Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn expressed his allyship to the Black trans community loud and proud during his Billboard Live At-Home performance Tuesday (June 23). He raised money for the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition, a national organization providing COVID-19 relief for Black trans people.
Glenn visibly propped his “Black Lives Matter” cardboard sign in the lefthand corner of his half-hour set, where he played “Animal,” “New Best Friend” and a special acoustic rendition of his theme song for Hulu’s Love, Victor “Somebody To Tell Me.” But for the 36-year-old musician, he declared now wasn’t the time for self-promotion. Neon Trees even delayed its upcoming studio album I Can Feel You Forgetting Me that was originally slated to arrive this Friday, June 26 and will now drop on July 24, per the rock band’s Instagram.
“Black trans lives matter. I think I can only share even a modicum of understanding. I am an openly gay man and I’m proud to be that, especially during Pride Month,” Glenn said in the middle of his set. “I’m absolutely proud to use whatever microphone I have to shed a light on those that truly need that microphone.”
Toward the end, he showed off the “Black Trans Lives Matter” cardboard sign he would’ve placed next to the first if the words didn’t appear backward. But Glenn made his intentions known without it. “No one’s life is above anyone’s, but no one’s life particularly matters till those that are suffering the most or most prone to suffering matter,” he declared while dedicating his online concert to the Black trans people who’ve “recently lost their lives due to trans violence: Tony McDade, Dominique Fells, Riah Milton,” he said.
While choked up, he left online concertgoers with a plea to use their platforms, like he said he was demonstrating by performing on the Billboard Live, to continue speaking out against racial injustice. “When you’re using your platform, no one can in good faith shout you down if you say something not as clever,” Glenn said as part of his parting words. “Don’t be afraid to use your voice and your heart if you’re using it with your mind and soul in the right place.”
Watch Glenn’s entire Billboard Live At-Home performance below, and donate to the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition here.