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Co-Sponsored by Colin King
Our Dance tent will feature DJ FLO with 3 sets of dance music!
"I'm not here to play with anybody. I'm here to chase my dreams and make them come true."
Ada Vox isn’t messing around. She put judge Katy Perry, and America, on notice: she is in this life to win it!
A San Antonio based drag queen who sang her heart out on ABC's "American Idol," Ada became a Semi-finalist, something that would have been unheard of several years ago. Her appearance marks a first for the show, and people still talk about her performance of The Animals “House of the Rising Sun” as one of the stand-out auditions of the season.
Rewind five years to 2013 when Ada Vox auditioned for Fox’s American Idol back when she was known as Adam Sanders. In one of his Season 12 performances, he got a standing ovation from three of the four judges
with his performance of Etta James's “I'd Rather Go Blind.” Despite this, he not only got eliminated after Hollywood week, but had to endure taunts, teasing and threats from people on social media. Ada revealed on
this year's show that “People attacked my weight, my sexuality, telling me that I was horrible, that I sucked, that I don't deserve to be here, that I shouldn't be who I am. And I let it get to me in a wrong way. It killed me inside...I was contemplating lots of things that I shouldn't have.”
Ada did not let that deter her from her dream and when she heard the show was coming back to ABC, she decided to audition again as Ada Vox, a person with a lot more confidence and an innate belief in herself. “I
was an OK singer as Adam. But I'm a hundred times better now than I ever was then. I'm vocally better, I'm a better performer, I'm a better entertainer, I'm more prepared as an adult to take on the challenges that come with a competition like this.”
The 24-year-old was born in San Antonio, TX. Attended UTSA (University of Texas at San Antonio) while working at a restaurant by day and was a drag queen by night. Ada lists her influences as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé,
Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle (with whom she got to perform with on Idol) and other strong women who project an inner self-confidence with their stage personas. In fact, her performance of Jennifer Hudson’s “I am Telling You I am not Going” as a Top 10 finalist brought the house down.
Even though Ada didn’t make it to the top spot, she made history as the first-ever Drag Queen to make it as an American Idol Top 8 finalist. Upon her departure, none other than superstar judge Lionel Richie said,
“Listen, I want to say – you have to know how special this is to have you on this show. You are a movement unto yourself. I am telling you, I’m so proud of you, keep it up my dear, it’s fantastic.”
Ada has released her first single “Because of You” written by Janice Robinson (Kristine W., Deborah Cox) and produced by Bimbo Jones (Rihanna, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga). She’s excited to share it with all
the people (#Voxies) who embraced her on this go-round of American Idol and to brand new audiences as she continues to tour the globe.
What’s next for Ada? The Sky seems to be the limit.
“I'm not waking up tomorrow morning/And finding that there's nobody there/Darling, there's no way.”
Timothy Ruise is a visionary and pioneer in the LGBTQ community. As the Coordinator of Rainbow of Truth, he has blazed a trail for himself, fellow Native Americans and community members, in general.
Established in February 2018, Rainbow of Truth grew out of what Tim recognized as the need to advocate for, support, and educate Native communities on LGBTQ equality. The group and its supporters are passionate about and committed to being not just a voice but a presence in the Native community, LGBTQ events, and beyond.
As a Native youth growing up on a rural reservation, Tim experienced the challenges of identifying as a 2Spirit person. As an adult, he recognized the source of his challenge and felt compelled to create change. “The challenge in Native Country is the colonization of our people”, he explains. “Colonizers told us that in God’s eye, being anything but heterosexual is a sin. Historically though, indigenous people regarded 2Spirit people as holy. They were leaders, name givers, and were respected for having both feminine and masculine perspectives. Colonialism still plays a big role in why our communities are not ready to accept that we are ALL in the equal in the eye of the beholder. I am committed to helping others dismantle limiting beliefs about who they are…and who their LGBTQ tribal members are.”
Through a small grant awarded by the Asian Pacific Islander Institute, Rainbow of Truth was created based on a study/report done by the Avellaka Program. It revealed that many LGBTQ/2SPIRIT people of local Southern California reservations chose to move away from home, seeking a supportive environment to live their truth. Most of those that stayed turned to drinking or drugs to cope with their sheltered lives on the reservation. The statistics showed that there were no support systems in place for people to come out safely or to turn to for support or assistance.
Rainbow of Truth’s goal is to establish support systems throughout all Native country. Having been on the verge of suicide multiple times, Tim aims to dismantle the beliefs imposed upon Natives by colonialism and to empower those who identify as 2Spirit/LGBTQ to love and support themselves and each other and for their overall Native family and community to do the same.
Rainbow of Truth participated in San Diego PRIDE Parade in 2018. This year, 2019, they were honored to lead the parade and were the first Native American contingent to hold that honor in the history of PRIDE. Tim is increasingly sought after to speak on panels and to attend conferences to help advance his crucial message and mission. Learn more at the Avellaka or Rainbow of Truth Facebook pages.
Please stop by the information booth for any accessibility assistance requests.
ASL interpreting at the Main Stage 11am-5pm