March 15, 2010 (NEW YORK) – With a Broadway rock opera adaptation of his album American Idiot set to open April 20 in New York City, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong sat with Out magazine to chat about his show, his always-topical sexuality, and his role as a father of two.
Having been immersed in the punk scene since his days at a Bay Area high school, Armstrong has always been exposed to queerness. Armstrong, who after having just wed came out as bisexual in 1994, now just strives for acceptance for all, saying, “I felt like, if these mainstream kids who are seeing us on MTV are going to accept us, then they have to accept that where we come from there’s a lot more to the scene. There were a lot of people who didn’t accept it, who were homophobic. The fact it’s an issue is kind of phobic with itself. At some point, you gotta think, this should be something that’s just accepted.”
Some 16 years later, still married to the same woman, Armstrong doesn’t necessarily still see himself as bisexual, however. “I’d never say I’m not. I don’t really classify myself as anything. And when it comes to sex, there are parts of me that are very shy and conservative. I want to respect my wife.”
Nevertheless, Armstrong still takes offense when radio stations bleep the immortal line “Maybe I am the faggot America” from the rock opera’s namesake tune. “It’s just the hypocrisy that goes with being in America,” he says. “I love fucking with the English language. I thought of it as a bold statement. When I’m writing lines like that, I’m trying to reverse the world to something that means power.”
Visit OUT.com for the cover story and a slides show. The April issue of OUT hits shelves March 23, 2010.
Also in the April issue:
- Angels in America — After 20 years, Tony Kushner’s landmark play about “Roy Cohn, AIDS, and Mormons” earns its status as one of the great works of our age
- Dog Day Matinee — Broadway’s best team with Project Runway designers and have a little fun with their four-legged friends
- Arthur Laurents — The legendary West Side Story creator continues to tell it like it is