I have a 2 year old son, and although I can hear his ten year old self screaming at me to stop, I’ll tell you: sometimes, he likes to wear his mother’s shoes AND the other day, he was in the bathroom playing with my wife’s makeup.
My son’s 10 year old self, however, I think is pleased that my wife and I are drawing no conclusions from these activities. We know that he’s a normal boy mimicking the actions of a key character in his life. (His ten year old self also wants me to tell you that he’s into lots of typical boy activities too.)
Ten year old Desmond Napoles cannot say the same thing for his mother.
From the Independent: “Desmond Napoles is a 10-year-old self-professed 'drag kid' from Brooklyn. Ever since Napoles was a baby, he would wrap his mother’s towels around his body, don her heels and unleash his inner sass by strutting around the house.
Napoles says he realised he was gay at a young age when he started developing crushes on boys.
At first, Napoles’ mother Wendylou thought her son may be transgender due to his affinity for feminine clothing.
‘When we was younger, we thought that maybe he was trans because of his strong preference for girls’ toys and wearing girls’ clothes,’ she told Out.
Napoles, known on social media as Desmond is Amazing, was first spotted by the masses wearing an extravagant rainbow-coloured outfit while dancing flamboyantly at the New York Pride Parade in 2015 in a video that circulated the web.
He has since become an icon within the LGBTQ community, with more than 15,000 followers on Instagram following his every fabulous move. “
So, Desmond has been dressing in drag and receiving massive amounts of attention for it at least since he was 8.
In a Facebook comment in reaction to backlash from that 2015 video, the mother said this: “This boy was always very feminine from day one and instead of denying it or condemning it, we embraced it. We did not need to encourage it, it was always there. He just needed the love and reassurance that he has a place in this world, as does any child.”
And by embracing it, she means that she started an Instagram account where each picture draws around 500 to a thousand likes. One of the most popular posts, though, shows the young boy in a dress being interviewed and the interviewer asks a question burning in the minds of every serious thinker talking to a ten year old: “Do you think people should be talking about Donald Trump at the holiday dinner table.” Desmond thinks its fine as long as you’re not saying anything good about him, by the way.
That video hit three thousand likes on Instagram.
Desmond isn’t making the news for being a ten year old in a Pride Parade, however, he’s making the news for starting the first ever children’s “drag club.”
The article goes on to report that the drag kids club, “’Haus of Amazing’ was officially announced on Instagram in October, with Napoles explaining in the caption that they’re on a mission to create a ’positive, encouraging, and safe online community for all drag kids to connect with one another.’”
Let’s take note of something.
10 year old Desmond is not administrating his own instagram page; he’s certainly not creating and paying for the website about him; and he’s not coming up with fancy German spellings for the club he dreamed up.
His mother is doing a little more than embracing it - she’s building a business out of it!
Not withstanding all of the boy’s desire to be “positive and encouraging,” Desmond’s story is a tragedy!
Statistically speaking, it is quite likely that Desmond will have a change of either heart or hormones within the next 10 years.
A former transgender himself, Walt Heyer has spoken extensively to this subject. From an article he wrote for the Federalist, “Studies have shown that childhood gender dysphoria does not inevitably continue into adulthood. An overwhelming 77 to 94 percent of gender dysphoric children do not become adults with gender dysphoria.”
But if Desmond ever desires to live a normal, quiet life, all of this publicity and the attention sought by his mother/manager will have sealed off that possibility. He will struggle to ever be anything but the cross dressing kid.
I can only imagine the loneliness he will go through when he stops being either of those things: a cross dresser or a kid. When Desmond grows up, his shtick is up, and he’s just another guy dressed in drag that the average human being will feel awkward around. Should he desire to give up cross dressing, he will feel the rejection of the hundreds of fans who only loved him because he affirmed their own confusion.
The greatest tragedy, though, is that in Desmond’s mother’s desire to affirm that Desmond is Amazing, she’s denying what it is that makes him amazing. God created Desmond in His own image, and that is truly amazing! Little Desmond’s desire to distance himself from the way that God made him and his mother’s decision to cement his identity in that desire is the true tragedy.
It is our prayer that anyone who faces the struggles and confusion that Desmond does, young or old, would find peace and wholeness in Christ.
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