Ryan Cassata // Daughter
Written by: Kayla Lee
Ryan Cassata is an LGBTQIA+ activist who has been in the music world for close to a decade, and has been on YouTube for even longer. With countless television appearances, public speaking events, and concerts under his belt, it's clear that Ryan is making an impact with his motivational and inspirational message of acceptance and self love.
The music video for Ryan's song "Daughter" was released in April and has been gaining popularity ever since, due to its powerful message. Simple and clean shots of Ryan singing and playing an acoustic guitar paired with an unstable parent-child dynamic make up the majority of the emotional video which turns out to have a heartwarming ending.
"Daughter" speaks to Ryan's own experience which is highlighted in the chorus of "I didn’t change who I am / I’ve always been a man / Still, it changed your world / But Dad, I’ll always stay your little girl." These lyrics that Ryan penned detailing his relationship with his own father are portrayed in the video with "I'm still the same person, just a different name" written on the back of a photograph.
While remaining true to himself, Ryan's lyrics explain that he's still his father's child, and that that will not change the childhood memories that his father has of him. Often times, parents struggle with the feeling of "losing" a child when their child transitions. Ryan's lyrics remind the listener that while someone's journey may initially upset the subjects parent(s), it's liberating to live your truth. While others may not feel comfortable with referring to themselves as their parents "little girl" when they identify as a man, it's important to remember that this song honors Ryan's personal experience and that everyone is different.
While not everyone has the positive outcome that wraps up the music video, the message is unwavering-- the support that comes with finding a loving and accepting community that respects you is important. You can watch the music video for "Daughter" below, and continue reading to check out our interview with Ryan to learn more about him.
Q: You've been in the entertainment world for over a decade now, with your YouTube channel having been launched in 2007. What was your goal when you initially started sharing your story, and how has that transformed over time?
A: My original goal was to share my story in hopes to help other people come to terms with their stories and to also connect with people from all over the world. Luckily, I've been able to do that on a level I was not expecting. It's really been a gift.
Q: With June being Pride month, there's a lot of talk across social media platforms about being accepting of others, and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. However, that support isn't always there for the other eleven months out of the year. What suggestions do you have for people to show support for the community every day in order to be a supportive ally?
A: I see a lot of people becoming more LGBTQ accepting over the years that I've been out. I think that we just have to treat each other with love and kindness. If you do that, everyone will feel like they belong in this world.
Q: "Daughter" is clearly an emotional track right off the bat. What was the filming process like for the music video, and what was your reaction once you saw the final product?
A: Thanks so much! The filming process didn't take us long at all. I put out a casting call on Instagram and a ton of people wanted to be in it. I picked the lead actors because the son is really trans and the father is really his father. I thought it was a good idea to go a more authentic route with the filming. It was a really wonderful shoot. I thank TomboyX for sponsoring the video and Maxine Bowen for filming. It was really emotional when I saw the end product, in a good way of course.
Q: Not everyone's coming out story is the same, and not everyone finds acceptance in their home life. What's the most important thing that parents should know when their child comes out to them, and what advice do you have for people whose family is not accepting?
A: The most important thing to know if that your child is still your child no matter what. Everyone wants unconditional love from their parents. If your parents are not accepting, continue to educate them. My parents tell me that I was very patient and kind even when being misgendered and that helped them to really see me as me and to accept me sooner than later. Educating helps so much and I think you have to educate with love.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
A: My biggest accomplishment so far is that I've been able to help so many people come out and be their true selves.
If you are struggling with your sexuality, gender identity, family acceptance, or know someone who is, you can find helpful resources here