In an interview published this morning in the Los Angeles Times, Cynic and Death members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert have discussed their sexuality, both coming out as gay men. While the two members have been privately out for years, their confession to the Times makes them two of the most high-profile metal musicians to come out since Rob Halford. “I see all those old dudes out there just banging their heads to our records,” Reinert says. “And I have to think – ‘That stuff your’e banging your head to? That is some gay, gay metal, man.'” It hasn’t been a big secret, at least that Masvidal is gay, and Reinert mentions that there have been rumors floating around since he went on a date.
The article explains that Masvidal has been out to his friends and family since 1991. Reinert took longer to come out. “I know that, secretly, I wanted to go to those clubs too,” he says, referring to the gay bars that Masvidal went to. “But back then, muy stereotype of how to be gay was wearing dresses and tank tops. I didn’t have any masculine, metal role models who were gay.” Masvidal mentions their tour opening for Cannibal Corpse where they had anti-gay epithets thrown at them even though they weren’t out yet.
The pair, who state in the interview that they were never attracted to each other, are optimistic, but also nervous about publicly coming out. “It’s one thing to make out with your bandmates and just ‘play gay’ because it’s edgy,” Masvidal says. “It’s another thing to actually live it.” From our perspective, they have nothing to worry about. Cynic has been a challenging band since their formation. The people that listen to the band’s progressive metal have followed their career for 20 years, and the sexuality of its creators is irrelevant. And it’s not like Rob Halford’s career was hurt by him coming out. Also, since Cynic formed 20 years ago, public perception of LGBT has changed drastically. Masvidal and Reinert probably never would have dreamed when they realized they were gay that there gay marriage would be legal in many states. It’s encouraging that they’ve taken this step, and maybe it will lead to more closeted musicians coming out and living the lives they want to publicly.
In other Cynic news, the band are streaming Kindly Bent to Free Us bonus track “Earth is My Witness.” Check it out below.