Judas Priest singer Rob Halford had the most loving metal gesture after Greta Van Fleet singer Josh Kiszka came out in a statement on Tuesday. The studded leather-loving Halford responded to Kiszka’s announcement by commenting “I love you Josh” along with a number of emoji, including metal horns, a mic, clapping hands, a lightning bolt and a speaker.
Kiszka came out on Tuesday in an Instagram post in which the singer he described his decision in light of recent laws in his chosen home state of Tennessee targeting the state’s LGBTQ citizens.
“Where I’ve settled a home in Tennessee, legislators are proposing bills that threaten the freedom of love. It’s imperative that I speak my truth for not only myself, but in hopes to change hearts, minds, and laws in Tennessee and beyond,” wrote Michigan-bred Kiszka in the post.
“These issues are especially close to my heart as I’ve been in a loving, same-sex relationship with my partner for the past 8 years. Those close to me are well aware, but it’s important to me to share publicly,” Kiszka continued. “Over the years, the outpouring of love for the LGBTQ+ community has been resounding, but there is still work to be done for LGBTQ+ rights in TN, the nation, and the world.”
Kiszka’s post came after conservative Tennessee legislators recently passed a bill attempting to ban drag shows on public property where minors could be present, as well as another signed in March that bans gender-affirming healthcare for children.
While Kiszka did not specifically mention the controversial legislation, he shared a number of links to organizations doing good work to combat such policies, including: Human Rights Campaign Nashville, Inclusion Tennessee, Oasis Center Nashville, ACLU Tennessee, Nashville Pride, HRC, the Trevor Project and the ACLU.
In 2020, Halford spoke to Billboard about what it was like to be closeted in the 1970s and 1980s before coming out in an MTV interview in 1998, as well as how much the support he received at the time meant to him. “I didn’t really understand the repercussions or ramifications of coming out that way until many days later. I count my blessings there wasn’t social media,” Halford told Billboard. “I did receive some very moving letters: ‘Because of you, I was able to tell my mom and dad.’ And that hits you in the heart. It was tremendously powerful, cathartic and uplifting. All the innuendo falls away, it vanishes into thin air.”
Check out Halford’s tweet below.