Dug Pinnick, bassist-singer for progressive veterans King’s X and rock act KXM, has been publicly out since he declared his orientation in an interview with Christian publication Regeneration Quarterly in 1998. King’s X had been tagged a “Christian band” due to the band’s spiritual lyrics, a term the group disliked.
“I thought to myself, ‘This is a Christian magazine, and I am tired of being ridiculed,’ ” recounts Pinnick, 66, of why he came out during that conversation. “In the Christian world, they’re not too kosher on being gay, so I just thought, ‘Might as well come out and get it over with,’ ” he says with a laugh.
Despite Christian bookstores dropping the trio’s music after Pinnick’s confession, he, guitarist Ty Tabor and drummer Jerry Gaskill were relieved. In the wake of the interview, “the industry and fans treated me great,” says Pinnick. “No one gave me a problem at all. I’ve heard a couple comments the last couple years, like [on a] video or something, somebody says something really horrible about me, and I kind of dismiss it. But back in the day, there was hardly any talk about it, or if it was, they kept it from me.” He adds that many people expressed support for him, “especially [guitarist] Dimebag [Darrell Abbott] of Pantera. He came up and said, ‘Dude, you know I love you. I don’t care who you are. You’re Dug, and we love you.’”
But Pinnick was devastated when, during King’s X’s early days, its then-manager wanted to send Pinnick to a conversion camp. “Everyone around the band left,” except for Tabor and Gaskill, once they learned he was gay, including a guitarist who declared he could no longer be Pinnick’s roommate because “God told him he couldn’t sleep in the same house” with him. While being outed to his band had been Pinnick’s worst nightmare, “the greatest thing about it was when Ty and Jerry came and said, ‘Hey, we don’t care,’ ” he says. “And we’ve been a band for almost 40 years now. Those guys are my best friends, and I trust them more than anything in the world. They’ve never forsaken me or made me feel like I wasn’t a good guy.”
Read the full interview at Billboard.com.