Rob Halford returned to the theme of social division, saying he regretted how little progress had been made in his lifetime. The Judas Priest frontman, who came out as gay 20 years ago, also discussed rifts within the LGBTQ community and argued that life’s too short to spend in disharmony.

“We’ve still got a long way to go,” he told Kerrang in a new interview. “I think the LGBTQ [community], as we call ourselves now, still have to figure a lot out in terms of equality. But much like metal was regarded as the black sheep of rock ’n’ roll – with people being like, ‘Oh, you don’t like heavy metal, do you? That’s not music. That’s crap’ – you can apply that same thing to the gay community. It’s a similar experience in some of its elements.”

He continued: “But then again, it’s 2018 and we still talk about sexual orientation, skin color, or ‘my religion’s better than yours.’ You’d think there would have been some kind of change, and people would have moved on after such a long time. Now that I’m moving through my OAP [old age pensioner] heavy metal years, I thought a lot of it would be gone by now. And it’s a shame.” He concluded: “We don’t really get to spend a lot of time on this planet together, so there’s no point in wasting it being divided. Love yourself, love each other, and love heavy fucking metal!”

In an interview earlier this year, Halford recalled the “beautiful messages” he’d received from fans around the world after he came out, and accepted that his action had been beneficial for a large number of people. But he added: “I shall not be happy until I see equality across the board. That’s vital. I don’t think it’s right that there’s one set of rules for one individual and another set of rules and laws for another individual. That’s not the way the world should work."

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