People have struggled for decades, if not centuries, to understand those who identify as being transgender. However, with the help of activists such as musician and public speaker Ryan Cassata, this expression of gender is slowly but surely becoming more acceptable within our society. 

Over the past decade, Cassata has grown up in the public eye after coming out as transgender FTM (female-to-male) and becoming a full-time activist at 15-years-old before receiving top surgery several years later in January 2012. These actions have resulted in a lot of publicity towards the singer-songwriter, both positive and negative, which deeply affected his teenage years. He recounts this time of his life in addition to how he coped with a traumatic breakup on his eighth studio album Magic Miracle Mile, which came out today, Friday, October 22. 

The 45-minute project was self-produced and recorded by Cassata, and is a unique combination of numerous genres, including but not limited to alt-pop, folk, R&B, and even slam poetry. In an announcement he posted via Instagram on October 4, the musician elaborated upon the deeper meaning behind his latest effort.  

This is the deepest I’ve ever went on a record… this album deals with loads of grief. It’s emo as fuck. But it’s also empowerment. I lived to tell the tale and I hope this album screams that you’re not alone in your struggle. I’m here with you…. If you are spiraling out, I’m here with you…

Although I do not personally identify as transgender, I find Cassata’s story to be incredibly inspiring. It fills me with joy to see his fans leaving an abundance of comments under his posts and videos about how much they relate to his music, with many stating how “this is exactly how I feel.” Everyone deserves proper representation within the music industry, no matter what anyone identifies as or believes in, as it ultimately helps break down the old-fashioned, derogatory barriers set in place and demonstrate how no one is ever truly alone in this world of ours. 

With that said, I’m unable to speak on behalf of the transgender community and how they feel about Cassata’s material, but I think user The Shellander stated it best with their comment under the music video for the singer’s single “Hometown HEro” in which they said, “this is a song so many of us need.”

Stream Magic Miracle Mile and watch the video for “Hometown HEro” below!

Richard Andrus