Singer-songwriter & Activist Ryan Cassata’s Letter to Arkansas Governor Hutchinson to Defend Trans Youth

Hello Governor Hutchinson, 

I am a Californian who has spent a significant amount of time in Arkansas. When newspapers and magazines ask, I always credit Arkansas as my favorite getaway vacation state. 

You don’t know me, but I know you. I know your name because I have heard from many Arkansans about HB 1570. Our trans youth rely on gender affirming care and insurance for survival. 

I am now 27 but when I came out as transgender as a young teenager I desperately needed gender affirming care and was able to access it. That care is the only reason I did not commit suicide. Thank God I had that care and am still alive because I have been able to help many people all over this beautiful country and have accomplished many of my dreams. I have been recognized by US Congress. I have won awards for my original music and activism. I also attend a graduate seminary. My present depended on accessing the things I needed to survive my youth, the very things that HB 1570 denies the transgender community. 

Now as an older transgender person, I cannot imagine life without health insurance. Health insurance is survival for everyone. We are all human. We all get sick. We all need care. We all need help. 

I am begging you to veto this awful bill. Letting this bill pass is unjust and isn’t a reflection God’s agape love for all humans. Letting this bill pass means signing away the lives of our vibrant trans Arkansans. I know many wonderful people from the trans community in Arkansas closely and they are some of most wonderful, welcoming, brightest people I know. Your state needs them. The world needs them. Please veto HB 1570. The trans community will never be silenced. 

Ryan Cassata

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