In 2023, a number of rock icons decided to talk about transgender kids and why they disapproved of giving them access to best-practice healthcare to help with their transition. In 2024, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong would like to break that trend.
In a new interview with The Los Angeles Times, the 51-year-old singer called out the conservative-led moral panic surrounding trans kids having access to gender-affirming care, criticizing those who would stand in the way of progress. “I just think they’re f–king close-minded,” he told the publication. “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?”
Armstrong elaborated elsewhere, saying that seeing kids get to celebrate their identities earlier in life is a net positive, especially considering that his generation didn’t have that same luxury. “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.”
When speaking about the band’s forthcoming song “Bobby Sox” (in which he nods to his own bisexuality by singing both “Do you wanna be my boyfriend?” and “Do you wanna be my girlfriend?”), Armstrong said it felt “liberating” to be in a place where he could sing about his sexuality. “It became more of a queer singalong.”
While 2023 was a record-breaking year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in the U.S., 2024 is already on track to break that record yet again. As of press time, the ACLU is already tracking more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills in the 2024 legislative session, with 71 of those such bills aimed focused on “healthcare restrictions.”
Green Day, meanwhile, is gearing up for the release of the 14th studio album Saviors on Friday (Jan. 19). In its interview, the band said that the new album centers more plainly on America’s current political strife ahead of the 2024 election, returning to the socially conscious themes of some of their past albums such as American Idiot and Revolution Radio.
“We purposely stayed away from politics [on 2020’s Father of All…] just because everything was such an easy target,” Armstrong said. “We didn’t want to be like this CNN band. And I think in the back of our minds, we knew that MAGA and the divisiveness was gonna be there four years later anyway.”