He responded: “Oh yeah, absolutely, I was surrounded by homophobia, which still exists today. There are places I can’t go back to because I’ll be stoned to death. As far as that whole business, I discovered when I did come out that I was in this trap gay people find themselves living in that you’re living your life for everyone else, but not yourself.”
He added: “During the ’70s and ’80s, it was incredibly difficult. I love PRIEST more than anything, so while always in my mind — I have to be careful how I say this — it’s not important to the music. Though I will say, a straight man can’t do my job. [Laughs] That’s the way I view it. Freddie [Mercury] said it wasn’t important, but if Freddie hadn’t have been gay, QUEENwould’ve been a totally different band. But that’s a really important part of my life that I have to get down on paper at some point.”
Halford previously said that a straight man couldn’t do his job in JUDAS PRIEST during a 2008 interview with The Dallas Morning News. The singer — who revealed he was homosexual during a 1998 appearance on MTV — explained why he believed that he was the only man capable of fronting PRIEST.
“To be brutally honest, ‘Jugulator’ and ‘Demolition’ [the two PRIEST albums made with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens as frontman] were affected by my not being in the band, much like when Bruce Dickinson went away from IRON MAIDEN, the way VAN HALEN [was] affected when David Lee Roth left. But I don’t think a straight man can do my job in JUDAS PRIEST. I’ve never said that before. I’m sorry, but they can’t.”