When Judas Priest singer Rob Halford came out as gay in 1998, he became the first high-profile openly metal musician to do so. Suddenly, one of heavy metal's all-time greats put himself out there, and metalheads accepted and celebrated Halford's sexuality. Sixteen years later, it's still not easy to come out of the closet, which has led Halford to congratulate Cynic's Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert for recently discussing their own homosexuality for the first time.

Back in May, Masvidal and Reinert came out in an interview with the L.A. Times. Once again, the majority of the metal community welcomed the revelation, and this time around, Rob Halford himself was able to be part of that group.

Rob Halford jokes to Terrorizer, “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!’"

“But what a f---ing great thing to do,” Halford adds. “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 s--t 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,” Halford continues. “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.”

Check out the entire interview with Rob Halford in Terrorizer issue No. 250.

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