Being Amazing: 11-Year-Old Drag Kid Protests the NRA



Can you imagine being amazing? I’d love to be. Amazing things are the best:

The Amazing Spider-man.

Amazing Grace.

Captain Amazing in Mystery Men.


Perhaps you’ve heard of Desmond is Amazing — he’s been covered at RedState once before.

Otherwise known as Desmond Napoles, DIA is an 11-year-old drag queen from New York City.

As stated on his homepage, he’s come a long way:

“As a toddler and preschooler, he enjoyed playing dress up by taking bed sheets, towels, bubble wrap, his mother’s t-shirts, and anything else he could use to make his own outfits, dresses, and ‘wigs.’ He would endlessly clomp up and down the hallway in his mother’s high heels (and still does).

“At age six, Desmond expressed boundless joy when he received an Elsa costume from Disney’s movie Frozen for Halloween. After that, he often asked for princess costumes or dresses while out shopping. Soon, he often wanted to wear his dresses outside of the home.

“Desmond’s parents quickly and fortunately realized that the source of their uneasiness came not from Desmond’s personal choices, but from their own misgivings about how the outside world would react. It was as simple as defeating those feelings, accepting Desmond as he is, and respecting Desmond’s own tastes and preferences.”

Soon, life was a drag:

“[D]esmond also began to show an interest in performing in his own choice of outfits, often including dresses and wigs. His first big break came in 2014 when he was featured alongside the B-52’s lead singer, Fred Schneider, in RuPaul’s Drag Race season 5 winner Jinkx Monsoon’s music video for the song, ‘The Bacon Shake.’ This was Desmond’s first time playing a character in ‘drag’ and he loved it. It ignited a passion within him for entertaining others, as well as an understanding of how important it is for people of all ages to express themselves the way they want to.”


Incidentally, RuPaul is a very charismatic guy — intelligent, smart with his business, friendly, personable, and funny. And I like him.

Desmond likes him, too:

“Desmond’s personal drag style has evolved over the years. Currently, he is most influenced by the colorful club kids of 1990s NYC nightlife, RuPaul and the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the artists Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, the disco divas of the 1970s, fashion designers Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garçons, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Thierry Mugler, and Betsey Johnson, and the Blitz Kids of 1980’s London.”

According to Desmond’s site, he was an early bloomer:

“[D]esmond is an unapologetic and outspoken openly gay youth.  Around first grade, Desmond began having normal childhood crushes, not on girls, but on other boys.”

Being sure of who he is, D is fighting via #Pride activism:

“In June 2017, Desmond attended the memorial rally at the Stonewall National Monument in remembrance of the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting. Along with Studio 54 drag legend Dame Rollerena, he read several of the names of those who were killed. At the 2017 NYC Pride Rally, Desmond wrote and gave a speech about what Pride means to him.”

Mr. Amazing’s already rackin’ up awards:

“In July, he was the awarded the Marsha P. Johnson Don’t be Outraged, Be Outrageous Award – Marsha P. Johnson was a longtime activist for LGBT rights. … In his acceptance speech, Desmond thanked his mother, the House of UltraOmni, NYC Pride, and RuPaul.”


HuffPost LOVES Desmond is Amazing:

“As Pride month comes to a close, Desmond Is Amazing, the ten-year-old drag kid from New York, is proof that the future is queer. “

Here’s a reason for many to love him more: in addition to being a gay and “drag kid” advocate, Desmond enjoys anti-gun activism.

Here’s Desmond’s Facebook post from Wednesday:

“Back to School fashion show/protest to show how ridiculous our level of gun violence is with back to school fashions reflecting our culture. Never again. Gays Against Guns”

And also:

“Repost from Gays Against Guns – THANK YOU to Desmond is Amazing and Susan Sarandon for participating in and supporting today’s action! And a special thanks to ALL of the participants, student and otherwise, and the organizers!!! We had students doing a Back to School fashion show/protest to show how ridiculous our level of gun violence is with back to school fashions reflecting our culture.”

Desmond’s shirt points to considerable cultural change: The 11-year-old’s chest bears, “Just f***ing Vote.” A word once worthy of PMRC congressional hearings is now a term possibly sported by a 5th grader.


Here’s a description from the Gays Against Guns (GAG) website:

“Gays Against Guns NY is an inclusive direct action group of LGBTQ people and their allies committed to nonviolently breaking the gun industry’s chain of death—investors, manufacturers, the NRA and politicians who block safer gun laws. … GAG condemns white supremacy, all instances of excessive force by police, and police militarization.”

GAG further explains their distaste for guns:

“The epidemic of gun violence disproportionately affects LGBTQ people. Most gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides and LGBTQ people are overrepresented among suicide victims. LBG youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth, 40% of transgender adults have attempted suicide and 92% of them attempted suicide by age 25 (The Trevor Project). Suicide attempts with guns are overwhelmingly lethal (Harvard School of Public Health).”

On September 11th, Desmond took part in anti-gun group Change the Ref’s downtown “die-in” protest.

Times are changing, indeed. When I was 11, being “active” meant playing outside. Today, the younger generation accesses an entirely different world of activity. And activism.



AUTHOR’S NOTE: When this article originally published, I was experimenting with creative writing and testing the waters with an absurdist style. I was also discovering that I could cover the more colorful occurrences in the world. Desmond’s story happened to arise online amid that convergence.


Following my article’s publication, I was shocked to find that whoever managed Desmond’s Instagram account had written that the piece was meant to make him look foolish. This was very upsetting, as I would never intend to make fun of a child. The absurdity in my article was about the writing style itself, not about Desmond. I didn’t state any opinion about him; I stuck to factual information presented on his website.

As is the way of the internet, one media site wrote about the Instagram post, then others copied that write-up. They claimed I had attacked a child with a “homophobic” article. That was not the case, and I would never want anyone to think such a thing. Where possible, I commented on those article’s pages; I made clear that my piece had been mischaracterized, and that I would never mean to speak against a child in any way. I deeply regret any misunderstanding by anyone and any misstep on my part.

When possible, my articles are meant to tell colorful stories with a lightness of touch; never to cause harm. I have removed the absurdist language of my piece to prevent any further misinterpretation or miscommunication.


Thank you for reading! What do you make of all of this? Please sound off in the Comments section below.

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