Cynic's Big Admission Threatens Metal's Homophobia


Photo by Jay Lee
Rob Halford (center) of Judas Priest
Rob Halford of Judas Priest came out years ago, but it wasn't enough. Let's be honest here. Judas Priest may be legends, but they were mostly appreciated by an older, more mature crowd by the time Halford came out. Young people weren't learning from his example to be more tolerant or accepting of gay people within their community.

In fact, it's far more likely that those kids were laughing at Judas Priest for multiple reasons now. Not only for being old-man metal at that point, but for how "gay" they were.
Just as old football stars coming out 20 years after retiring has done nothing to change the NFL's approach to these matters, just as Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams means so much more because he is a player in the here and now, Masvidal and Reinert discussing their sexuality means so much because they are here.

Sure, Priest was making music, but can you name all of their post-Painkiller albums off the top of your head? No cheating, no Googling. I sure can't. Priest was done by that point.

Cynic, however, are vital today. They are one of the hottest names in progressive metal, both for their influence and for the continuing strength of their output. Young people are listening to this stuff, poring over their records and reading their interviews.

Those young people are going to see what Reinert and Masvidal said. That means they're going to have to make up their minds about whether they can accept the main people behind their favorite band being gay. And that is something that is important to the entire metal community.

If Cynic can gain acceptance based on the strength of their works, this could open the door to any number of gay musicians to participate in the scene, or to currently closeted musicians to be comfortable enough to come out. That is a success for all of us in destroying prejudice and discrimination in this scene dominated by macho bullshit, and that is why it's so important to metal that they are out now.


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