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  • Writer's pictureThemis Magazine

16 Year Old Desmond Napoles Fights for LGBTQIA+ Rights

Updated: May 2

Portrait of Desmond Napoles

Desmond Napoles dares to act upon for what they know is right by multiple activities, like writing a book, forming online communities, releasing debut singles, and more.

Desmond Napoles, with the stage name "Desmond is Amazing," began getting noticed when the internet held videos where they sashayed through the New York City Pride Parade in 2010. Their fame escalated when expressing their love for drag at age 10.

“All students deserve to feel safe and seen. Right now, extremists are threatening harm to GLSEN’s mission to ensure inclusive and safe learning environments. Rise up for LGBTQ+ youth and support” ~Desmond Napoles

However, their drag activities began at age seven, when dressing as Elsa for Halloween, and believing drag performers were princesses. Now, they advocate for youths who are queer. Referring to Republicans passing anti-gay bills, Napoles says that "They want to get to you and you can’t let them do that. So just be yourself!"

Because Florida has become a focal point for anti-gay legislation as Governor Ron DeSantis enacted a ban on drag queens and passed the infamous "Don't Say Gay" bill, which restricts discussions about queer topics in public schools earlier this year, Napoles expresses the concern that "My safety is in danger if I go to Florida. I could get in trouble. It affects me knowing I can’t go to certain parts of the country."

To fight against such actions, Napoles uses social media to their advantage stating opinions, concerns, and messages they want people to hear. They specify on raising awareness on issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, including HIV/AIDS education and prevention, LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, equal rights, and diversity in education. They work towards the goal to "inspire people of all ages to embrace their authentic selves and pursue their passions fearlessly."

To accomplish this mission, they work in community services, being a member of the House of Soulja in the New York City ballroom community walking in the Runway Category, participating in the Teen Activist Program at the New York Civil Liberties Union and the New York Public Library's Teen Volunteer program, being on the advisory board of the Born This Way Foundation, authoring and editing a magazine for LGBTQ+ teens and young adults, writing a book, releasing debut singles, launching a fashion brand to empower people and proudly present their remarkable selves, and founding online communities for LGBTQ and gender variant youth and their allies.

Remember, “You can’t brainwash a kid into thinking they’re LGBTQ,” says Napoles. “You can’t get rid of us no matter how hard you try.”

Read more about Napole's story and accomplishments on his website:

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