Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

Ryan Cassata: Queer Love Outlaw

By Mya Byrne, Staff Writer


Ryan Cassata’s new single, “Queer Love Outlaw”, deftly handles the topics of discrimination, chosen family, and the sacredness of queer relationships. Talking about some of the most intimate things (like our scars and giving each other affirming haircuts) and with an inclusive and catchy end refrain (“All my friends are outlaws/and all my friends are in love”), it’s a beautiful snapshot into the way we love, and, as Ryan says, “This song is about taking back the power, owning all the words that people have used against me as a queer person, and showing other queer people that their love is sacred and holy.” 

“Queer Love Outlaw” brings home the the point that we, as queers, are absolutely defying straight-laced notions of what love can be and of what family can be, which is quite literally an outlaw move in many places — especially in many so-called holy spaces. Ryan told us that his intent is to point the finger directly at religious institutions. Coming from a queer person of faith like Ryan, it’s an incredibly powerful and affirming statement.

And one that’s still, sadly, quite timely. 52 years after Stonewall, 6 years after Windsor, being out and queer can still cost you your job and freedom in many places. I have friends who can’t be out as school teachers, for instance, in certain US areas that are very Catholic. Not to mention those folks who are trapped in places like the so-called “LGBT-free zones” in Poland, or the anti-queer laws in Russia. 

To close, in this gorgeous, Mumford-esque song Ryan hits truths we need, to both celebrate who we are and to stoke the fight against those who hate us. Ryan’s hope is that it brings healing to queer folks who feel like outcasts—but it’s also a great single. Listen to it on repeat and blast it at your Pride parties. I hereby, with my trans lady powers, declare it one of the best Pride anthems of 2021.

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(Speaking of which, Ryan will be playing many Pride shows, and is at Outloud at the LA Coliseum (and streaming on Twitch) this Friday – a signature milestone for this longtime friend of CQ.)