Matthew’s Place
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Matthew’s Place

WHAT I KNOW NOW: Singer-Songwriter Ryan Cassata

Ryan Cassata (he/him) is an acclaimed musician, actor, writer, LGBTQ+ activist and transgender motivational speaker. He has written seven original albums and has led hundreds of performances around the world, inncluding as the first openly-trans performer at the Vans Warped Tour.

Name: Ryan Cassata

Hometown: Bay Shore, Long Island, NY

Where you live now: Los Angeles, CA

What you wanted to be when you were a teenager: A professional musician & singer-songwriter

What you do now: Be a professional musician & singer-songwriter, actor, trans activist, educator, and grad student

What you’re most proud of: I am most proud of my ability to write songs that help others

3 words that describe your teenage self: Anxious, driven, creative

3 words that describe you now: Resilient, creative, empathetic

What you would tell your teenage self: Keep holding on and don’t give up. Things are super hard right now but you will find healing and meaning and purpose. Your life will be filled with love, excitement, and opportunity. Right now you don’t want to keep going, but in the future you will have a life that makes you want to live forever. You will realize that all of the hard things you went through will shape you into the person you will become. That will be a good person, that helps others, and lives life fully.

What you wish you knew about coming out that you know now: The people that don’t support will one day catch up, and if they don’t you will still have a wonderful chosen queer family that has your back and gives you unconditional love!

What you love most about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community: The community and the authenticity we all have.

Person you most admire: Harvey Milk

If you could change one thing about the world, you would: Educate everyone so they completely understand oppression and injustice, so they could become inclusive and supportive

What inspires you now: The young people who are trailblazing and living their truths unapologetically!



Matthew’s Place is by and for LGBTQ+ youth and a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation l #EraseHate

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Matthew's Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email