
- Halford first proclaimed his sexuality in a 1998 interview with MTV, although it had been an open secret in the music industry for years.
- In a 2017 interview with Fox Sports 910 AM, Halford admitted that he felt exasperated about the discrimination that the LGBT community still faces despite the broad social acceptance of homosexuality, saying, “I always kind of felt, as I was going through my teen years and my 20s and 30s, things would be better, but they’re not. There’s still a long way to go in America, and in my home country.”
- Halford and Priest are enjoying a renewed burst of recognition this year with the band’s nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — although they did not win enough votes for induction — and the release of their 18th studio album, Firepower, their most acclaimed effort in years.
- The LP features the single “Lightning Strike,” which is Number 22 on the rock radio chart this week and Priest’s first charting track since 2005’s “Revolution.”