June is Pride month for the LGBTQ community. I'm straight but consider myself an ally to the community, with friends all over the spectrum: gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, non binary, transgender, and so on. I'm still learning all the letters and identities, embracing all the colors of the rainbow. But did you know some of the artists you listen to are part of the LGBTQ world? These singers can make those in the LGBTQ community feel less alone...maybe cooler.
Rob Halford (Judas Priest)
Lead singer of heavy metal band Judas Priest, Halford came out as gay in 1998, publicly coming out to The Advocacy. Calling himself "the stately homo of heavy metal". It doesn't get much more badass to be known as the Metal God, and to be openly gay. If being fearless and gay had a face, it would be Rob Halford.
Lzzy Hale (Halestorm)
Best known for being the leading lady from rock band Halestorm, Lzzy Hale came out as bisexual on her Twitter account. Downplaying her moment of public outing, Lzzy explained her reason to come out to Rolling Stone:
"That wasn't this big 'I'm going to announce to everybody!' moment. I was having a conversation with someone … and 'Oh, wow, I don't think I ever told anybody that before.' It's kind of interesting to have that relationship with fans."
A force in the heavy metal scene, Lzzy is a symbol of female empowerment, but calls heavy metal "genderless", instead calling it diversity, a crowd of "like-minded people."
Brendon Urie (Panic! At the Disco)
Panic! At the Disco's lead singer Brendon Urie came out as pansexual in 2018. Pansexuality is attraction regardless of gender (which includes non binary, gender fluid, etc., making pansexuality different than bisexuality). The punk heartthrob, married to Sarah Orzechowski since 2013, elaborated further on his sexuality to Paper Magazine:
"I'm married to a woman and I'm very much in love with her but I'm not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person. Yeah I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don't care. If a person is great, then a person is great. I just like good people, if your heart's in the right place. I'm definitely attracted to men. It's just people that I am attracted to."
Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day)
Punk singer Billie Joe Armstrong came out as bisexual in a 1995 interview with The Advocate:
"I think I've always been bisexual. I mean, it's something that I've always been interested in. I think people are born bisexual, and it's just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of 'Oh, I can't.' They say it's taboo. It's ingrained in our heads that it's bad, when it's not bad at all. It's a very beautiful thing."
Married to Adrienne Nesser since 1994, the eyeliner front man continues to be outspoken of his beliefs and struggles, unapologetically taking on politics and winning fans and enemies.
Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance)
Emo hero and comic book creator Gerard Way has explored his identity, considering himself "non masculine". Speaking on Reddit in October 2014, he stated:
"I have always been extremely sensitive to those that have gender identity issues as I feel like I have gone through it as well, if even on a smaller scale. I have always identified a fair amount with the female gender, and began at a certain point in MCR to express this through my look and performance style. So it's no surprise that all of my inspirations and style influences were pushing gender boundaries...Masculinity to me has always made me feel like it wasn't right for me."
In 2015, Gerard dove deeper to The Boyzine about his masculinity:
"I never really subscribed to the archetype masculinity growing up, I had no interest in sports or anything like that. There was a time where I was called a girl so often that when I discovered the idea of transgenderism I considered myself to be more of a girl. So I identify with trans people and women a lot because I was a girl to a lot of people growing up."
Being non binary, Gerard prefers he/him pronouns, but also said on Twitter he didn't have a preference and that people could use "whatever" pronouns.
Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!)
Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender in 2012 in raw interview with the Rolling Stone. Known for being the rebellious singer in punk rock band Against Me!, Laura has struggled with gender dysphoria, secretly cross-dressing for many years, fantasizing about being Madonna, and wishing and praying to wake up in a female body. As a form of catharsis, Grace and Against Me! wrote a concept album called Transgender Dysphoria Blues, to high praises as well as great commercial success. Laura isn't letting her dysphoria stop her from being a rock star:
"However fierce our band was in the past, imagine me, six-foot-two, in heels, fucking screaming into someone's face."
Now that's punk rock.
The Trevor Project Hotline, available for non-judgement support for LGBTQ: