Bro with a Brain: Ryan Wyrofsky

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

I've always been more attracted to a well-versed gentleman with drive, passion and determination… I know I'm not alone. So when I found out Ryan was combining his brians and passion while working with Bev to coordiante this year's Beauty Ball, I knew I needed to chat with him!

What's that you say? You don't know what Beauty Ball is? The Beauty Ball is a big party where those that don't normally do drag, get all beautified (with the help of a shit ton of queens in the city) to help raise money for The Attic LGBTQ Youth Center! Ryan and Bev have partnered with Stonewall Philly, the city's largest LGBT athletic league, again this year to help raise money for a great cause and have a fiercely fabulous evening.

The always hilarious and stunning, BEV, will be the Mistress of Ceremonies. She had this to say "We're hoping that this is the best year yet, not just in terms of the event but also the money that is raised for the charity" 

Philly's own DJ Carl Michaels will be spinning your favorite hits all night long. Jonathan Hernandez will be taking professional photographs of all the guests in drag and Alexander John Photography will be photographing guests as they stomp their heels across the dance floor!

Guests are not required to come in drag and everyone is welcome; however, there will be a lip-sync competition for those that do decide to embrace their inner queen/king – a competition that Bev herself won two years ago!! An all star panel of judges will decide who wins based on 1 minute "kamikaze" lip-syncs (kamikaze is a battle where the performers don't know the songs before the competition). The winner gets a "crown" and bragging rights for a full year – "May the best 'woman' win!"

Now that you've been educated, let's chat about Ryan … 

Chris: Where do your "brains"'come in… What do you do?
Ryan: Well, I literally just put down a rat brain to answer these questions, but I’m assuming you’re not talking about those brains. I’m currently a fourth year PhD candidate at Drexel University in the department of pharmacology and physiology. My lab focuses primarily on a small region of the brain responsible for producing norepinephrine – the locus coeruleus – that, when dysregulated, can lead to the development of anxiety disorders. One of the main reasons alcoholics report relapsing is due to a heightened anxiety. To learn what might be responsible for this increased anxiety, my thesis project is focused on investigating the effects on chronic alcohol consumption on alterations to stress circuitry and the endocannabinoid system (the system in your body that is activated by marijuana) within the locus coeruleus, leading to its aberrant activity.

C: What's your favorite "holy shit, I did it, I'm successful in my field" moment?
R: Every year, the Society for Neuroscience holds a huge convention where over 30,000 people gather to present their latest work. I had the privilege of presenting a poster at the 2015 meeting just last week. So many peers and researchers expressed interest in my project – I particularly remember when one expert, whose papers I have cited many times, told me that my microscopy images are beautiful and my work is heading in a very exciting direction. It was an incredibly validating experience and one that reassured me I’m on the right path.

C: Are you single?
R: Why yes, I am.
C: Mmmm Noted. 

C: Ideal first date?
R: While drinks are always a nice, safe bet for a first date, we live in such a beautiful city and fall is such a gorgeous time of year. Grabbing a salted caramel latte (please, call me basic – I know I am), walking around Philly, laying on piles of leaves in Washington Square Park and talking in a setting that isn’t a crowded bar… That sounds like a much more ideal first date to me. Favorite part of Philly? The thing I love most about Philadelphia is how awesome the food scene is here. I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed foodie – I love to cook and enjoy new types of cuisine – and Philly has so many amazing bars and restaurants worth trying. And in case my answer to this question is similar to Demi saying her favorite dish is a mug, I think behind the art museum by Boathouse Row/Kelly Drive is my favorite part of the city.

C:Compose a tweet to your favorite celebrity, bonus points for hashtags.
R: @InaGarten – What did you think of Sandra’s tablescape from last week’s episode? #disgusting #semihomemadewithsandrasucks #askIna #teamIna #howeasyisthat

Philadelphia's 6th annual amateur drag party, the Beauty Ball, will take place Saturday, November 7th. Join us (I'll be working the door) from 7pm-10pm at the upstairs dance floor of Woody's and help us raise money for The Attic LGBTQ Youth Center!


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