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It’s hard to believe Green Day Authority has been around for over two decades. Since 2001 the site has dedicated itself to being a haven for fans looking for any and all band updates, pictures to fawn over, or just a place to hang out with other fans. For me, the site has been a big part of my life since I started visiting almost 20 years ago.

GDA played an integral role in my Green Day fandom. I first stumbled upon the site around 2004 just as I was getting into the band thanks to American Idiot. I spent days scouring the internet for anything Green Day related on a mission to learn as much about the band as possible. Finding GDA was like finding the Holy Grail. It was a mecca made by fans for fans. A place where we could meet and unapologetically talk about this amazing band without being ridiculed or shamed.

Every night after school I spent hours on the family computer downloading pictures to print and post in my room, reading interviews, and watching random performances, falling more in love with the band with each click. Sometimes I’d visit the site multiple times a day for fear of missing any shred of Green Day news. I didn’t care if it was something big like an album announcement or something minor like Billie’s new guitar. I wanted to know everything. I even perused the message board, enjoying the random discussions about the band. But it wouldn’t be until 2012 that I joined the conversation and found the community I sorely lacked in my own life.

Green Day Community felt like the one place where my fandom was welcomed and celebrated. None of my friends liked the band, so I just bored them anytime I brought them up. And my fellow classmates weren’t shy about their disdain for the band whenever I mentioned them. But GDC didn’t make fun of me for liking the band. Instead, it allowed me to share my thoughts and stories with other fans. I loved engaging in random debates, hearing different perspectives, and just cracking jokes on the forum.

Over the years, I’ve been in and out of random band forums –Blink-182, HIM, Nine Inch Nails – but GDC is the place I call home. I’ve made genuine connections here. I've made friends and met some of the nicest folks who go out of their way to help out fellow fans. I experienced this kindness firsthand when a sweet fan saw my distress over not getting tickets to see the band in 2016 and kindly offered her spare ticket for practically free. To this day, it's one of the best shows I've ever been to and I never would've been able to have that experience without her. (Thank you, Karen. We miss you.)

During a time when everything is fragmented and delivered on demand, GDC feels like the one place where we all meet when the band has any news to share: a new song drops, fans sharing tour footage, or the band making album announcements. We share the excitement, anticipation, and sometimes disappointment together. I’ll never forget waking up early to hear “Bang Bang” for the first time and freaking out over how good it was with everyone on the forum. Or watching the live reactions to “Father of All…” roll in when the song dropped. That collective experience is rare these days and something I've come to treasure as I get older.

On top of this, GDC is an online safe space for me. Not only do I talk about Green Day, but I feel comfortable enough talking about my personal life. I’ve celebrated personal milestones here, like getting a new job, and shared some hardships, like losing my stepfather. No matter what it’s about I’ve always received so much support here. Anything from heartfelt messages to words of encouragement, especially when it comes to my writing. Being an independent writer, it often feels like I’m writing into a void not sure if anyone sees or even cares about my work. Over the years, I’ve had several people here reach out with feedback and messages of support that inspire me to keep going. These things may seem small, but it truly means a lot to me.

As I grew more familiar with the site, I dreamed about joining the team. Getting to talk about Green Day as my job? Sign me up! So, when I was asked to join in 2019, I was ecstatic. It was like being asked to work for Rolling Stone! It’s an honor to help out a site that’s been a part of my Green Day fandom and my life. Of course, the site has changed over the years, especially as everyone’s lives get busier. Sometimes things get quiet. Sometimes we’re inundated with technical difficulties that take down the site for days. Despite this, I still visit GDA daily looking forward to spreading any Green Day news and taking part in the ridiculous, sometimes dramatic discourse on the forums with my friends.

Thank you GDA for being there during every step of my fandom and for allowing me to be my dorky, awkward, fangirly self. And thank you to everyone who’s ever visited the site, the supporters, and the fans who have stuck with us over the years. We wouldn’t be here without you. Here’s to another year of speculation, rumors, technical difficulties, and good times.
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