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Rob Halford: I am the only gay in the village!
Self-described “Metal God” Rob Halford came out as gay in 1998 and since has also become a symbol for tolerance and diversity in heavy metal. He was one the first high profile metal artists to come out, and more have bravely followed his example in the last sixteen years.
Two weeks before this interview (in Terrorizer 250), Cynic members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert came out in a feature published by the Los Angeles Times. Always one with his ear to the ground, Rob read the news.
“I told someone, ‘Have you read about this? These guys in Cynic?’ He said, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ I said, ‘I am the only gay in the village! I ain’t having this!’” he laughs heartily, doing his best Daffyd Thomas impersonation.
“But what a fucking great thing to do,” he continues with admiration. “It’s all chipping away. There’s homophobia in metal, there’s homophobia in all kinds of music, but for the most part metalheads accept each other because we know we’re given a lot of stick, people don’t like us, they don’t like our music, they don’t like the way we look. So for those two guys to make that statement, it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s shit that you have to worry about this in 2014, isn’t it? It’s rubbish. But that just shows you the stupidity that goes on in the world. So God bless them. I know what it’s like to come out of the closet. It’s the best feeling in the world. Be true to yourself, live your life, don’t hide. Nothing’s going to hurt you, you can only hurt yourself. The real people that love you will love you regardless.”
“I belong to a minority,” he muses. “In some countries they’d kill us for being gay. It’s pretty deep when you think about it. Just to keep chipping away at that is a wonderful thing, and the more people that have that power to step up and say it, it just helps the overall cause. It’s a great time to live now, in terms of acceptance and tolerance. I’ve got a place in Amsterdam, and the Dutch never talk about this. Everybody’s just everybody. There’s no layers or brands. You’re just who you are. I hope that day will come [elsewhere] eventually. For people who play the type of metal they play to do what they did, it’s very valuable. I can’t wait to meet them.”
This is taken from Adrien Begrand’s interview with Rob Halford in Terrorizer 250, available now.