ASH’S STORY WAS PRINTED IN ‘THE SUN’ AND ‘DAILY STAR’ AND ALSO MADE A NUMBER OF NEWS WEBSITES.
Ash, 48, had been a teacher for 13 years when, last August, he took voluntary redundancy.
Fed up with the politics of education and being an ever-professional, he decided to do something completely different – and become a DRAG QUEEN!
Ash said: “I’d been obsessive about drag and performance for a couple of years, but when I got made redundant decided to take it up a notch.
“I started going out to the clubs and watching other acts and slowly built a character for myself.”
Determined to make a career out of his obsession, Ash has spent £10,000 in the last year on equipment and morphing his grotty garage into a studio and make-up room.
He even employs a dress maker to put together his outfits, which so far have cost around £500 each.
And with everything in place, the fabulous Kitty Tray was born.
“She’s not into glitzy diamonds and anything too show-off. She’s got an expensive taste. She’s more into English couture,” Ash explained.
Kitty has her sights on being a mainstream entertainer like Lilly Savage and has been gigging away throughout recent months in order to build her reputation.
As Kitty, Ash enjoys a bit of banter and sings 80s songs. She has performed in local theatres, pubs and clubs and recently clinched the crown in a drag competition.
Kitty has also performed to slightly slower applause in an old people’s home.
At the moment, Ash is supported by his partner of 29 years, 51-year-old accountant Ian.
He also spends his spare time working as a freelance photographer, and drag artists are his favourite subjects.
But being a popular, mainstream performer is his biggest dream, and one he is determined to achieve.
Ash said: “I don’t just want to be in the gay clubs. I get a good reaction from everyone and like the idea of exposing everyone to some fun, drag entertainment.
“My interest in drag and dressing up has always been in me, but it was locked away during my time as a teacher. I was a professional.
“I used to dress up as a kid. My mum used to love it, encourage it. Whenever there was an opportunity to dress up I’d do so flamboyantly. I think it was Boy George and Dead or Alive characters as they were the only ones on TV at the time.
“I remember clomping down the stairs in heels as a kid, too, and would do my sister’s make-up when she was old enough. She looked hideous. I’ve got the hang of it now, though, but it still takes nearly three hours to do my make-up.”