Today I salute the amazing Rob Halford, who I truly believe, could be one of the greatest public advocates for the civil rights/same sex marriage movement in this country.
In case you didn’t know – Rob Halford is lead singer to one of the biggest, most influential metal bands that ever existed – Judas Priest. He is also one of the most acclaimed singers in rock, possessing a four octave range. Plus, he can wear the fuck out of leather.
Metal is usually the soundtrack to the outsider – the loner, the misunderstood non-comformist; the odd man out. It’s filled with angst and confusion. It is the anthem of angry, testosterone riddled boys everywhere (and all around awesome girls – HELLO). There is no more manly music than metal.
So when badass Judas Priest burst on the scene with Halford’s ferocious voice, he was both idolized and hailed as a god. In a community that valued heterosexual mansluts and videos presenting women as objects, his obvious leather bear fashion sensibilities went largely ignored.
For crying out loud, just look at the freaking video for “Hot Rockin”.
That’s the most homoerotic/homoromantic (h/t Jay) thing I’ve ever seen. Videos like that, along with Halford being ‘hell bent for leather’, and lyrics such as “All eyes hit me as I walked into the bar, The spikey leather guys were foolin with the denim dudes, A couple cards played rough stuff, New York, Fire Island” – it was kind of obvious that Halford wasn’t interested in the ladies.
I remember when I was a teenager it was kind of like an “open secret” that was just accepted. “You know Rob Halford is gay, right”; “Whatever”.
In 1998, after he left Judas Priest, he came out, officially on MTV News. If you ask any straight male metalhead, they will still say that “on some level they always knew he was gay” but they “will always love him” and he’ll always be their “metal god”.
And isn’t it what it’s all about? If bonehead metal dudes can just accept a man for his talents and not care about what he does in his personal life, then maybe there’s hope for legalizing same sex marriage yet.
Halford – the movement needs you. Now strap on some leather and sing about same sex marriage FFS. (Along with all of Judas Priest’s hits, thanks)