Rider Profile: Ryan Webster

Date:June 26, 2019
Rider Profile: Ryan Webster

Ryan Webster, Hotel Concierge and Female Impersonator

What’s your story?
I’m originally from Michigan. I started drag in college as a fun little side hobby to get involved in my community a little bit more personally.

After moving to Kansas City in 2011, I spent a few years as an educator with the Kansas City Care Clinic doing HIV education and prevention work. I actually started catching the bus to be able to engage with clients for a program where I was working with disadvantaged youth. I needed to be able to connect them with as many resources as quickly as possible, so knowing the bus system was super important.

When I decided to leave HIV work, I started doing drag full-time. I was entertaining from New Jersey to New Mexico. It’s been a good opportunity for me to really engage with people of a lot of different walks of life from everywhere.

Last year I won the title of Miss Gay United States At Large 2018, so I’m definitely cross-dressing my way to the top of life.

I got involved in hotel concierge work as a secondary career because it allowed me to utilize the contacts that I developed doing drag at night at a day job. It’s a nice balance.

For both drag and hotel concierge, it’s about creating those memorable experiences for people. As an entertainer, I get to take people from their everyday lives and help them live the fantasy. As a hotel concierge, I get to help bring the fantasy into whatever the guests are doing to make their excursions that much more magical and make it last forever as a memory.

Drag also gives me an opportunity use the stage as a platform to do something good, whether that’s doing volunteer work or getting information out to help the audience be more well-informed citizens of the city we live in.

What does PrideKC mean to you?
It means a lot to know the agency who is responsible for your safety actually cares about who you are as a person. It’s not very often that a business of any kind makes a concerted effort to include protective measures for smaller communities that might typically get overlooked, whether that’s people of color, queer or transgender folks. Knowing that RideKC’s overall mission acknowledges me makes me feel included, and that’s awesome.

What do RideKC safety improvements mean to you?
It’s made my life easier. I hate driving. It’s nice to not feel like I’m at risk on the bus. And if someone does say something when I’m in a wig, I know that the circumstance will always work out in my favor.

Where are you typically going on RideKC?
I’m usually either headed to work or to the wig store.

What is your favorite destination on RideKC?
I like going to the zoo. Catching the bus on Prospect Avenue is also fun because I get to see that part of the city.

How do you spend your free time on board RideKC?
Reading! I almost always have my nose stuck in a book. Riding the bus gives me a few extra moments to just be alone with my thoughts and time is such a limited quantity in life. I also love to gab it up with whoever happens to be sitting in the seat next to me.

What do you splurge on with the money you save by using RideKC?
Rhinestones. And I like lots of them! But riding the bus also allows me to do community work like putting together bags for Harvesters or doing a blood drive.

What do you wish everyone knew about RideKC?
How easy and cheap it is. Hotel Phillips has a partnership with RideKC [through the Employer Pass Program] so, as an employee, I get a discount on my bus pass. That’s kind of what led me to this particular employer, not only because of the discounted pass but the bus picks me up near my house and drops me off right outside work. I can get almost everywhere I need to go on the bus without a hassle.

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