When we think of a drag queen, we're thinking of adults, but there is one kid who is proving that we can be totally fabulous at any age. Desmond Napoles is a drag kid who is making headlines and inspiring many.
Parents always want the best for their children, and even though we may all live in different places or have different lifestyles, that is something that every mom and dad has in common. They want them to be on a good path, follow their hearts, and go after whatever dreams they feel are the right ones.
Sometimes a parent's dream for a child doesn't quite work out, like wanting them to become a doctor but their child tells them that they would rather become an artist or writer. Other times, children take over the family business and, therefore, follow in their family's footsteps.
If we want our children to be happy and also enjoy their childhood, we have to allow them to be themselves. We can't stifle their personality or tell them that it's wrong. Here are 20 things that you should know about drag kid, Desmond Napoles. He will inspire each and every one of us to live our best selves!
20 So Young
We know that Desmond is a drag kid, so how old is he?
He is very young: according to Cnbc.com, he's 11 years old. It is truly amazing to see him following his heart, doing what he loves. It's inspiring to see a child who is so courageous. He is beloved and so many people love to see what he's going to post on social media next or what he's going to wear! He may only be 11 years old but he's definitely making a massive impact, and we can't wait to see where this takes him next.
19 An Amazing Stage Name
As Abc 7 News reported, Desmond's stage name is "Desmond Is Amazing" (which is also without spaces sometimes). And guess what? He really is amazing!
His stage name is also the same name as his Instagram account, which has 93.6-thousand followers (as of this post). He posts on a regular basis and it's a great place to follow along his journey (and his fabulous outfits).
In a recent post, his caption read, "Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something because of your age, gender, race, level of education, identity, orientation, financial situation, or disabilities/abilities." See? Amazing.
18 His Birthday
Birthdays are a big deal for any kid. We like stretching it out into a birthday week if we can; full of fun times and good food (and cake. Lots of cake). If our birthday has special meaning or significance, it's even better.
According to Abc 7 News, Desmond was born in June of 2007 and he was actually born during Pride Week in New York City. Because of this he says he "is a member of the Village People by default." Desmond cares deeply about his community and it's really sweet to see someone so young be so passionate.
17 The Beginning
How did Desmond get started? It's a pretty amazing story (no pun intended). And it all starts with RuPaul. Many of us have become obsessed with watching RuPaul's Drag Race. And if you haven't seen it, you probably have at least one friend who tells you again and again that they absolutely love it. It's only grown in popularity.
According to Cnbc.com, in 2014, Desmond danced in a music video called "The Bacon Shake" with Jinkx Monsoon who won RuPaul's Drag Race. Talk about a really inspiring way to get your start!
16 An Awesome Kid
While older people are called drag queens, Desmond likes being called a "drag kid."
As Abc News 7 reported, "Desmond prefers to be called a 'drag kid,' rather than a 'drag queen,' although he is accepting of the fact that the media almost exclusively refers to him as a '10-year old drag queen.' He believes that the term 'queen' should be reserved for adult drag performers."
Desmond has a beautiful way with words as well. In a recent Instagram caption, he wrote, "I feel really lucky and am so happy that my hobby (drag) and hard work has gotten me to this point. I love being able to inspire you with my art and my voice. I am so excited."
15 Toddler Times
When he was a toddler, Desmond would wear sheets and bubble wrap. He would also wear t-shirts that belonged to his mom. Abc 7 News reported, "From early on, Desmond said that he is a boy who enjoys dressing up as a girl."
It's clear that he wanted to express himself and be creative even from that super young age. Parents should always encourage artistic expression.
Abc 7 News also reported that Desmond's mom and dad had "misgivings about how the outside world would react" but "It was as simple as defeating those feelings, accepting Desmond as he is, and respecting Desmond's own tastes and preferences."
14 Going Viral
So many videos go viral these days — particularly videos of kids. After all, children are so cute, and who doesn't want to see them being adorable or saying something totally hilarious?
According to Cnbc.com, Desmond was "voguing" in the 2015 Pride Parade in New York City and it became a viral video.
This caught the eye of many and he received a lot of positive feedback and praise. He was the subject of an article on The Cut whose headline reads, "Desmond Is Amazing Is Cooler Than You" (and that's definitely something that we can all agree on, right?!).
13 A Mother's Love
How does his family feel? It's a positive story for sure. Desmond's mom is very supportive and loving and it's really sweet and inspiring to see. As she told Abc 13, "If you can love your child unconditionally like you should, then there isn't a problem."
It's wonderful to hear this and to see a family who is encouraging their child's creative expression. They want him to be who he is and feel comfortable and happy. This is exactly what we all want for ourselves, too, and we want others to support us in our endeavors, particularly when they are artistic in nature.
12 A Good Example
As we can tell from a Fatherly story on Desmond and his family, they are truly inspiring.
His parents have been compassionate from the very start. They are a true example to other parents.
What is great about his mom and dad is that they admitted that at the beginning of this journey, they wondered what other people would say and think. But they came to the conclusion that they have to do what is best for their child. And that this is the right thing for all of them to be happy.
