Dayton drag queen fights to follow RuPaul as ‘America’s Next Drag Superstar’

“I am confident,” Ferrah, whose real name is Shane Richardson, said with a smile. “I don’t like drama, but drama is drawn to me.”

Raised in Roanoke, Va., Ferrah has lived in Dayton more than two years and works full time as a drag performer and costume designer.

A major fan of the big-haired Peggy Bundy from “Married with Children,” Ferrah she was overjoyed on learning she’d be on “Drag Race,” which premieres at 10:30 p.m. Monday.

“I hopped up and down and my husband hugged me. Then I started to fasten my seat belt,” she said.

Competition was fierce, and she brought seven suitcases to the taping of the show in June.

On RuPaul’s show, contestants vie for the title “America’s Next Drag Superstar” and $75,000 by competing in various challenges.

The two who score the worst each week must compete in a lip-sync contest.

“I hope this will be a major step in my career. I want to take it to the highest level,” Ferrah said.

She couldn’t reveal how well she did on the show, but says some competitors bring out the catty claws and she did the Miami Valley proud.

At 23, Ferrah is the youngest to compete on the popular show this season. But that doesn’t mean she lacks experience.

“I’ve been doing drag ever since I popped out of my momma’s womb,” said Ferrah.

She first put on a dress and makeup at age 12 and began sewing at 14.

Ferrah said she loves the transformation from Shane to India. Her glamour is far from understated.

“I love jewelry and I have pounds of it on,” she said. “Makeup can change everything. Not only how you look, but how you feel.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2384 or arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com.

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