Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has effortlessly slammed the “close-minded” anti-trans panic taking over the US in a new interview.
The “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” singer and his bandmates Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool are getting set to drop their new album Saviors this week.
As hype for the album builds, Armstrong has taken the opportunity to shut down the concerning anti-trans “moral panic” in the US.
Armstrong had been discussing a new song from the album called “Bobby Sox” – a love song inspired by his wife Adrienne and their nights spent on the sofa watching re-runs – when the subject of gender fluidity was raised.
The singer explained to the LA Times how he had gone about writing the song, which includes the lyrics: “Doesn’t matter when we are in love / You’re not just any type of girl / My one true love and you’re my world / Do you wanna be my girlfriend? / Do you wanna be my boyfriend?”
Armstrong explained how, at first, the gender reversal was done because he’s singing from the perspective of a woman, but then he found that it “felt really liberating to sing ‘Do you wanna be my boyfriend?’”
He explained that the song almost unintentionally became “more of a queer singalong.”
Armstrong, who identifies as bisexual, went on to describe the emotional moment that he played the song for an old friend, “and it brought a tear to his eye” when he heard the lyric.
“Nowadays it’s more common for kids to be LGBTQ, and there’s more support,” he said.
“But for us, back in the day, that was like the beginning of when people were able to openly say things like that.”
Asked what he and his bandmates thought of the growing discourse surrounding transgender youth, Armstrong simply said: “I just think they’re f****ng close-minded. It’s like people are afraid of their children. Why would you be afraid? Why don’t you let your kid just be the kid that they are?”
A quick skim through the band’s discography would make it clear to just about anyone that Green Day have always been on the side of the progressive, freedom-seeking youth rather than the politicians and conservative pundits – yet somehow their more recent political statements have come as a surprise to right-wing figures.
Green Day set conservative fans into fits of fury last month when they performed their classic hit “American Idiot” on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest and adjusted their lyric that protests President George Bush’s “redneck agenda” to instead challenge Trump’s “MAGA agenda.”
The lyric tweak, which they had previously made in earlier performances of the song, sparked angry tweets from right-wing social media users, including Elon Musk himself, accusing the band of going “woke”.
Commenting on the bizarre backlash earlier this month, Mike Dirnt told Rolling Stone: “The song’s 20 years old and we’re Green Fay. What did you expect? Come on.”
As one fan put it on the night: “If you all hate Green Day getting into politics you’re gonna lose it when you actually listen to Green Day.”
Green Day’s album Saviors drops on Friday, 19 January 2024, followed by a world stadium tour.