Alex Skolnick Credits Rob Halford’s ‘Gay Leather Gear’ For Redefining Metal Fashion

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Alex Skolnick recently highlighted Rob Halford’s significant influence on heavy metal fashion with his distinctive leather gear, originally from gay culture.

A user on X shared two early photos of Halford from his Judas Priest days, commenting:

“Rob Halford defined the metal aesthetic by wearing his gay leather gear and just not telling anyone it’s his gay leather gear, making him one of the most powerful gays in history.”

Skolnick amplified this sentiment by reposting the tweet and adding two photos of Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne, stating:

“Rob Halford’s leather look was straight out of gay shops in SF’s Castro, West Hollywood, London’s SoHo, etc., and redefined metal fashion (unknown to 70s/80s fans – not always known for tolerance at the time). Respectfully, it was a big improvement (case in point: Black Sabbath, 1974).”

Dee Snider responded to Skolnick’s tweet with his own perspective, including a photo of KISS:

“Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but KISS were flat-out studded leather when they hit the scene in 1974. Pretty sure they were straight…just sayin’.”

Skolnick replied to Snider:

“Hi, Dee Snider! True… In the case of KISS, (credit to Gene/Paul/Ace/Peter for my entire entry into hard rock & guitar period) it felt a bit more theatrical/kabuki/glam/sci-fi, while bondage elements – spikes, studs, chaps, leather caps – feel more Rob/Priest. But fair point!!”

Rob Halford on Being Openly Gay in the Metal Community

Rob Halford became the first openly gay metal frontman in the ’90s. In an interview with Metal Hammer, he expressed pride in challenging stereotypes about gay people in the metal scene but did not see himself as a gay icon:

“Just because my sexuality isn’t considered to be the norm, it seems to always carry a bit of extra media interest. I’ve never been approached by any of those kind of publications because I think heavy metal is still viewed by the wider media as still being this very macho, male environment, and the gay media still treats it with some detachment.”

In March, Halford discussed with Global News’ Adam Wallis the difficulties of hiding his sexuality due to fear of rejection and backlash in the metal scene. He mentioned the widespread homophobia during his early career, which forced him to conceal his identity. Over time, however, the metal community came to accept him.

I'm Emma. I Love rock music, doing guitar reviews, and making food. I love writing works because it is the best way to provide information to people.

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