With June set as Pride Month, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has put forth a note of encouragement for closeted gay metalheads.

Over 20 years ago, Rob Halford came out as being gay during a 1998 interview with MTV. The iconic heavy metal frontman of Judas Priest took off his hardened façade, breaking down in tears to say:

“It’s a wonderful moment when you walk out of the closet. Now I’ve done that and I’ve freed myself. It’s a great feeling for me to finally let go and make this statement. […] Obviously this is just a wonderful day for me.”

Halford has noted that while the rock and metal scene has often been a very “alpha-male–dominated experience,” while noting that there’s “no disrespect to the great female metalheads,” that coming out brought him “a lot of peace” and helped him in his work “more than anything else,” he explained to Rolling Stone.

“I learned that you’ve got to let yourself out of the cage and you can’t live your life for other people,” the metal icon continued.

Although Halford has admitted that coming out during the 1990s was a very lonely experience, he noted that today there are heaps of resources that everyone can use in terms of feeling comfortable with coming out.

“At your fingertips are all of these resources, places you can go to help steer you through making that decision. It is up to you to decide. I have friends that are still deeply closeted of their own choice. That’s just the way it works for them.

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“If you’re still in the closet, you can’t really focus on life and what you’re here to do in life when you’ve got that shadow hanging over your head. Black it out, smash it down, burn it, tear it apart. You’re entitled to live your life as a human on this planet on your own terms.”

In one final act of encouragement, Halford stated that you shouldn’t let fear stop you from coming out: “Gay metalheads, man, just come and join us and just get out and just have a blast. Have a good time with your life and don’t be afraid.

“It’s just fear more than anything else: fear of rejection, fear of being kicked out of the house by your family. It’s just unbelievable how there are always cruel aspects within a family that you didn’t know.

“But please don’t let that stop you. It’s your life. Claim it. It belongs to you.”

Check out Rob Halford coming out as gay on MTV’s Superock:

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