January 10, 2019 at 3:08 pm EST | by Mariah Cooper
Child drag queen’s mother blasts conservative critics
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 THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN BLATANT HOMOPHOBIA and display of the grossly outdated belief that gay men are pedophiles,” she writes.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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