Andrew Ryan, champion for Aids for Aids Nevada, and recently anointed PRIDE Royalty, talks about affecting change in Las Vegas as Miss Las Vegas PRIDE, and goals for representing the Las Vegas LGBTQ community.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself?
A: I grew up in a one-stoplight town, Parker AZ, and not a lot of diversity existed there, especially in high school. I didn’t really learn what diversity meant until I went to college and saw my first drag show. This is where I decided to pursue drag for the first time. After moving to Vegas I started with PRIDE as a showgirl, and later auditioned for Frank Marino’s Diva’s Las Vegas as Shania Twain and Katy Perry, and am now Frank’s direct understudy. During the day I am the Marketing Director for Aids for Aids Nevada or AFAN, coordinating fundraising events and sharing the organizations events on social media. Spreading the message for the organization, making a difference, has become something that I am so passionate about. I have been able to tie this into my role with PRIDE as well.
Q: How does it feel to have been selected as Las Vegas PRIDE Royalty, and do you have any specific plans for your reign?
A: As Miss Las Vegas PRIDE, I am very honored to get to travel to West Coast PRIDEs, and to get to promote the Las Vegas Community; we travel with a large group of royalty, showboys, and showgirls, and we are able to share a little piece of fabulous Las Vegas with each city. Locally we put on monthly PRIDE events such as bingo, and we represent PRIDE at other events while supporting other non-profit organizations. One of my favorite things about being Miss Las Vegas PRIDE is being able to see all of the people’s faces light up at the events and festivals; hopefully my title will motivate or inspire someone to join and become more involved in their community.
Q: What are some of the things that you love about the LGBTQ community here in Las Vegas?
A: I have lived in Las Vegas for eight years, and within that time I have seen PRIDE directly impact the growth of the LGBTQ community. I would love to see more volunteers stepping forward to make improvements in whichever areas that are most important to them, but I have seen some really great changes and steps that we’ve taken within the Las Vegas LGBTQ community.