Freedom Ryder

Ryder Moore-Syder rocks a greaser vibe with lover-boy appeal.


Ryder Moore-Syder (Photo by Alex Rosa)


If The Fonz were to pick who would play him in a biopic, Ryder Moore-Syder would be the obvious answer. It’s easy to imagine Ryder, with their ’60s throwback style and rocker swagger, tooling around town in Greased Lighting and burning up the quarter-mile. Find out Moore(-Syder) about what makes Ryder supreme.

Pronouns? They/Them

Inner avatar? I’ve always felt lions are as loyal and protective of their families as
I am, so I can relate.

Hometown? Conroe

Drag birthday? August 22, 2018

What got you interested in drag?

It’s a combination of the art, costumes, people, and the families that we develop as performers.

Describe your performing persona.
Ryder is a lovable dork that everyone sees as a supportive uncle.

Story behind the name?
I ran through all the names I liked and found one with a pun that fit! It’s important to have a memorable name as a drag king.

Any pageant titles?
Mister Texas USofA MI 2019 First Alternate.

Any thoughts on Women’s History Month?
I’d like to recognize all the icons and activists that have paved the way for us thus far, knowing that they fought for something they themselves may not have been able to realize in their own lives. I feel it’s important to continue to push for equality in drag and to create spaces for AFAB performers. Trans women have always been seen as equals on stage, and if we are to recognize that they are women as much as any others, then there has always been a place for us as well.

Describe your aesthetic.
Greaser meets lover boy—like Danny Zuko, but without the problematic tendencies.

What’s your must-have clothing accessory or prop?
My lettermen’s jacket or my leather jacket! If  I could, I would wear either one constantly. Houston isn’t a great climate for it, though!

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I am a drag king who happens to be disabled. While many people see my disability, they don’t realize that’s what it is. That’s why I’m so open, because I’m proof that there really is a stage for everyone, and nothing should hold you back from pursuing your art.

What was your dream job as a child?
I always believed I’d have a place in the medical field, especially as a doctor.

What’s your life’s mantra?
I’m trying to live my best life, not a stressed life.

Have you ever had a defining moment in your life?
I struggled getting over being seriously ill about ten years ago, when my life had turned upside down. I suffered nerve damage from an undisclosed virus that is often fatal, and I had to remember how to be a human while learning to be an adult. I grew so much in that year, and that growth has continued because of what I was lucky enough to live through.

Who are your favorite artists to perform?
Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, P!nk, and Joan Jett all top that list.

If you could pick one celebrity (living or dead) to perform with you, who would it be and why?
Robin Williams, hands down. He was a huge part of my childhood, and my humor developed because of his influence. He was the supportive uncle I strive to be to this day.

Where can fans see you perform?
I’m a cast member of the weekly Htown Kings show at Pearl, and you can follow my social media to see where else I’ll pop up!

Follow Ryder Moore-Syder at facebook.com/ryder.moore.357 and instagram.com/ryder.moore.syder.

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Sam Byrd

Sam Byrd is a freelance contributor to Outsmart who loves to take in all of Houston’s sights, sounds, food and fun. He also loves helping others to discover Houston’s rich culture. Speaking of Houston, he's never heard a Whitney Houston song he didn't like.
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