Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford has marked Pride Month by opening up about coming out on MTV back in 1998, saying that while it was “very unplanned”, it was a “beautiful” moment.
Speaking to Apple Music’s Hattie Collins, Halford spoke about the off-the-cuff moment that would change his life forever.
“It was one of those things where I’m at MTV in New York, I’m talking about a project that I was working on called Two, with myself and John 5, the amazing guitar player,” Halford began.
“I was doing the rounds in New York City and ended up at MTV talking about this project. And in the casual course of the conversation, we were talking about the overall music, and the direction, and the feelings.
Halford continued: “And I said something to the effect of, ‘Well, speaking as a gay man, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ And then I heard the producer’s clipboard bounce on the floor. It was one of those gay sharp intakes, ‘Oh my God, he’s come out.’
“And so that was it. So it was very simple. I think if I’d have really thought this through, like ‘today’s the day I’m going to come out’, I may not have come out per se, because it’s still a big moment for so many of us … to actually say, ‘Hey, I’m a gay guy or I’m a gay girl.’”
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The rocker added: “It’s just a big, big deal. It’s just a glorious, glorious moment.”
Halford went on to say that once the news had been picked up by outlets around the world, he felt “this enormous feeling of freedom”.
“The pressure was gone, and there’s no more talking behind your back because you have all this ammunition of power as a gay person now, as an out gay person. Nothing can hurt you because this is it. You can’t throw insults, you can’t throw rumours, you can’t say anything negative about me because I am who I am.
“So that’s my wonderful memory of my great coming out day.”
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