Ryan Cassata

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Ryan Otto Cassata
Born (1993-12-13) December 13, 1993 (age 20)
Stony Brook, New York, U.S.
Origin Bay Shore, New York, U.S.
Genres Folk rock, indie, alternative
Occupations Singer-songwriter, Public Speaker, LGBT activist
Instruments Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Vocals
Years active 2008 - present
Labels Artemendous Records, R.O.C. Productions
Website ryancassata.com
Notable instruments
Ovation Guitars

Ryan Otto Cassata (born December 13, 1993) is an American musician and public speaker, and transgender man. Cassata speaks at high schools and universities on the subject of Gender Identity Disorder, Transgenderism, bullying and his personal transition from female to male, including a double mastectomy surgery in January 2012.[1][2] He currently resides in San Francisco, California. He has made appearances on the Larry King Live Show & The Tyra Banks Show to talk about being transgender. He has performed at LGBT music festivals and has gone on tours across the United States of America.[3][4] Cassata has performed at popular music venues such as Whisky a Go Go,[5] The Saint (music venue), The Bitter End, SideWalk Cafe, and Bowery Poetry Club. Cassata won a date on Warped Tour 2013 through the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands online competition and performed on the Acoustic Basement Stage on June 21 of 2013.[6]

Cassata composed the soundtrack for 2010 short film "Loop Planes" which screened at various film festivals including Tribeca Film Festival,[7] South by Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival,[8] and Hamptons International Film Festival.[9] "Distraction" and "Sleeping Through" from Cassata's 2011 EP "Distraction" make up the soundtrack. Cassata is the main subject of full feature documentary "Songs for Alexis."[10] Songs for Alexis had its world premiere at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival to a sold out crowd on April 30, 2014.[11][12] Songs for Alexis had its United States premiere at Frameline Film Festival on June 28th, 2014.[13] Indiewire listed Songs for Alexis on its "10 Films You must Watch at Frameline 2014" article. [14]

Activism[edit]

Since 2008, Ryan Cassata has presented at high schools, universities, support groups and conferences on topics such as Coming out, Gender Identity Disorder, Transgenderism, and bullying. Cassata also speaks about his experience as the first openly transgender student in Bay Shore High School and the changes he made there. He has discussed bullying, what gendered bathroom to use, and gaining the right to have his chosen name in the school yearbook instead of his name at birth.[15]

In 2012, Cassata became the youngest keynote speaker that the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference ever elected.[16] Ryan Cassata uses his music videos to discuss social justice topics such as bullying. His 2012 music video, "Hands of Hate" released on YouTube honors and remembers LGBT Youth who were murdered or committed suicide. The lyrics of "Hands of Hate" discuss the murder of Matthew Shepard, the murder of Larry King, and the suicides of Tyler Clementi and Jamey Rodemeyer. Larry King is honored in the second verse:

And Lawrence King never saw ninth grade,
Before that bullet was forced into his brain,
By a bully, a madman, A classmate of rage.
Just at fifteen, young Larry was sent to his grave.

YouTube[edit]

Cassata began creating vlogs and uploading footage from his concerts in 2007. Cassata posts videos on his personal YouTube channel, Ryan Cassata talking about his experience as a transgender man, a musician, and a public speaker. As of July 2014 his channel has over 11 thousand subscribers, and his videos have been viewed over 1 million times.[17]

Cassata was a regular member on the collaboration YouTube channel LGBTeens a channel that has over 35,000 subscribers and is part of the Big Frame network. Cassata vlogs about the LGBT community and his personal experience as an openly LGBT teen on this channel.[18] He has been rated as one of the "top 5 most influential transgender youtube creators" by NewMediaRockstars.[19]

Discography[edit]

LPs[edit]

The Theme of Humankind [20] (Artemendous Records, May 28, 2011) Track Listing:

  1. "Val's Song"
  2. "Dancing Shoes"
  3. "Love 'Round the World"
  4. "Waiting On the Sunrise"
  5. "In The Business"
  6. "Artemendous Knows All"
  7. "Wild Fire Woman"
  8. "The Trans Slam"
  9. "Going West"
  10. "Love/Hate"
  11. "In My Hands"

Musicians:

  • Ryan Cassata - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboard
  • Kenny Truhn - Electric Guitar, Drums, Percussion
  • Steven Battline - Keyboards, Drums, Electric Guitar
  • Dave Suchmann - Bass Guitar
  • Josh Seidman - Electric Guitar, Percussion

Production:

