Embracing Queer Children

Embracing Queer Children

 © Felicia McGowan

© Felicia McGowan

By Brigid Kapuvari

 

There once was a time when convention was law. People thought that certain traditions concerning gender and sexual identity needed to be upheld because, until recently, that had been the norm. If a boy was drawn to extravagant outfits and liked to apply make-up, he would be labeled as weird. If a girl preferred to rough it outdoors more than engage with dolls, her feminine potential might be questioned. The world was more black and white with little room for divergence unless one wanted confrontation.

 
There’s a responsibility to let all children feel comfortable to find themselves and be themselves in their own time, and not leave them feeling like freaks or worse.
— Joe Glass, author of comic book, “The Pride”
 
To the parents of LGBTQ kids: Your child did not choose to be LGBTQ, but did choose to be honest with you about it. Creating a welcoming and safe environment will allow them the opportunity to grow into their true authentic self.
— Dr. Ron Holt, Psychiatrist, drronholt.com
 © Felicia McGowan

© Felicia McGowan

Fortunately, over the last few decades, the disdain for the queer community has begun to subside. Starting with the Stonewall riots in 1969, June is now recognized as a Pride Month, presenting queer individuals an opportunity to raise their voices. Furthermore, the LGBT+ rights movement is gaining more publicity through parades in addition to a myriad of famous icons coming out. At this point in time, there are more means for insight and activism which combined with advocacy for acceptance, serve as an indication of hope. An era in which grants the LGBT community the right to be themselves without reprimand is nearing – just ask Desmond Napoles.

 
Major cities have a multitude of LGBTQ+ centers to receive services at minimal costs and with the utmost of confidentiality. If you don’t live in a city with these resources, the online community of LGBTQ+ individuals is large and open to helping others.
— Tony Ortega, Psy. D., Ortega Psychology, PLLC, www.drtonyortega.com
 
Thanks to gender studies, such topics are being treated in mainstream media, which helps families and relatives to understand, learn and accept their children as they are.
— Tiago Fioravante, Brazilian journalist, @QueerChildhood
 © Felicia McGowan

© Felicia McGowan

Desmond is a 10-year old “drag kid” who’s been out and proud since the age of three. This little superstar has taken social media by storm, serving as an activist for the LGBT+ community, promoting self-love among people of all ages. His motto – “Be yourself always, no matter what anyone else says” – has resonated throughout the queer community.

 
Stay true to your beautiful, beautiful self. You are loved and important and you deserve to be proud.
— Sydney Martinex, @sydsaurus
 
My advice, especially for young kids trying to figure themselves out in this crazy world, is to be kind to yourself.
— Hannah Woycik, book blogger, www.hannahwoycik.com
 
Be yourself always, no matter what anyone says. Express yourself how ever you want. Anyone can express themselves no matter what age, race, gender, identity, orientation, or ability. Just pay the haters no mind because they will never be as fierce as you. You are all amazing.
— Desmond Napoles, “Desmond Is Amazing,” www.desmondisamazing.com
 © Parker Day

© Parker Day

Since the moment Desmond was first inspired by RuPaul to dress up in colorful, eccentric clothing, his parents were nothing less than encouraging. When inquired about giving children permission to act a certain way, Andrew Napoles, Desmond’s father, said, “If we tried to stop them, it wouldn’t work. They’ll find a way to do it.” And accompanied by his parents, Desmond is determined to shape a world that’s shamelessly expressive.

 
If I could, I’d give my young self a bear hug and say, “Don’t cry little one because one day you’ll be a strong, fierce light for others.” And maybe that was God’s plan all along.
— Robert von Repta Caro, www.BroBearBlog.com
 
I remember being 13, begging god to not make me gay, and horrified at the realization that I liked men. I’m now 31, and I couldn’t be happier that I’m gay.
— Matteo Lane, Comedian, www.matteolanecomedy.com
 © Parker Day

© Parker Day

Desmond proves that the greatest thing that one can do for one’s self is live as one wants. Satiate your curiosities. Follow your heart. Be the person you are deep down. It’s not only rejuvenating; it heals the soul. Just as RuPaul believes Desmond is “the future of America,” unapologetic queer children are the instigators of a new age.

 
LGBT youth are pushing for acceptance and support from parents, teachers, and religious leaders – for the older generations to rethink everything we know about gender. Our world is becoming a better place because LGBTQ are changing hearts and minds.
— Kathie Moehlig, Executive Director of TransFamilySOS, transfamilysos.org
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