Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has opened up about how “accepting and inclusive” the metal community is. 

In a recent interview with Jonathan Clarke of the Q104.3 radio station (via Blabbermouth.net), Halford revealed how accepted he felt by the community when he came out as gay back in 1998.

“I’m not unique in the issue of finding your own sexual identity, but certainly the way I’ve tried to balance that in my professional working life as a musician was tough; it was difficult,” he said.

He continued: “I couldn’t go to clubs or bars for fear of recognition and that hitting the press, and blah blah blah, just because the world was a different place then.”

“Of course, the long-term discovery, when I did come out, famously on MTV in the [late] ’90s, when I was in the 2WO band with John 5, was that it was the most perfect example of the way the metal community is so accepting and inclusive and welcoming people from all over,” he said.

Halford said he associates the metal community’s understanding nature with the criticism the heavy metal genre has received, adding that “metal maniacs” are “just all together.”

“There are no labels on us in the metal community; we’re just all together,” he said.

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“I think that’s kind of attached to the fact that metal, for the longest time, was, like… In rock and roll, everybody was kicking heavy metal music: ‘Oh, man, what is that stuff? It’s nothing. It’s got no value,'” he continued.

“But we knew, as metal maniacs, this was our music; this is how we expressed ourselves. We love to listen to this music, be with each other at home listening to it. Most importantly, going to shows together.”

Halford’s comments come off the back of the recent release of his autobiography, Confess.

He explained it was through recording Confess‘ audiobook that he realised how “incredible” his life experiences have been.

“When I read the audio for Confess, that’s when it really started to hit me emotionally,” he said.

‘It’s one thing to read the words, but when you speak ’em out… Man, I’ve been on some of the most incredible journeys and experiences.”

Check out Rob Halford discussing the metal community on Q104.3 radio: