Rob Halford revealed that he’s always tried to “embrace” online haters rather than ignore them.
The Judas Priest singer said he was still sometimes a victim of bullying for being gay, and he didn’t ignore the situation when it arose.
“Everything bounces off me,” Halford told CBC Radio One in a recent interview. “I still get bullied occasionally on the internet, social media. That’s just the way it is.” Asked if he reads the intentionally hateful comments, he replied: “Yeah, I do … it’s important that I do, because that way I know that there are still those kinds of people out there. And I embrace them. I don’t push them away – I embrace them. I say, ‘Let’s talk about why you feel that way.’
He added that “you have to have empathy. You can’t put up walls. You can’t suppress. You have to be open, you have to be ready to talk, no matter how difficult it is, because that can help. And if you can help somebody, that’s a good thing to do.”
Last month, Halford told the Phoenix New Times that he was comfortable about his sexuality still grabbing headlines, decades after he came out.
“I’m happy to talk about it from dawn till dusk, because it’s an important issue with so many challenges,” he said. “My role as a gay man in heavy metal is just that: I will talk about the injustices and horrific things that have happened to us around the world, and will always talk about that until we find some harmony. There are some parts of the world where labels don’t exist; we’re all people and living our lives. The fact that I’m still talking about it after all this time, the misconception that you can’t be a gay metalhead – it’s an interesting, powerful story.”