  • Ryan Cassata - Executive Producer
  • Dave Suchmann - Co-Producer
  • Mic Angelo - Mix Engineer
  • Emily Gage - Album Artwork

The Rhythm (ROC Productions, May 25, 2012) Track Listing:

  1. "Love 'round the World (Hope)"
  2. "The Rhythm" (feat. Kenny Truhn)
  3. "Mouth Like a Hurricane"
  4. "Soda Cans"
  5. "Nothing Like Plastic"
  6. "Intro (I Do)"
  7. "Beauty Like Youth (I Do)" (feat. Alexis Ann)
  8. "Shine Your Light"
  9. "Hands of Hate" (feat. Kenny Truhn, Vincent Cassata, Francine Cassata)

Musicians:

  • Ryan Cassata - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboard
  • Kenny Truhn - Electric Guitar, Drums, Bass, Percussion
  • Josh Seidman - Percussion

Production:

  • Ryan Cassata - Executive Producer, Liner Notes
  • Kenny Truhn - Co-Producer
  • Mic Angelo - Mix Engineer
  • Erich Glaubitz - Mastering
  • Emily Gage - Album Artwork

Songs for Alexis (Original Soundtrack Recording) (ROC Productions, April 30, 2014) Track Listing:

  1. Oh, Alexis
  2. Day Dream
  3. New York to California
  4. Soda Cans
  5. Naked (Protest Song)
  6. The Rhythm
  7. Together Again
  8. Freedom Nation
  9. Mayday
  10. Hands of Hate (feat. Kenny Truhn, Vincent Cassata, Francine Cassata)

EPs[edit]

Distraction (January 12, 2011) Track Listing:

  1. "Distraction"
  2. "Sleeping Through"
  3. "Wonderful, Beautiful"
  4. "The Desert King"
  5. "Sparkle Like the Sea"
  6. "Val's Song"

Musicians:

  • Ryan Cassata - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboard, Percussion
  • David DeFeis - Keyboards, Bass Guitar, Drums, Percussion

Production:

  • Ryan Cassata - Executive Producer, Liner Notes
  • David DeFeis - Co-Producer, Mix Engineer, Mastering
  • Emily Gage - Album Artwork

Oh, Alexis: Acoustic Sessions, Vol. 1[21] (ROC Productions, December 13, 2012)

Track Listing:

  1. "Oh, Alexis"
  2. "Soda Cans"
  3. "1,000 Letters"
  4. "Mayday"
  5. "Together Again"
  6. "New York to California"
  7. "Day Dream"

Production:

  • Ryan Cassata - Executive Producer
  • Erich Glaubitz - Mix Engineer, Mastering, Producer
  • Emily Gage - Album Artwork

In America: The Acoustic Sessions, Vol. 2 (ROC Productions, April 13, 2013)

Track Listing:

  1. "The Coffee Shop Song"
  2. "Freedom Nation"
  3. "1960's Scene"
  4. "The Rhythm"
  5. "In America"

Production:

  • Ryan Cassata - Executive Producer, Album Artwork
  • Erich Glaubitz - Mix Engineer, Mastering, Producer

Jupiter, It Won't Be Long: The Acoustic Sessions, Vol. 3[22] (ROC Productions, September 13, 2013) Track Listing:

  1. "I Don't Really Wanna Go to College"
  2. "Liberation"
  3. "Jupiter, It Won't Be Long"
  4. "Dear Lucas"
  5. "Tell His Old Man"
  6. "The Mob's Rolling Cadillac"
  7. "Sobering Up"
  8. "Grass Hat"

Production:

  • Ryan Cassata - Executive Producer
  • Erich Glaubitz - Mix Engineer, Mastering, Producer
  • Emily Gage - Album Artwork

Chicago Midway: The Acoustic Sessions, Vol. 4 (ROC Productions, April 13, 2014) Track Listing:

  1. Long Shot
  2. Chicago Midway
  3. Cracks & Crevices
  4. Shotgun of a Mouth
  5. Cocaine Crazy
  6. Sacred Grounds
  7. Love Defined

Production:

  • Ryan Cassata - Executive Producer, Album Artwork
  • Erich Glaubitz - Mix Engineer, Mastering, Producer
  • Sam Tall - Album Artwork

Singles[edit]

Captain May

Musicians:

  • Ryan Cassata - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboard
  • Sam Tall - Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Percussion

Production:

  • Ryan Cassata - Producer
  • Sam Tall - Producer, Mix Engineer, Mastering, Post Production

