Embracing Queer Children
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.