Rob Halford famously came out on MTV in 1998, and the Judas Priest singer reflected on that moment in a recent interview.

The Metal God told Apple Music, “It was beautiful. It was very unplanned. It was one of those things where I’m at MTV in New York, I’m talking about a project that I was working on called TWO, with myself and John 5, the amazing guitar player. I was doing the rounds in New York City and ended up at MTV talking about this project. And in the casual course of the conversation, we were talking about the overall music, and the direction, and the feelings. And I said something to the effect of, ‘Well, speaking as a gay man… blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ And then I heard the producer’s clipboard bounce on the floor. It was one of those gay sharp intakes of breath, ‘Oh my God! He’s come out.'”

MTV News Interviews Rob Halford in 1998

Today is Coming Out Day. In 1998, Rob Halford from Judas Priest talked to us about his decision to come out, facing homophobia in the music world, and doing things on his own terms.

Posted by MTV News on Friday, October 11, 2019

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Halford continued, “And so that was it. So it was very simple. I think if I’d… I still say today, if I’d have really thought this through, like today’s the day I’m going to come out, maybe I even wouldn’t… maybe I may not have come out per se, because it’s still a big moment for so many of us, with a close friend, with someone at school, with Mum and Dad, with whomever, to actually say, ‘Hey, I’m a gay guy or I’m a gay girl.’ It’s just a big, big deal. It’s just a glorious, glorious moment.”

Halford said that moment was an “enormous feeling of freedom” and that “the pressure was gone” from being in the closet.

“Nothing can hurt you because this is it,” said Halford. “You can’t throw insults, you can’t throw rumors, you can’t say anything negative about me because I am who I am. So that’s my wonderful memory of my great coming-out day.”

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights