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Child drag queen’s mother blasts conservative critics

Gay conservative writer Chadwick Moore blasted the performance

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Desmond Napoles ‘Desmond is Amazing’ (Screenshot via YouTube)

Child drag performer Desmond is Amazing received backlash for performing at a gay bar on a Saturday night but his mother is defending her decision to let him perform.

Desmond is Amazing, real name Desmond Napoles, is an 11-year-old self-proclaimed “drag kid” whose credits include appearing in Jinkx Monsoon’s music video “The Bacon Shake.” He was also honored with the Marsha P. Johnson Award during New York City Pride.

In December, Desmond is Amazing performed at the 3 Dollar Bill, a new gay bar in Brooklyn. Gay conservative writer Chadwick Moore penned a piece for Milo Yiannopoulos’ website Dangerous titled “10-Year-Old Boy Dances on Stage for Money at Adult Gay Bar in New York” criticizing the performance.

“Photos of the event show Desmond in a blond wig, makeup, and crop top collecting monetary tips from adult men in the audience, like a stripper, as other half naked adult drag queens, some in panties and fishnet stockings, stood on stage nearby,” Moore writes.

Wendy Napoles, Desmond’s mother, responded to the story on Instagram calling Moore’s interpretation of her son’s performance “homophobic.”

“Hi, it’s mom. 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 THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN BLATANT HOMOPHOBIA and display of the grossly outdated belief that gay men are pedophiles,” she writes.

She went on to say that there was nothing sexual about his performance.

“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,” Wendy writes.”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.

“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 concluded.

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Hi, it's mom. 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 display of the grossly outdated belief that gay men are pedophiles. 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 Dept of Labor's regulations for child performers. 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 3 numbers. The venue took measures to make sure it would be age appropriate and audience members that attended were respectful and in good conduct. The performance was promoted and anyone who did not wish to see a drag kid perform in a club did not have to attend. No one forced you to go. 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.

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PHOTOS: New Year Still Queer

The Washington Blade holds appreciation happy hour at Pitchers

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The Washington Blade held the 'New Year Still Queer' party at Pitchers DC on Friday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Blade held a New Year Still Queer appreciation happy hour at Pitchers DC on Friday, January 27.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Books

A balanced look at whether to have children

New book, ‘So When are You Having Kids?’ makes no judgments

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(Book cover image courtesy of Macmillan)

So When are You Having Kids?
By Jordan Davidson
c.2022, Sounds True, Macmillan
$28.99/356 pages

Your mother lingers way too long in the children’s department.

She sighs over tiny suits and little sneakers, running her fingers along soft blankets, hugging plush animals. You know what she wants but you’re not ready; she might be sure but you’re not. Maybe baby for you or, with the new book “So When are You Having Kids?” by Jordan Davidson, maybe not.

It’s the thorniest of decisions, “one of the biggest you’ll ever make.” It’s personal, but even strangers want to know; the questions start in your 20s and end when you’ve acquiesced or aged, although having kids is not a given or a thing-by-committee. So how do you quiet the busybodies and make the right decision for yourself?

First, says Davidson, ask yourself if you even want children, and after you’ve looked inward, “it’s worth looking outward” at expectations, culture, and things that “shape our understanding of parenthood.” Ask around, to see why others had children but don’t be surprised if you get cliches. Throw out the idea that children fulfill you or that they’ll take care of you when you’re old. Know that genetics, religion, and your parents’ parenting styles will affect you; and that if you’re queer or Black, there’ll be other factors involved in having and raising a child.

Should you decide to the positive, you may still have reservations.

Don’t give in to the romance of having kids; it’s hard work, and expensive in both money and time. Remember that perceptions of good parenting have “shifted over time” and that having a childhood exactly like yours probably won’t be an option for your kids. If you have a partner, communicate your thoughts, hopes, and divisions of household labor and childcare.

Finally, decide how you’re going to become a parent. Will you give birth, choose IVF, adopt, foster, or kick the decision down the road?

Says Davidson, the mere ability to ask these questions and decide “is in many ways a privilege.”

Chances are that if you hear a screaming baby, you have one of two reactions: you cringe and look for an exit, or you notice and shrug. Either way, “So When are You Having Kids?” is a book for you.

There are many, many parenting books on miles of shelves, and a number of books on being childless, but author Jordan Davidson pulls the two subjects together here with thoughtfulness, candor, inclusiveness, and a refreshing lack of judgment. This is a book that doesn’t promise answers, though: it’s meant to give readers – whether they want kids, don’t, or are ambivalent – an in-one-place, balanced look at myths, truths, pros, cons, and rarely-considered points for an informed decision. It also, perhaps most importantly, offers comforting reminders that there is no right or wrong, no matter what Mom says.

“So When are You Having Kids?” is like having a big sister to bounce ideas with, or a break-out session in your living room. It’s like asking Baby Maybe questions you didn’t know you had. It’s help when you need it in that department.

The Blade may receive commissions from qualifying purchases made via this post.

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PHOTOS: SMYAL for the New Year

LGBTQ youth services organization holds fundraiser at Red Bear Brewing

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Host Justin Peligri welcomes patrons to the SMYAL for the New Year fundraiser on Thursday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The SMYAL Young Donors Committee held a fundraiser for the LGBTQ youth services organization Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL) at Red Bear Brewing Company on Thursday, Jan. 26.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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