Singer-songwriter Ryan Cassata recalls being at odds with his father and other family members as he journeyed toward an authentic life, a journey he explores in the emotional music video for his new single, “Daughter.”
The clip, which debuted Wednesday on Billboard and can be viewed above, depicts a transgender teen’s terse relationship with his father. Once the father reflects on his son’s early years, however, he realizes how little has actually changed.
“I didn’t change who I am, I’ve always been a man,” sings Cassata, who lives in Los Angeles. “Still it changed your world, but Dad, I’ll always stay your little girl.”
Things end on an upbeat note for both father and son, however, and the pair come to embrace ― and celebrate ― their differences by the clip’s end.
Cassata, who identifies as trans and came out during an appearance on “Larry King Live” in 2009, told HuffPost the video was inspired by his family’s initial struggle with his gender identity.
“It [was] a process for me, but it was also a process for my parents,” he said. Still, he added, “the lyrics display the sense of hope that I always had as I continuously tried to educate my parents towards accepting me.”
Cassata has never shied away from showcasing transgender themes through his work. The 24-year-old has been documenting his life as a transgender man in music and videos on his YouTube channel, which boasts more than 66,000 subscribers, for more than a decade.
“I hope for people to understand that transitioning doesn’t completely change who someone is as a person. Yeah, transitioning will probably make someone happier, but they still have the same soul. I hope for trans people to realize that words like ‘son’ and ‘daughter’ really mean the same thing as long as you are loved unconditionally and treated with respect.”
He continued, “I hope for people to realize that every individual’s transition is different and there’s no set way to transition. We just need to be ourselves.”