10-Year-Old ‘Drag Kid’ Shares the Secret to Confidence and Self Love
Desmond Napoles may be only 10 years old, but he is the inspiration this world so desperately needs. Known as “Desmond is Amazing,” the Brooklynite ‘drag kid’ and LGBTQ activist is speaking out with confidence about the importance of self-love and being yourself.
Plus, there’s a reason his Instagram has over 51,000 followers. This kid knows how to pose!
If the Shoe Fits, Wear It (Especially If It’s a High Heel!)
The young boy developed a passion for drag when he was two years old. After watching Season One of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Desmond says that he started to use his mother’s towels, blankets, “anything he could get his hands on,” to wrap around his head as a pseudo-wig. At five, Desmond attended his first drag show. Since then, he has met his idol, RuPaul, who called the drag kid “the future of America” and even was a guest talent at RuPaul’s DragCon NYC 2017.
Desmond also credits his mother as his biggest role model in his life. He remembers watching documentaries together about topics ranging from civil riots to Club Kids and Blitz Kids. “That’s how I learned about the culture of New York City.”
Desmond’s mother, Wendylou, speaks on overcoming her own uneasiness about outside reactions to her son’s choices: “I think that I, basically, would rather have a kid that feels accepted to be himself and feels that he has a mind of his own to think with than to feel resentful. I think that all kids should be able to be creative and free thinking and not feel like they have to be a mini version of their parents. I see that I’m doing the same thing like a soccer mom might do or a mom whose kid likes to paint. They would buy them paints and paper and a soccer mom might buy uniforms and the other equipment, whereas I’m helping to make his costumes for what he wants to do.”
Always with a touch of the dramatics, Desmond says about his relationship with his mom: “I don’t know how I would live without her. I would just faint.”
In 2015, Desmond became an overnight viral superstar after a video of him dancing at New York City’s Pride Parade was shared. His mother’s friend created a Facebook fan page called “Desmond is Amazing” to share his journey with the world. Desmond loved the name so much, he claimed it as his stage name and calls his loyal fans “Amazies.”
While his style is always changing with the ebb and flow of the fashion world, Desmond is Amazing’s current style, which he’s dubbed “avant drag,” is influenced by the colorful club kids of 1990s NYC nightlife, the Blitz Kids of 1980’s London, 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. He is often seen sporting his signature one-of-a-kind headdresses, made by his loving mother. Desmond’s goal is to constantly push the boundaries of the conventional definition of fashion.
Additionally, the “World’s Youngest Club Kid” is now the founder of the first ever drag house exclusively for youth ages 20 and under, called the Haus of Amazing. According to his website, the goal is “to bring young drag kids, bio queens, drag kings, and anyone else who loves drag together in a safe, positive, worldwide online community.”
A Lesson on Self-Love
Not only is Desmond is Amazing a fashionista, editorial model, and confidence diva, he is an outspoken LGBTQ activist and advocate. “I came out of the closet when I was born,” he claims. That’s the “amazing” thing about Desmond; how sure of himself he is at such a young age. Already at 10 years old, he can yell his identity—a gay young man who loves to dress in women’s clothing—proudly from the rooftops.
“Be Yourself, Always” is his personal motto. But being Desmond is Amazing is not always easy. The Napoles family is frequently faced with discrimination and hateful slander due to Desmond’s public image. However, Desmond is determined to use his public visibility in editorial shoots and campaigns to help others in the LGBTQ community find acceptance, pride, and love, which may be his most amazing talent of all.
He says: “Bullies are people who are just jealous that you’re so pretty and that you are so confident to do what you want. It’s not good to make fun of other people just because of what they are wearing. You should always be yourself and always be proud of who you are no matter what anyone says.”
The amazingness has just begun. Stay tuned for many more of Desmond’s inspiring projects—such as The Amaziest magazine for LGBTQ youth, a cosmetics line for drag kids, and anti-bullying program—on desmondisamazing.com or on Twitter at @desmond_amazing.