Ryan Cassata Drops Video For Honky-Tonk Anthem “Alcatraz”

The trans singer recently called out "American Idol," claiming that the show was trying to exploit transgender people.

Trans musician Ryan Cassata has just released a new music video for his indie track, “Alcatraz.”

The black-and-white video touches on mental illness, and ends with the statistic that “50% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia have received no treatment” and “33-50% of all homeless adults have schizophrenia.”

Cassata is known to many for accusing American Idol of exploiting transgender people last year, after he says they only tried to get him on the show because he was trans.

The young singer said he was asked to audition for the show, but was quickly cut for not being “contemporary enough.” He then says they called him to return to the show a few months later, after Caitlyn Jenner revealed her transition to the world.

“The first thing they said to me is, ’We want a transgender person on this show,’” Cassata told Billboard. “They don’t want a singer and transgender; they want someone that’s transgender and a singer, and that’s not the right reason to go on the show. So now I’m ’contemporary enough’ because being trans is such a hot-button issue in the media right now.”

Cassata also appeared in a video with Davey Wavey that featured trans men taking off their shirts in an attempt to fight stigma.

Check out the video for “Alcatraz” below.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.