In an op-ed piece penned for Terrorizer (via the PRP), writer Tom Dare has hit out at the heavy metal scene for continuing homophobic attitudes.
As Dare notes, there is an irony in such attitudes, given the influence of the 1970s San Francisco homosexual counterculture on heavy metal:
"Heavy metal is totally gay. It's a predominantly male audience watching predominantly male bands act as butch and masculine as possible. It's leather, denim, tight trousers (we'll skip over the baggy jeans of nu metal, because that was actually the closest metal's ever come to being straight) and a bunch of other shit that has more to do with 1970s San Francisco gay clubs than anything vaguely hetero. It's all phallic metaphors, homoerotic imagery and sweaty (frequently topless) men grappling each other in a dark room. And yet we are amongst the most homophobic sets of music fans in the world.
"There seems to be this odd perception amongst metallers of gays as mincing queens effeminately cocking a limp wrist. And while gay men like that certainly exist, it is far from the majority - and in fact, is something liable to win you prejudice even amongst the LGBT community. In fact, the closer to a Manowar press shot (with or without loincloth-only garb) you get, the closer you get to something genuinely gay."
The Terrorizer piece comes as Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, one of the few openly gay men in metal, has spoken about homophobia in music. Speaking with Metal Injection (via Blabbermouth), Halford noted that he is never approached by gay Judas Priest fans, although he believes they exist. This is something that he attributes, not just to homophobia in metal, but in music more generally:
"A lot of homophobia still exists in the music world, in all kinds of music. I wouldn't say it's any more phobic in metal or rap or whatever this music is that I'm doing now, but that's just something that I think we all have to address in our own lives. If we have a problem with it, I think we should seek help and find out why we do have a problem with it."