Nick grew up in rural KY (Corbin, KY) and had always been close to God, but as a Gay man struggled once he came out. I am honored to know him and to be a piece of his healing on his journey. God loves everyone, at least my version of God.
“When you reach the end of your life, would you be happy and satisfied if you had touched just one person? Changed just one life?” That was the question I presented to Ryan in a conversation we had long after I had moved away. I had returned for a visit and with the guidance of the Divine, this conversation had to happen before I left again. I texted him and requested a spontaneous meet-up before I had to return to my home place. Ryan told me that he would definitely feel accomplished if he could change just one person’s life. In that moment I told him, “You can rest easy and sleep well tonight, because I am that one life.” Of course, that lead us both into an intense crying fest, but we’re definitely both crybabies so you can’t expect any different.
I meant what I told him that night. Ryan Joseph Allen is one of the biggest reasons I am still here to even type this endorsement. I had given up on God and His Church, I had given up on love, and worst of all I had given up on myself. Yet God saw fit to introduce me to such a genuine soul that would not only inspire me, but also introduce me to an entire family of believers and allies waiting with open arms to welcome me in. The love and encouragement I always find in his presence does not go unnoticed or under- appreciated. He is my safe place. His testimony is so miraculous, and I cannot wait to see how God uses him to further His kingdom. There are no words in the English language for me to express to you how much I support him.
Ryan Joseph Allen has helped me grow as a leader in ways that words cannot describe. He taught me that being an empath is not a weakness, but that it is a strength that can be used to connect with people. Ryan loves people on a level I personally had never seen before, and his light shines brighter than anyone I have ever met. I am so fortunate to have met him and he has significantly impacted my life.
Owner & Founder
Bright Eyes Creative Consulting Firm, LLC
A hug can say about a million things. It can be used as an expression of love, comfort, and even to calm a panic attack. In April of 2019, 9 years after I disclosed to my school counselor that I was being sexually abused by a close family member, I attended the Take Back the Night walk. The experience was overwhelming. Yet there was this lovely person standing there with a "free hugs" sign, and was the first person to make me feel comfortable. I somehow felt safer knowing that he was there, that he was so caring for not just me, but for every survivor there. I never forgot that hug, or the face of the person holding that sign. It wasn't until about a year later until life came full circle and I became friends with Ryan on Facebook through a peer of mine. I recognized him almost instantly. A hug can make a huge impact on a person in their darkest of moments or during their happiest of days. A hug can stop time, and even for just a minute or two, put all of your problems to rest.
Anonymous Free Hugger
I have worked very closely with Mr. Allen as he has served as an independent contractor providing Transformation Coaching services for my business. Ryan excels in being hyper-authentic with his clients, generating powerful storytelling with utmost care and being a role model for other independent contractors. Ryan has given me several ideas and input to create success for the business and for himself.
Ryan is hyper motivated with all his goals and aspirations; he is essentially a role model for me to strive to be the best that I can be each and every day. His kind-hearted and upbeat personality resonates with clientele.
I volunteered to write this endorsement for Ryan because he has personally impacted my life. Ryan has given me all the knowledge and resources to be able to start my business Pride and Power Health Spa, LLC, and he provided all of these resources pro bono. Without Ryan, I would not be writing this letter endorsing him. He has transformed me personally to reach my highest potential. I know any endeavor that Ryan pursues that he will excel and add value to everything that he does.
Owner & Founder
Pride and Power Health Spa, LLC
I was introduced to Ryan at a time when I needed peace and hope more than ever. Ryan helped me to find direction as well as to develop a stronger sense of self-worth, gratitude and hope, not only in myself but in the world around me.
Ryan has the rare gift of showing you the good and the positive in everything, even when the situation seems hopeless. His intentions and guidance were clear, accurate, and to-the-point. He was never rushed or disconnected.
Of course, none of this is a guarantee of success, and you must be prepared to do the work. Ryan’s words and perspective provided me the ability to spread the gratitude, hope and kindness that he had shown to me.
I say this as someone who started out very cynical about the idea of mentoring, I am extremely grateful to him, and would highly recommend Ryan to anyone. My life is better having known him.
Love Must Win Participant
Rev. Tracy Siegman
Ryan Joseph Allen is an accomplished leader. I have witnessed him encourage the Board members of Love Must Win and empower us to do the work we agreed to do when we become Board members. He cultivates leaders in whom he recognizes their gifts. He exudes love and grace which he generously shares with those around him. Ryan is joy to work with because he is vulnerable and honest and serves others with integrity.
