The mother of an 11-year-old drag queen defended her son after an article claimed he was ‘being exploited and forced to perform’ at gay bars.
Wendy Napoles defended her son Desmond, who performs as his drag alter-ego Desmond is Amazing.
‘Hi, it’s mom,’ Wendy wrote on both Facebook and Instagram last night (4 January). ‘I can’t believe I have to type this.
‘Articles have been coming out claiming that my son danced half naked and stripped in a sleazy gay bar for grown men who threw dollars at him and is being exploited and forced to perform.
‘THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN BLATANT HOMOPHOBIA and [a] display of the grossly outdated belief that gay men are pedophiles,’ she wrote.
Wendy then continued: ‘The truth is, Desmond is a professional drag performer. No one forces him to perform, performing is what he loves to do and has always loved to do.
‘He was a ballet dancer for four years and is currently earning an A+ grade in drama at his school. He is extremely talented in his celebrity and character impersonations.
‘His costumes are less revealing than a dancer’s or cheerleader’s uniform, and are always age appropriate. While he dances, he does not move in a sexual manner.
‘He often collects tips, as drag queens sometimes do, which we allow him to keep and he uses to buy clothing and the toy trains he wants.
‘His engagements are contracted and booked by his management agency. All of his performances are conducted in accordance with the Department of Labor’s regulations for child performers,’ she wrote.
Mom of drag queen: ‘Drag is changing’
Wendy then continued: ‘Desmond is never allowed into the bar area of any club, nor the main floor. He stays backstage with me, in the dressing room, or on stage only. It must be noted, however, that it is not illegal in NYC for a minor to be in an establishment that serves alcohol as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
‘Desmond was the sole performer for the event at the center of this controversy and he performed three numbers. The venue took measures to make sure it would be age appropriate and audience members that attended were respectful and in good conduct.
‘I know a lot of drag fans/drag queens do not want to see kids in what they consider an adult form of entertainment or venue, but drag is changing and becoming more widespread and popular with people of all ages, genders, identities, races, abilities, and disabilities.
‘Instead of tearing drag kids down, why not mentor them? They are the future of drag,’ she wrote.
Read the full post on Facebook.
Desmond is Amazing under fire
It’s not the first time Desmond has come under fire for his drag.
Right wing site Red State wrote a piece about him in September, criticizing his drag and his activism.
‘In addition to his busy schedule as a gay and “drag kid” activist, amazing Desmond’s moved into anti-gun radicalism,’ wrote Alex Parker.
‘That’s right—sometimes it isn’t enough to slap on some rouge, top yourself with a daffodil wig, and pull on a pleather polka-dotted sequined v-neck tapered blousy netted metallic backless cocktail dress; sometimes ya gotta rage against the 2nd Amendment,’ Parker wrote.
Luckily, Desmond had no time for the crude attempt at humiliation.
In an Instagram post, Desmond savagely took down Parker and his article.
Desmond wrote: ‘If you want to see what a sad bunch of adults who have nothing better to do than bully a child, call them names, and make up sexual scenarios about them, looks like, copy and paste the link below into your browser. But I wouldn’t recommend it… No need to give them any needed ad revenue.’
He’s been living his best life recently, including performing at the revived Wigstock over Labor Day weekend.