Judas Priest’s Rob Halford Opens Up About His Fear Of Rejection

Judas Priest’s lead singer Rob Halford recently joined a chat with the WTF With Marc Maron podcast and discussed his concerns about facing rejection due to his sexual orientation.

After talking about the ongoing discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States and around the globe, the frontman revealed that he didn’t expect the positive response he received from people when he made his sexuality public. He then explained the reason behind that:

“Yeah, because you fear rejection. That’s the primary reason. ‘People won’t love me because I’m gonna tell them who I am.’ Does that make sense? Well, it does if you’re a gay person, and maybe you’ve got the kind of a job that… for whatever reason.”

Reflecting on the pressure he faced from people in the industry to keep his sexuality a secret to protect the band’s success, he continued:

“I question whether if I had not have come out like I did, would I still be in the closet? Because I talk about in the book about having to hide because it was suggested to me by people in the industry, ‘Don’t tell them that you’re gay. It’ll be the end of the band.’ What a horrible thing to think about, but it’s a fact. The guys in the band knew, and the people in the label knew.”

In the earlier part of his conversation, Halford also shared his thoughts on the attacks against LGBTQ+ people, saying:

“When is there gonna be an end to it? I don’t think there’ll ever be an end to it while we have the attacks going on, the extremist attacks for political reasons or for bigotry. You can’t get rid of bigots; you can’t get rid of that kind of mentality of people, but don’t give them a bigger voice.”

The singer openly revealed his homosexuality during a 1998 MTV News appearance. Speaking to Metal Hammer in the early 2000s, he talked about the challenges he faced as the first openly gay frontman in the metal world when he came out. Halford noted:

“I think that kind of experience is something that every gay guy goes through – feeling isolated and feeling that you’re the only person in the world who has those kind of feelings. In those days, you didn’t talk about those kind of things. It wasn’t talked about in the media, in soaps, or on TV. And, I mean, for me, it wasn’t until my late 20s that I felt I was actually part of something bigger, y’know?”

However, the rocker doesn’t view himself as a gay icon, as he revealed in the rest of his Metal Hammer interview. He finds it interesting that his sexuality gets more media attention just because it’s not the norm. Rob also mentioned that he has never had much interaction with the gay media because they may have difficulty relating to the world of heavy metal, which is often seen as a very masculine environment.

You can listen to the full podcast episode below.