Darius’ story starts with a little boy, a big personality and even bigger hair. He is a native of Paris, Texas, the second largest city of Paris in the world. He grew up as an only child with a Army veteran single mom, hard-working aunt and a lovable church-attending grandparents.

His grandpa was a pig and cattle farmer and lucky for Darius he didn’t follow in the family business. A pair of Louboutins doesn’t do well in pasture mud.  Darius spent his childhood singing in the church choir, playing Atari and tracing dresses from the bridal section of his granny’s JCPenney catalog.

Darius wasn’t openly gay in high school. He was the first male cheerleader since 1968 (back when they were called Yell Leaders), went to senior prom with his best friend and dressed in drag to get A’s on his creative English projects. Darius graduated high school, found his identity as a gay man, studied abroad for a year in Madrid, worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, fell in love, out of love and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.

Darius worked hard to fulfill his dreams and the evening before a performance for a charity event he learned that one of the drag queens had backed out. With the help of his drag sisters he hit the stage. Shangela was born. Five months after performing in her first show, she was cast on season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race! She quit her job and set off to become the next drag superstar. Unfortunately, she was sent sashaying away after only the first episode. She was left jobless in the middle of a recession and unsure about what to do next.

Shangela didn’t give up! She has been on the move since the show and has had guest star roles on the FX series Terriers and ABC drama Detroit 187. She has performed a variety of comedy shows and appeared in the short film, Body of a Barbie on BET. In 2010 Shangela took home the crown for California Entertainer of the Year. Shangela was brought back to RuPaul’s Drag Race for season three and proved that she is fierce competition!

“You never know where life can take you, but do what feels right and makes you happy. Stay positive, hold tight to good friends and always follow your dreams!”




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Divas of Diversity with Shangela was fabulous and everyone loved it! It was an incredible event, both entertaining and empowering, and the audience had a wonderful time!

Chelsea Mandel
Secretary – Programing Board
Dartmouth College

I cannot express enough what an absolute delight Shangela was to work with. She was very low maintenance and my students absolutely loved her. Her interaction with the students and willingness to speak with them on an individual level was so great and will have them talking for a long time. We can’t wait to work with Hope’s Voice again.

Alicia Bates – Coordinator of Student Activities
Johnson & Wales University

The Divas put on an amazing performance that had everyone talking. Throughout the entire show, the divas showed tons of energy and kept the crowd wanting more. It was one of the most inspirational and memorable performances we’ve had at UMASS. I could have not asked for a better event thank you so much for all your patience and hard work.

Aimee Wong
University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Shangela presented an outstanding program! She was articulate, dynamic and engaging. Every evaluation came back positive. She also was great with the students! She answered questions and made each person feel valued. You will not be disappointed!

Anna Berg
University of Nebraska Omaha

Shangela was amazing! She gave a memorable performance and was extremely approachable and genuine with our students. Shangela was a great artist to work with and went above and beyond our expectations. This was definitely a memorable experience for our campus community.

Vincent E. Vigil
Director, LGBT Resource Center
University of Southern California


Lifework LogoLifeWorks, a mentoring program at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, offers a one on one, peer and group mentoring opportunities for LGBTQ youth. LifeWorks inspires their goals and dreams with a safe space, positive and affirming role models, workshops and activities that are fun and educational.

Hope's Voice will donate to the speaker's chosen CHARITY OF CHOICE for each program booked.

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