Charlotte Pride Week, Aug. 16-25, features special event with transgender teen singer-songwriter

Special event for young people among more than week-long slate of events Aug. 16-25 culminating in annual Charlotte Pride, Aug. 24-25.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ryan Cassata, a 19-year-old transgender singer-songwriter and motivational speaker living in San Francisco, will be in Charlotte on Friday, Aug. 23 for a special speaking engagement with local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth one day before he takes the Wells Fargo Stage at Charlotte Pride’s PNC Bank Festival Zone on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2 p.m.

The speaking event is scheduled for Aug. 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Time Out Youth Center located at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1900 The Plaza. The event is presented in collaboration with Charlotte Pride, Time Out Youth Center and the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund.

By the age of 19, Ryan Cassata had successfully cut five records, booked and went on several tours, played several of the world’s biggest LGBTQ music festivals and became the youngest keynote speaker for the largest transgender conference in the world. Ryan, who won his high school’s first-ever Harvey Milk Memorial Award, has also appeared on national and international TV several times.

“Charlotte Pride believes strongly in our young people and we are proud to offer them this unique, empowering opportunity to hear from Ryan,” said Craig Hopkins, Charlotte Pride co-director.

“Ryan is a great example for our youth. He a great artist and activist that shows the power of youth voice in the LGBTQ movement,” said Rodney Tucker, executive director of Time Out Youth Center. “We are excited to host this community event and are expecting a great group of LGBTQ youth and young adults.”

The Aug. 23 event with Ryan Cassata is one of several events planned for Charlotte Pride Week, a ten-day slate of activities culminating with the Aug. 24-25 Charlotte Pride Festival at the PNC Bank Festival Zone and the inaugural Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade on Sunday, Aug. 25, 1 p.m. Other planned events include a “Rocky Horror” gender-bender show, Buff Faye’s Drag Brunch, an interfaith Pride worship service, speed dating, nightlife events and others. A full listing of Charlotte Pride Week events and details about this year’s festival and parade can be found online at and

Presenting sponsors for Charlotte Pride 2013 include Bank of America, PNC Bank, The Scorpio, Time Warner Cable and Wells Fargo. Media sponsors include Gayborhood, Kiss 95.1 FM, QNotes and WBTV.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: To schedule advance interviews with organizers or performers prior to the Aug. 24-25 events or to schedule interviews the weekend of Aug. 24-25, please contact Matt Comer at