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Local labor leader elected to Equity’s National Council

SEATTLE, WA (July 9, 2024) — Local transgender artist and activist, Ry Armstrong (they/them), has been elected to serve as a Western Principal Councilor of Actors’ Equity Association on its National Council. Equity is a labor union representing over 51,000 professional actors and stage managers nationwide, fighting for fair wages, access to healthcare, pension opportunities, and a safe working environment.

Armstrong, a local member of both Equity and SAG-AFTRA, is possibly the youngest transgender individual to be elected to this position. They have performed in venues across the country, focusing on labor organizing and advocating for the arts, and serve as Co-Chair on the Board of Directors for Theatre Puget Sound (TPS), a Commissioner with the City of Seattle on its LGBTQ Commission, and a SAG-AFTRA delegate on the Martin Luther King County Labor Council.

Photo credit: Anthony Bolante

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Armstrong moved to New York City after college but returned to their roots in the Pacific Northwest during the pandemic to support their aging grandparents. Inspired by generations of LGBTQ+ trailblazers, Ry is determined to make a difference in 2024 and beyond. They draw inspiration from prominent figures like Nancy Wohlforth, an advocate for single-payer healthcare, domestic partner worker benefits, and non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers.

Armstrong’s election to the National Council of Equity reflects the industry’s commitment to representation and diversity. With Brooke Shields as the newly elected President of the union, there is a significant shift happening within the organization. As the future of work in the theater industry becomes increasingly uncertain, Armstrong’s hope is to listen to the needs of the membership and build a stronger and more effective labor movement.

“The next generation of leadership is here in the labor movement and it’s time to start welcoming us to the table,” said Armstrong.

This new role builds on Armstrong’s work as a Co-Chair on the Board of Directors for Theatre Puget Sound,  and as a SAG-AFTRA delegate. With their election to the National Council of Equity, Armstrong has the opportunity to amplify this advocacy work representing local workers, and bringing about positive change in the theater community.

For more information on Actor’s Equity Association, visit For more information on Ry Armstrong, visit

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