The Holiday’s are a rough time for many LGBT people as families are often not accepting or ignorant to LGBT issues. Early in my transition, I remember feeling very depressed around the Holiday’s after hearing relatives call me the wrong name and pronouns over and over again. It gets hard! Keep an eye on your LGBT friends. If you are feeling down do not hesitate to call The Trevor Project: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ - 866-488-7386. They will be able to listen to your concerns…even on the Holiday’s! Have a safe and happy Holiday everyone!
Yesterday, I played Long Island Pride Fest. It was really excellent for me to take the stage at the Pride closest to my hometown. All of my local friends got to see me rock a huge festival. My performance went great. I got encored which was an amazing feeling. I was announced as a “Transgender singer-songwriter.”
Now, I’m totally fine being known as a transgender singer-songwriter. I’m even more comfortable with it at pride. Everyone at pride is cool with trans people right? WRONG.
About thirty minutes after my performance I walked (alone) to the parking lot to move my guitar from backstage to my car.
I was approached by three cis-men. They seemed to be about 20 or 21. They didn’t seem drunk. They were wearing pride pins and rainbows. Two of them were touching a bit. They were definitely there celebrating pride, no doubt.
As they came closer they started to chuckle in an immature way.
”Look, it’s the girlboy!” They continued to laugh pointing their fingers at me. I felt like a circus freak show exhibit.
I felt a fire rage up inside of me.
How could this happen to me at a pride festival? How could other queer people be so uneducated about the trans* community that they make a comment so ridiculous and offensive?
The three boys walked past me.
I turned around and let that fire take hold of my actions. I screamed out “Are you in this community or are you a fucking asshole?”
Then I realized. I see all other queer people and also non-queer allies as a part of my community, but these three gay men, they DO NOT see me in their community. They do not welcome trans people in their community. They spit at the very thought of us.
Isn’t it crazy how so much ignorance can exist within the queer community?
I went home from pride feeling like there was no safe place for transgender people. I always saw Pride as a safe place, a place where I could truly be myself and not have to worry about being attacked, ridiculed or bullied.
Unfortunately, I will now carry fear with me to pride. Myself and other trans* people are not welcomed by some members of the gay community. I now have to worry about being attacked by other members in the queer community. It’s really a shame.
I blame it all on ignorance.
For one, the Long Island gay center does not focus at all on transgender issues or the trans* community. They predominately cater to white gay cis-men. My Long Island friends and I often discuss the center. We all realized all of this growing up. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to let this awful truth me known. It’s time to let the gay center know how we feel. I will soon be voicing my pride experience and my feelings to them. They need to start educating the rest of the queer community about the trans* community.
No, I’m not blaming this all on the gay center but they do have the upper hand and they can do a lot to fix this problem. We need to start somewhere.
I can name many other times where I have been excluded or made fun of by gay men. Sometimes it’s not they are trying to be rude. It’s because they are uneducated about trans people.
TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD.
- You have no right to ask a trans person what they have in their pants.
- It’s rude to say to a trans-guy “Oh, Well, You kind of look like a girl.”
- It’s rude to say to a transwoman “Oh, well you kind of look like a man.”
Read this article: “TEN THINGS NOT TO SAY TO A TRANS PERSON”
Note* - Being queer does not give you the right to look over the things mentioned on the list.
Are we the LGBT community or is it segregated to an LGB community and a T community?
Before we ask society to accept us we must first learn to accept every member in the queer community.
“Can we join together and be one human race?”
Thank you for reading. It’s time to pass this message along and start educating.
Ryan O. Cassata
During a recent local gig, Ryan Cassata laughed in response to the sound system cutting out mid-song, diffusing a potentially disruptive hiccup, and amping up an already teeming communal vibe. The inclination to be emotionally transparent and to harness the power of the moment is emblematic of the way he has managed to achieve national recognition as both an in-your-face rocker and vocal champion for the transgender community. The often profound and painful road that Ryan has traveled as an FTM (female to male) transgender individual appears to have grounded him. There is none of the adolescent bluster that surrounds most teens, obscuring or deflecting attention from what makes him “different.” He continues to allow his audience to see more of who he really is, even as his stage and megaphone grow larger. A strong belief in fate and a natural sense of rebellion have served Ryan well, but have offered only partial protection from the scrutiny cast upon those trying to break down doors in public.
“I always knew I was a boy…I had no words for it, but I had a sense of feeling masculine,” is how the lifelong Bay Shore resident described his bedrock sense of self. Unlike most six-year-old girls fixated on Barbie, fairytales and dresses, at that tender age, Ryan started wearing a baseball hat backwards and playing guitar. Guns N’ Roses and Led Zeppelin were the first bands Ryan claimed as his own. Incorporating their combustible guitar licks into his own musical vocabulary, the precocious rocker later absorbed the psychedelic introspection of Jim Morrison. Over the next several years, Ryan would add piano and songwriting to his musical arsenal, while striking out at suffocating societal norms.
Ryan recalls feeling pressured to conform despite his belief in destiny. The internal and external pressures of early adolescence briefly challenged his sense of self. He had no role models or guidance to help clarify his most basic assumptions about himself. Trying to grapple with the very specific expectations of family, friends and everyone else was a daily struggle. “I tried to dress more feminine in sixth grade, but felt uncomfortable… If I dressed the way I wanted, I was often mistaken for a boy,” he said. One traumatic memory was formed when he was forced to wear a frilly dress to a National Honor Society awards ceremony in seventh grade. “It all made me depressed and sad… It made me feel too different.” Soon enough, the impulse to be honest with himself and those around him quickly won out. He took a leap of faith and shared some of his experiences and thoughts with his school counselors. While the support of the counselors proved invaluable to Ryan, the moment that would crystallize his understanding of both his past and his future was about to take place.
CONTINUE READING: http://www.lipulse.com/art-music/article/ryan-cassata/