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Larry King Live Himself TV Series; Episode: "Born in the Wrong Body!"
2010 The Tyra Banks Show Himself TV Series; Episode: "We're 7 & 8 Years Old and Know We Are Transgender"
2010 Loop Planes Composer of the soundtrack
2013 Head First[23][24] Himself TV Series; Episode: "The Wrong Body"
2013 Gender Silent [25] Himself
2013 HuffPost Live [26] Himself TV Series; Episode: "The Life Of A Transgender Teenager"
2013 HuffPost Live [27] Himself TV Series; Episode: "The Fight For Transgender Teen Rights"
2014 Songs for Alexis[28] Himself, Composer of the Soundtrack Released at Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in Toronto [29] and Frameline Film Festival[30]
2014 On The Road: Ryan Cassata 2014 Tour Documentary[31] Himself Post-Production

Notable awards[edit]

Music videos[edit]

Title Year
"Sleeping Through" 2011
"Soda Cans" 2012
"Hands of Hate"[33] 2012
"Mayday" 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Challenges faced by transgender people discussed during National Coming Out Day". Asbury Park Press. 2011-10-12.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Ryan Cassata—Civil rights icon, fearless performer and headstrong teen.". Long Island Pulse. 2012-03-23. 
  3. ^ "Ashland shows its pride at 2011 Southern Oregon Pride Parade". siskiyou.sou.edu. 2011-10-06. 
  4. ^ "Film fest highlights Trans Pride Los Angeles weekend". sdgln.com. 2013-06-21. 
  5. ^ "RYAN CASSATA profile at". whiskyagogo.com. 2013-10-13. 
  6. ^ "Perpetual Change — Ryan Cassata". tgforum.com. 2013-10-21. 
  7. ^ "Loop Planes.". tribecafilm.com. 2010. 
  8. ^ "Loop Planes.". swglff.com. 2010. 
  9. ^ "Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF): It Takes a Tough Tailbone.". thepublishingcontrarian.com. 2010-10-15. 
  10. ^ "Songs for Alexis.". dfi.dk. 2014. 
  11. ^ "Hot Docs 2014: Songs for Alexis Review". dorkshelf.com. 2014. 
  12. ^ "Hot Docs 2014 Spotlight: Songs for Alexis". 2014. 
  13. ^ "Songs For Alexis". frameline.org. 2014. 
  14. ^ "10 Films You Must Watch at Frameline 2014". blogs.indiewire.com. 2014. 
  15. ^ "Ryan Cassata: Singer, Songwriter, Voice for LGBT Youth.". Long Island Press. 2014-02-05. 
  16. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with Ryan Cassata.". Freedom Requires Wings. 2012-11-14. 
  17. ^ "Ryan Cassata". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  18. ^ "LGBTeens". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  19. ^ "TOP 5 MOST INFLUENTIAL TRANSGENDER YOUTUBE CREATORS WHO HAVE HELPED BUILD THE TRANS COMMUNITY ONLINE". New Media Rockstars. 2013-08-23. 
  20. ^ "Ryan Cassata Music performs from "The Theme of Humankind" at PrideFest Milwaukee 2011.". ifelicious. 2011-06-14. 
  21. ^ "Ryan Cassata releases "Oh, Alexis: Acoustic Sessions. Vol. 1".". PRLOG. 2012-11-18. 
  22. ^ "Ryan Cassata – Jupiter, It Won’t Be Long The Acoustic Sessions, Vol. 3 CD Review.". neufutur. 2013-11-25. 
  23. ^ "Head First: May 22.". tvtonight.com.au. 2013-05-21. 
  24. ^ "Head first into fear, and some body surfing.". The Australian. 2013-05-22. 
  25. ^ "Gender Silent: Featuring Ryan Cassata, Rae Raucci, Izek Campion, Jamie Armstrong". Vimeo. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  26. ^ "The Life Of A Transgender Teenager.". HuffPost Live. 2013-09-26. 
  27. ^ "The Fight For Transgender Teen Rights.". HuffPost Live. 2013-11-20. 
  28. ^ "Songs for Alexis.". dfi.dk. 2014. 
  29. ^ "Hot Docs 2014: Songs for Alexis Review". dorkshelf.com. 2014. 
  30. ^ "Songs For Alexis". frameline.org. 2014. 
  31. ^ "Ryan Cassata: Tour Documentary". PledgeMusic.com. March 9, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Ryan Cassata—Civil rights icon, fearless performer and headstrong teen.". Long Island Pulse. 2012-03-23. 
  33. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with Ryan Cassata.". Freedom Requires Wings. 2012-11-14.