Former Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford is back with a new band, a new album, and a new openness about rumors and speculation that have long surrounded him.
"I think that most people know that I've been a gay man all of my life, and that it's only been in recent times that it's an issue that I feel comfortable to address, and an issue that has been with me ever since recognizing my own sexuality" [400k Audio], Halford told MTV News recently, addressing the subject publicly for the first time.
"It's something that I've been comfortable with forever, something that I feel has a moment, and this is the moment to discuss it and to go into the reasons, and the whys and the wherefores as to the statement, the so-called coming out phase."
Halford reaches this phase just as his career is taking yet another turn. The singer, who helped to shape the face and sound of heavy metal during the 70s and 80s with Judas Priest, will soon release the fruits of his latest endeavor, the group Two. As we reported earlier this week, Two will release its first album, "Voyeurs," on Trent Reznor's Nothing Records next month (the album even boasts an executive producing credit for Reznor).
"A lot of homophobia still exists in the music world, in all kinds of music," Halford said. "I wouldn't say it's any more phobic in metal or rap or whatever this music is that I'm doing now, but that¹s just something that I think we all have to address in our own lives. If we have a problem with it, I think we should seek help and find out why we do have a problem with it" [300k Audio].
In openly discussing his sexuality now, Halford said that he hopes he's helping others to do the same.
"I think it's difficult for everybody, you know, in making the decision to come forward and be who you are, based on peer pressure, especially if you're a teenager," Halford said. "That's where a lot of the anxiety begins, and so maybe people like myself and others that do step in front of a camera and let the world know, maybe it's of some help, where there's an individual that's been successful, that's been able to achieve dreams and visions and goals in life and not let the issue of sexuality be something to hold them back, so I think it's an important thing" [450k Audio].