Rev. Tracy Siegman
First Christian Church, Covington, Ky
In his work as a community activist who is always actively working to learn and grow, I have had the pleasure to be both a guide and friend on Ryan Joseph Allen's journey, namely through our efforts to build a much needed LGBTQ+ center in Cincinnati. What is most impressive is the way he pushes organizations to live more fully into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion so many only aspire to. He is an indispensable leader in our community whose activism is grounded in wanting the best of our community, challenging the apathy that can sow seeds of injustice, and working across many lines of difference in order to ensure Greater Cincinnati reflects the broad, diverse, and inclusive community we deserve. On top of this, he's a faithful friend and dad, whose own personal journey has bravely been leveraged to enable pathways for others to speak truth to power.
Founder of Cincinnati Black Pride
National Director of LGBTQ+ Education, Teach For America
I've known Ryan as a student, a source, a father, an organizer and a peer. To see that he will now share his story as an author makes me excited to know that others will hear his words and be inspired by his courage. In a world where we are increasingly divided, his message of love and peace are much-needed and much appreciated. If only more people could see life the way he does, our planet would be a much happier place. Maybe this can be the start of that. I don't know of a better person to lead the way.
Author of “Wrestling Reality”
Adjunct Professor, Xavier University
When I met Ryan we were both teenagers in high school working as waiters at a local family owned restaurant. Both of us were trying to figure out where we fit in with this world. What I believe drew Ryan and I together was the fact that we did not fit in with others because we both were (and still are) very authentic and our unique characteristics were incapable of conforming to societal norms. We did not understand that at the time so we used marijuana and other drugs as a bridge to connect us with others and form a type of identity. Even though we both had this internal void we tried to fill, we were always there for each other maintaining our authentic selves.
Ryan is the only person in my entire life that has made me laugh as hard and long as I did when we were together (no it was not just the marijuana LOL, because the laughter was there even when we did not use). When I look back at photos of Ryan and I together I think, aw look at those youngsters they felt so sad and lonely but they had each other to lean on and now look at them both, saved by the grace of God, helping others heal, helping others turn to the light experiencing God’s grace, working through doctorate programs, sharing God’s love through our actions and testimonies of being completely dead inside then brought to life through Christ. Ryan and I do not live in the same state anymore and I was devastated when he moved. He was my best friend and his grandparents were like my own grandparents. But the bond Ryan I have is deeper now than ever because we are one in Christ. No matter how long it has been since we have seen or spoken to each other, we are connected at the spirit level which is more potent and fulfilling than any drug, person, or anything else that is not God Himself.
Cayce Brewer, MAEd, LMFT
CES Doctoral Student
There are people in the world who are genuinely caring, kind, and humble. I can honestly say, without hesitation, that Ryan Joseph Allen is the kindest, most humbling, and genuine person I have ever met. His story of personal success and transformation is nothing short of an inspiration. His compassion for life and for people is just as huge as his love for all. I am proud to call him a dear friend and I gladly endorse his coaching and his memoir as beacons of hope and love.
Richard Damien Addison
GLAST Peer Support Leader/Participant
Rev. Dr. Susan Ward Diamond
Soon after arriving in Northern Kentucky a few years ago, I met Ryan Joseph Allen at a “Love Must Win” gathering. I walked in, and within a maybe minute or two, up walked this beautiful man with whom I immediately connected! His smile radiated a deep love and I knew even before he gave me one of his great big hugs that we would be friends!
Ryan shares his commitment to love all those he meets, and it is infectious! Through his own journey, Ryan has come to believe in the human spirit and seeks to bring out the best in others. His leadership and commitment to community partnerships, along with a remarkably generous and graceful spirit, make Ryan someone who is truly making a difference.
I look forward in continuing to not only call Ryan my friend, but also a community partner and colleague in serving those on the margins for years to come.
Rev. Dr. Susan Ward Diamond, Senior Minister
Florence Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
As an ally with Love Must Win, I first met Ryan early in the group’s life and was impressed with his focus and desire to grow his community. In my career as a therapist, coach, and nondenominational clergyman, I have been blessed to work with many talented and effective professionals over many years. Ryan is unique among them; having the personal history to understand people at their own level as well as genuine acceptance of others that is healing in its own right. A champion of those who are under-served and under-valued, Ryan’s sensitivity challenges others to these people as our brothers and sisters. He looks for opportunities that are present but often ignored. In a time when society is fractured and divided against itself, Ryan is part of a rising generation which has the ability to rise above factionalism and lead us into a brighter future.
Founder, HALBEC- Helping Another Life Betters Each Community