11 His Inspiration
Pop culture is a huge inspiration for many of us, and that's also the case with Desmond. It might not be surprising to learn that Desmond's inspiration is none other than RuPaul and the reality show that so many people have become addicted to watching. He was taken with the drag queens right away and knew that was something that he wanted in his life.
As he told Abc 13, "When I saw the first episode of RuPaul's 'Drag Race' season 1, I saw these queens. And they were so amazing that I decided I would take my mom's clothes, shoes, towels, wrap them around myself to make pretend."
10 His Backstory
When something is going on in your family and you're honest about not being sure how to handle it at first, it's always a good idea to talk to someone. That could be a friend, another family member, or it could also be a therapist.
According to Abc 13, Desmond and his mom went to go see a therapist, and they said that being supportive of Desmond wanting to be a drag kid was the best thing to do. Forcing our children to be someone we want them to be instead of who they are is only going to make for one unhappy child.
9 The Best Advice Ever
We are always being told that we should be who we are, whether we're talking to our best friend, our mom, a fellow friend, or are reading a magazine. We know that this is something that we should always be doing... and yet there are times when it's hard. We wonder if people would like us better if we acted a different way. We can't help it, society can be hard.
We should totally take a page from Desmond and always be ourselves, though. According to Cnbc, Desmond's motto is "be yourself always, no matter what." He definitely inspires us all and we know that he will continue to do so.
8 That's So Cool
We know that Desmond loves RuPaul since he was featured in one of the show's winning contestants videos, but how does RuPaul feel about him? As we can probably guess, he thinks that he is just as incredible as the rest of us do.
According to Vogue, RuPaul called Desmond "the future of America."
That is such a big thing to hear from THE RuPaul! "You should always be yourself, always, no matter what anybody tells you" is one thing that Desmond says often, according to The Daily Beast, and it's hard not to love that motto. We could all remember that.
7 Big Dreams
As Ny1 reported, Desmond is an LGBTQ activist and cares about people being who they are and being loved. He said, "My motto is be yourself always no matter what anyone said. Pay the haters no mind! Because they’ll never be as fierce as you and I."
We should all adopt that motto. It will come in handy through life for both our children and for ourselves. Sometimes all you need is a reminder that you are awesome just the way you are. When you're having a bad day, think about how fierce Desmond is and follow suit!
6 Painting His Face
There are so many incredible photos of Desmond in drag. He always has a face full of makeup on, which is impressive for a young kid. If any of us are into makeup, you might be wondering what products he enjoys or what type of makeup he really adores.
According to Vogue, Desmond really loves face paint. He told the magazine that it's "because it doesn’t come off until, like 10 hours [later], and I like how you can turn your face into art.” That's such a beautiful sentiment. It's awesome to hear a child talk about art in this way.
5 Doing Lots Of Good
According to Abc 7 News, Desmond has a drag house called the Haus of Amazing which is for drag youth. It's completely original and no one has done this before. He started it in October 2017.
This is yet another reason why Desmond is super cool and so inspiring. He may only be 11 years old but he wants to help others already, and that's something that we can all get behind.
The Instagram account bio for Haus of Amazing reads, "THE 1ST & ONLY DRAG HOUSE FOR DRAG KIDS. A positive & safe place for kids who do AMAZING drag" (with lots of emojis in between the words, of course).
4 Thinking Ahead
We know that bullying is an unfortunate reality for many children, whether they dress in drag or not.
As Fatherly reported, Desmond's parents thought that he would experience bullying at school, so they thought ahead. His mom told the publication, “When he first started school, we worked with the principal to come up with some anti-bullying policies. We would go to the teacher meetings at the beginning of the year to let them know that he might get bullied because he’s a little bit different from the other kids."
They are seriously such amazing parents to be so forthcoming and on top of their child's needs.
3 Fan Page
In this day and age, if someone is a public personality or figure, it's not a question of whether or not they have social media. It's a question of what their fan page is called or what name they go by for Instagram or Twitter.
Desmond has a fan page on Facebook called "Desmond Is Amazing." Back in March 2018 when The Cut wrote a sweet and positive story about Desmond, they said that he had 36,000 Instagram follows. Well, that has definitely changed: now he has almost 100,000, which is amazing for someone so young.
2 Haters Gonna Hate
Of course when someone is being themselves, like Desmond is, there are going to be negative comments. More than a few mean people are going to come to the surface. It comes with the territory and since he is a child who is dressing in drag, it does make sense that this would happen.
As Abc 13 reported, Desmond receives mean comments all of the time, and his mom screens them all. She said, "We have a constant flow of hate in our lives, there isn't a day without it. We just block, delete, repeat. But just seeing those comments, it really does wear on you."
1 The Future
What is the future for Desmond Napoles? As we can tell from how amazing he is, he has a really bright one.
A story on Fatherly noted that if this becomes more of a job for him, his mom is going to manage it. She said that she would be his “dragager."
In the story on The Cut, Desmond was talking to the Children's Museum of the Arts community program director about ideas for the Pride Cultural Festival. When the director asked him how he has become so strong, Desmond said, "From my fabulousness."
We can't wait to see all of the fabulous things that he does next.