Mya Byrne

Mya Byrne

Storyteller, Musician, Activist

Today we talk to Mya Byrne, a talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for her captivating storytelling and heartfelt lyrics. Deeply influenced by her love for classic country music, she is dedicated to creating authentic and powerful songs that resonate with listeners. Out and proud, she is a leader for the presence of queer, trans women in Country music and is one of the first two trans artists to play AmericanaFest.

Mya shares her journey as a transgender musician and activist, discussing the impact of embracing her authentic identity on her artistry, her support for other trans artists, and the connection between her songwriting and the legacy of classic country artists like Loretta Lynn.


[00:22] – Dino introduces the show and welcomes guest Mya Byrne, a courageous musician, and activist, as we explore her journey of embracing her identity and the impact it has had on others.

[02:30] – How Mya’s leadership manifests in supporting other trans artists and people, providing a universal approach to embracing authenticity.

[03:14] – Mya shares her story of success, overcoming challenges, and making a difference in the face of attacks on LGBTQI+ rights.

[04:59] – Mya shares her remarkable journey as one of the first fully out trans women in country music and her unapologetic approach to life and art.

[06:38] – Explore the transformative power of embracing authenticity and the profound impact of Mya’s music video, breaking barriers in the industry.

[07:19] – The challenges faced by queer and trans artists and the importance of building countercultural support networks.

[08:07] – Discover how embracing authenticity transformed Mya’s artistic expression, bringing her a newfound sense of freedom on the stage and in the studio.

[09:15] – Overcoming the challenges of being an out artist: Mya discusses the plexiglass ceiling faced by women.

[11:12] – How Mya’s authenticity as a trans woman influenced her work to help her shed light on embedded biases in society.

[12:00] – Mya shares her approach to art and work and the inspiration she finds in the Beatles’ studio sessions.

[13:50] – Mya’s personal growth and advocacy journey, from embracing her persona to becoming a leader and advocate in her community.

[14:33] – The importance of visibility in the face of ongoing attacks on the trans community, Mya her experiences in direct action activism.

[16:14] – Mya’s evolving activism, from being on the front lines of protests to focusing on nurturing and supporting other trans artists while challenging discrimination in the music industry.

[17:12] – Inspiring others through her visibility to impact the lives of younger trans musicians.

[17:58] – The revolutionary act of simply walking down the street as a trans person.

[18:34] – The power of coming out and the fear it instills in those who seek to exploit individuals.

[19:12] – Everyone is part of the working class regardless of occupation or social status.

[19:46] – How a song by David Crosby inspires Mya to hold the people accountable. Speaker

[20:26] – “Leadership is making a bowl of soup for somebody who’s hungry.”

[21:03] – Mya shares how she aspires to create a better world for the younger generations in hopes they can avoid enduring the same hardships as she has.

[21:43] -The importance of acknowledging and celebrating the joy in trans lives, alongside the daily struggles and obstacles and the power of these experiences in combating feelings of isolation.

[24:03] – A special collaboration with writing partner Paisley Field, and the inspiration behind the song, Burn This Statehouse Down, rooted in the discriminatory legislation passed by the Tennessee legislature, and showcasing the beauty and safety of trans love and countering the demonization of trans people.

[29:30] – Burn This Statehouse Down makes a splash, resonating with people all over, including across the pond.

[31:50] – The Loretta Lynn influence on Mya’s work with Paisley Field and the parallels between certain songs and Loretta Lynn’s work, especially Burn This Statehouse Down and its connection to “The Pill.”

[35:06] – “What does the song want?’—focusing on understanding the song’s intention and serving the character within it.

[35:41] – Stereotypical songwriting: the importance of writing songs in every genre that speak to all people, including queer and trans individuals.

[36:43] – The power of storytelling.

37:59] -A song is more than chords and arrangements; it’s about the message it carries.

[38:59] – Authenticity and stories told without self-censorship hold great power: drawing inspiration from artists like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, who challenged societal norms.

[39:15] – If you want to connect with Mya, you can find her here and on Instagram.

[40:25] – Mya shares her passions outside of music and her Italian-style eating habits.

[41:21] – The one phrase that Mya calls a “load of crap.”

[41:57] – Pursuing multiple interests to nourish different aspects of oneself—Mya shares two examples of this and why she still has a foot in publishing.

[43:03] – It’s important to remember you’re not just one thing: inspired by Jackie Kennedy’s multifaceted pursuits, Mya balanced a successful editing career while pursuing her music until recently.

[45:19] – Making bread is a fulfilling way to nourish yourself and others. Mya recommends checking out Glenn and Friends for a simple, delightful no-knead bread recipe that transformed her bread-making experience.

[45:56]- Mya shares how listening to “The Wind” by Cat Stevens offered her a soul-nourishing experience that evoked tears and contemplation.

[47:00] – If you enjoyed this episode, this is an invitation to share it, and be sure to subscribe so you can experience all future episodes.

Contact Dino at:

Websites: or

Mya Byrne Information:


Stream Rhinestone Tomboy


Twitter: @MsMyaByrne

Instagram: @myabyrne

Mya on YouTube

Spotify: Mya Byrne | Spotify

Authentic Leadership For Everyday People / Dino Cattaneo

Dino on LinkedIn:

Podcast Instagram – @al4edp 

Podcast Twitter – @al4edp

Podcast Facebook:


Burn This Statehouse Down by Mya Byrne & Paisley Fields  

Mya Byrne on Bandcamp 

What Are Their Names by David Crosby

The Pill by Loretta Lynn 

The Wind by Cat Stevens


Books By Peter Drucker

Books by Salman Rushdie

Books by Gore Vidal