Former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing reflected on Rob Halford’s sexuality during an interview with ‘No Fuckin’ Regrets With Robb Flynn.’ The rocker stated that everybody was breaking the boundaries of gender and sexuality back then. In fact, the guitarist himself had an unpleasant experience when he was assaulted by a trucker when he thought Downing was a girl.

Although he’s now a strong supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, Rob Halford hid his sexual orientation for a long time until he publicly came out of the closet in 1998 during an interview with MTV. The singer stated that he feared for his safety and losing his fans, which is why he refrained from speaking the truth.

Following the announcement, most of his fans accepted the musician and his bandmates since they only cared about their brilliant music. Looking back, Halford describes the moment when he revealed his sexuality as liberating and useful for his job.

During a recent interview, K.K. Downing stated that the band knew Rob Halford was gay before he came out since people used to be more comfortable about being themselves around musicians. The guitarist also stated that androgynous looks back in the ’60s dominated rock and metal musicians, including himself.

Apparently, Downing had his hair down to his waist when he was around the age of 17. Combined with the skinny clothes and thin silhouette, he looked like a girl from afar or behind. Therefore, he had an unpleasant incident when he was in front of a jukebox at a bar when he was 18. A huge trucker thought the musician was a girl and thus, put his hand under K.K.’s arms to feel his chest. Downing turned around to show him he’s a man, which further disaster.

Looking back, Downing said:

We always knew Rob was gay. Because the thing is back in the days, in the ’60s and particularly early ’70s, when everything was still kind of behind closed doors and stuff like that people felt a bit more comfortable around us because we would hang around in groups and gangs and we would always know that that guy is different to us and that girl is different.”

He added:

“I actually looked like a girl, let’s be honest. When I was, like, 17 or 18, I had hair down to my waist. And I can remember being at a jukebox once in a bar, and I must have been 18, and this big trucker came up behind me and he put his hands underneath my arms to feel my boobs. I was, like, ‘Excuse me, mate,’ as best as I could. He groped what he thought was a girl. But pretty much everything was androgynous in those days.”

You can watch the entire interview below.