Desmond Napoles

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Desmond Napoles
BornJune 2007 (age 11)
ResidenceNew York City
NationalityAmerican
Known forDrag performance
Parent(s)Andrew and Wendy Napoles[1]
Websitedesmondisamazing.com

Desmond ("Desi") Napoles[2] (born June 2007) is a child drag performer[3][4] known under the name Desmond Is Amazing.[5][6][7]

Background[edit]

Desmond Napoles was born in June 2007 in Manhattan, New York City.[8] He gained gained popularity as a child drag performer in 2017 following his public performances. Napoles's status as a child LGBT celebrity was further developed on social media with the announcement of an Instagram page titled "Haus of Amazing" which was featured in the media as "the first drag club" for children and young adults under the age of 20.[9] Napoles has been named the youngest member of the performance group "Iconic House of Ultra Omni" (founded by Kevin Burrus).[10][11]

Napoles identifies as gay and states that he has been out since a very early age.[12] Napoles's parents stated that at the age of two or three, they understood that he was "likely gay" and they exposed him to a variety of gay culture, including showing him drag performances and taking him to pride parades. Napoles's parents stated that he was "openly gay" when he entered kindergarten.[1] Napoles's mother reports that he began gravitating towards drag performances when he was two and watched RuPaul's Drag Race.[13] According to Napoles' parents, Napoles is on the autism spectrum and his drag activity helps him relieve symptoms of autism disorder.[14]

Napoles's status as a child drag performer has drawn criticism from conservative circles,[15][16] particularly following his drag performance at age 8 during the 2015 NYC Pride Parade,[2] and for the perceived sexualization of a child.[14] Napoles and his parents were defended by Rutgers University professor Michael LaSala, who rejected the notion that the performances were due to parental influence. LaSala stated that children at that age were unlikely to act contrary to social norms simply due to parental instruction.[17]

Researchers have stated that norms regarding gender and sex can be seen as constructed by institutions from which individuals participate from birth but Napoles's behavior actively subverts those norms. Additionally, they attribute Napoles's rise as a child LGBT celebrity as being influenced by the rise of digital culture and online mobilization.[14]

Drag performances[edit]

Desmond's drag performances include:

Awards[edit]

In 2017, Desmond was awarded the Marsha P. Johnson Award from Heritage of Pride.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "How Desmond Is Amazing's Parents Raise A Happy Young Drag Queen - Fatherly". www.fatherly.com.
  2. ^ a b "Mom Shuts Down Haters of Her 8-year-old's Gay Pride March". Parenting. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  3. ^ "Desmond is Amazing: The Drag Kid That's Taking Over". Out.com. 2018-07-24. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  4. ^ a b Cliff, Aimee (2018-05-14). "Desmond is Amazing: The fabulous 10-year-old 'drag kid'". Dazed. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  5. ^ Levy, Lauren (March 2018). "This 10-Year-Old Drag Performer Is Cooler Than You". The Cut. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  6. ^ "How This 'Fierce' 10-Year-Old Uses Drag As A Form Of Expression". HuffPost. 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  7. ^ "Who is Desmond Is Amazing? Meet him here". msn. 2018-03-14. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  8. ^ "So, why is Desmond AMAZING?". Desmond is Amazing (official website). Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  9. ^ Barr, Sabrina (2018-01-03). "Ten-year-old boy creates first ever drag club for kids". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  10. ^ a b Petrarca, Emilia (2018-02-12). "Meet the Fabulous 10-Year-Old 'Drag Kid' Walking at Fashion Week". The Cut. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  11. ^ Katz, Evan Ross (2018-02-26). "Desmond Is Amazing takes us backstage at the Blonds' New York Fashion Week show". Mic. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  12. ^ Hilton, Dresden (2017-10-11). "10-Year-Old Drag Superstar Desmond Napoles & His Mom Talk Coming Out". Out. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  13. ^ "10-year-old drag kid's mom: 'Love your child unconditionally'". ABC7 New York. 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  14. ^ a b c d da Rosa, Cristiano Eduardo; Felipe, Jane (2018). "Digital Culture and Childhood: Articulations among Children, Drag Queens and Education". TEXTURA - Revista de Educação e Letras (in Portuguese). 20 (44): 190–209. doi:10.17648/textura-2358-0801-20-44-4541.
  15. ^ Beresford, Meka (2018-03-14). "NYC Pride accused of being a 'celebration of paedophilia' for putting 10-year-old 'drag kid' in campaign". Pink news. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  16. ^ Perslo, Sophia Lotto (2018-08-14). "Conservative blog tries to shame 11-year-old drag kid, but his response is pure class". Pink news. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  17. ^ Greenfield, Beth (2015-07-01). "Mom of 8-Year-Old Gay Pride Marcher Responds to Critics". www.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2019-01-02.
  18. ^ Frank, Alex (2018-02-18). "Meet the 10-Year-Old Drag Prodigy Who Just Stole the Show at Gypsy Sport". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  19. ^ Reslen, Eileen (2018-02-13). "A 10-Year-Old "Drag Kid" Just Stole the Show at New York Fashion Week". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  20. ^ Graeber, Laurel (2018-07-07). "7 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend". New York TImes. Retrieved 2019-01-02.