Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford is adamant he helped change some rock fans' views of homosexuality after he 'came out' in 1998, but insists there's "still a lot of issues to be addressed".
The rocker came clean about his sexuality during an interview with MTV 12 years ago, and hopes he helped to challenge the view that the heavy metal community was homophobic after fans expressed their support.
But Halford admits not everyone was comfortable with his lifestyle and he lost some followers because he made them "confront" topics they weren't willing to deal with.
He tells the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, "There are areas of music that are more compassionate, more tolerant, more open, more accepting and more aware. What I think I have done is destroy the myth that heavy metal bands don't have that capacity.
"Those that didn't (accept me) were the ones that have difficulty accepting people's sexual orientation in general. I think I made some people confront issues they were not ready to deal with.
"Heavy metal now is a completely different world compared to heavy metal in 1980. The gay and lesbian world is very different now to what it was in 1980. We have all grown to some extent. There is still a long way to go. There are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed, but I think slowly but surely our lives are getting better."