Converse has announced the release of a new line of shoes celebrating LGBT culture alongside a marketing campaign featuring characters of various sexual orientations, including an 11-year-old ‘drag kid’ who goes by the stage name ‘Desmond Is Amazing.’
“We’re happy to launch our Pride Collection, partnering with six individuals connected to the LGBTQ+ community who show the power of expressing one’s true self,” the apparel company tweeted on Monday.
We’re happy to launch our Pride Collection, partnering with six individuals connected to the LGBTQ+ community who show the power of expressing one’s true self. Contributions are supporting @ItGetsBetter @OutMetroWest & @FenwayHealth. https://t.co/N7VTHLhf98 pic.twitter.com/ip2GGhtCE9
— Converse (@Converse) May 6, 2019
Desmond is highlighted on the Converse website wearing a flamboyant outfit and make-up, striking a dramatic dance pose alongside a quote stating, “There is no normal.”
A brief bio describes him as a “drag kid / lgbtq+ advocate.”
Desmond Napoles has autism, according to his parents, who say that his ‘drag performances’ help him to cope with his disability.
He began to garner attention in 2015 after dancing in the NYC Pride Parade, and amid rising popularity on social media, Napoles was invited to appear on Good Morning America, where he danced for the audience and was paid a visit from three adult drag queens.
In late 2018, disturbing video footage surfaced of Desmond performing at gay bars in Brooklyn and San Francisco, while grown men threw bills at him, and shortly afterwards, journalists discovered Desmond had appeared in a interview with infamous 90s “club kid” Michael Alig, who had spent 17 years in jail for the killing and dismemberment of a fellow clubber and drug dealer.
“On Alig’s show ‘Pee-ew!’ 10-year-old Desmond sat between Alig and Alig’s fellow ‘Club Kid’ Ernie Glam, making stilted conversation about the child’s favorite television shows, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ and ‘Dragula,'” LifeSite reports. “Over their heads was a painting of a cartoon child skipping rope over the word ‘Rohypnol.’ Rohypnol is a well-known date rape drug often used to incapacitate victims marked for sexual assault.”
Some have offered speculation based on evidence and comments made by Desmond’s parents that they may even use proceeds he generates to help support the family.
Owen Shroyer reports that activists dressed as clowns interrupted a local ‘drag queen story hour’ event in New Orleans to draw attention to the absurdity of the situation. As a consequence, they were promptly kicked out of the event.
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst