Follower Fridays is a series of profiles highlighting members of
Gaysian Third Space to showcase the diversity of gaysians in the
Community. This week’s featured member is @keeptryans.
Who are you?
My name is Ryan S. I am 4th generation Japanese, 2nd generation Filipino and born citizen of the United States. I’m 28 years old and astrologically a Fire Rabbit Gemini. I’m an INFJ and I eat (almost) everything. I am the oldest and only son of a family of five with two younger sisters. I am short at 5 foot 4 inches but I make up with it in attitude and smarts.
Where are you from?
I was born in Santa Monica, California but I technically grew up in the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles, both as a child and a postgrad. I currently live on the eastern border of LA County in Upland/Claremont. I also lived in Berkeley during college.
My Japanese side of the family is historically from the Hiroshima area, but they settled in California after their Washington farm was taken in World War II and they were forcibly interned. My dad grew up in Echo Park, where we still own a property, and we used to frequent Little Tokyo with my grandmother during visits.
My Filipino side is from the Roxas district of Quezon City, from which they immigrated in the 60s before the Marcos Administration. They grew up around NY/NJ but now live everywhere. My mom studied nursing in the United States before being recruited by UCLA Medical Center to work in Los Angeles, where she met my father after some years.
What do you do?
I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009 with a Bachelors of Arts in Molecular Cell Biology Immunology track, worked at psychoneuroimmunology lab at UCLA for 5 years and am getting my Masters in Bioscience at the Keck Graduate Institute studying biotech. I was accepted into osteopathic medical school for the class of 2020.
When I’m not studying, I like listening to music (synthpop, Jpop, divas, alternative, rock), watching critically acclaimed movies, listening to podcasts (NPR related or otherwise), watching TV (Rupaul’s Drag Race, Bob’s Burgers, Steven Universe, Walking Dead), reading (I’m supposed to finish that Mari Kondo book) and wasting time on social media.
What are you passionate about?
I like getting to the root of what makes people tick. I guess that’s why I entered a science/medical field because we all have similar machinery. I also like social justice and psychology because we have ills for socioeconomic and cultural reasons. In college, I did some Asian American student advocacy work, especially within the Japanese American community. As a gay man, I also think LGBT issues are not highlighted enough in the medical community and vice versa.
What is your dream job (real or fantasy)?
My dream job, in reality, would probably be a practicing physician with something to do with the immune system, cancer or psychiatry. Maybe all three. Maybe none haha. I would like to practice in the Bay Area, Pacific Northwest, or anywhere close to a large body of water.
My fantasy job would be a travel host: I want to get paid to travel the world, meet people, eat new foods, see wonderful places, be exposed to the highs and lows of humanity, and share my experiences.
If you could change the world with one idea, what would it be?
I would change the idea that time is limitless. In a universal sense, we exist for a very short time. But a lot of us, especially young gays, think that we can act without consequence and that we can procrastinate on being better people or making a difference in our community. Yes, humanity might not be here in 2 million years, and neither will the people you love. Yes, climate change is real. Yes, the universe will end, but that doesn’t mean your time can’t have maximal meaning and impact.