You may have seen a story circulating about 10-year-old “drag kid”, Desmond, dancing at a gay bar while grown men throw money at him.
We have recently learned, however, that there is much, much more to the story of poor young Desmond.
Not only is he being clearly exploited by his own parents and the adults who host and attend these events, but he also has a classicly exploitative stage mom who has been using her child to beg for money.
He has been rubbing elbows with drug users and convicted murderers.
Most disturbing of all, however, is that, as his mother recently revealed, he is a special needs child who likely has little understanding of what he’s being used for or what he’s doing (as if any 10-year-old could really grasp the significance of performing in drag shows when you’re still in elementary school.)
In an exhaustive article on the many concerns any decent person would have over Desmond’s family life American Conservative explains that, first of all, Desmond has a classic stage mom:
Here is video of Desmond performing the same act (imitating Gwen Stefani) he did in Brooklyn at a gay bar in San Francisco this past October. Watch the clip; hooting and cheering men give him money as he prances around the stage.
How many other times has this happened? Does that stage mom, Wendy (sometimes Wendylou) Napoles, take her 11-year-old son to gay bars to perform for men all the time now? Where is Child Protective Services?
Unless something has changed fairly recently, Wendy is unemployed. Last Christmas, some friends did a Go Fund Me for her and the boy. They raised just over $2,500 to get them through the holidays. In 2016, Wendy did an interview with “Bettina May,” a burlesque performer and “vintage” stylist, from whom Wendy took a class to learn “how to find the pin-up inside” herself. It sounds like Wendy is doing the classic stage mom thing: living out her own fantasies through her son.
That’s not all. Both of Desmond’s parents are unemployed, and family friends have been raising money for them via GoFundMe. While Wendy claims that it’s impossible for her to find work and that Desmond’s acts don’t earn much for them, the GoFundMe page for the family also claims that managing Desmond has taken up the bulk of Wendy’s time.
Also, kids are expensive in general, but buying flashy costumes and extravagant makeup for children certainly has to be pricey. How broke are they, really?
Here’s where things get really disturbing though. Despite constantly claiming that to put her child in front of gay men who throw money at him while he dances does nothing to encourage pedophilia and that he’s always kept in a family-friendly, child-safe environment, she had no problem letting him hang out with famous 90’s club kid and convicted killer Michael Alig. You may remember his story from the Macaulay Culkin movie Party Monster.
Alig was released from prison in 2014, after committing this gruesome murder (for which he served less than 20 years)
A hammer was the weapon Robert “Freez” Riggs used to hit Angel Melendez over the head, incapacitating but not killing him. It was Alig, his fist wrapped in a sweatshirt, pummeling an unconscious Melendez over and over and over again, that actually finished him off.
The pair then lifted Melendez’s lifeless body into the bathtub of the luxury apartment paid for by Alig’s boss, club impresario Peter Gatien, and doused it in Drano, baking soda and a few liberal spritzes of Calvin Klein Eternity. They left it there for “eight or nine days” before chopping Melendez’s body into pieces, and throwing them into the Hudson.
Wendy apparently thinks Alig, despite his sordid history of homosexuality, drug use, and murder (Alig himself contradicted the claim that Melendez was killed in self-defense and was only charged with the lesser crime of manslaughter because prosecutors were hoping he’d help take down his drug dealing former boss) is perfectly fine company for her young son.
“Last December,” American Conservative explains, “Desmond appeared as the guest on a skeezy YouTube talk show Alig hosts with his former club kid roommate, Ernie Glam. The image that illustrates this post is a screenshot from the interview. Notice the painting above their heads; it features the word ‘Rohypnol,’ which is a date rape drug. Wendy Napoles allowed her little boy to appear on a show hosted by a freak who spent 17 years in prison for killing a guy and chopping him up.”
It’s unlikely Desmond knew what Alig did or who he was. But Wendy does. She is the adult in his life, and she thinks she can claim her child is always kept in a safe environment while allowing him to hang out with people who are famous for dealing drugs in nightclubs and spending time in prison for murder.
On top of all this, Wendy recently revealed that Desmond is on the autism spectrum. She shared this as if it somehow further justified what she’s allowing and encouraging her son to do.
“We have never revealed this to the public in any interview, article, or video, but I feel this is the time, due to the nastiness and scope of the attack we received and continue to receive,” she wrote on Facebook.
Desmond is on the autism spectrum….But at the end of the day, this 10-year old boy has been able to overcome his disorder’s symptoms and behavior issues and become successful in pursuing his interests. He likes dressing up, dance, voguing, and fashion design. HOW ARE THOSE INTERESTS HURTING YOU??? Please, someone explain that to me. Frankly speaking, it takes most people until their adulthood to figure out how to live with any disorder or disease. Desmond feels most focused and comfortable when he is designing his outfits and dressing up. It helps his autism and helps keep his behavior under control, which means he has a high quality of life right now. If it helps with the autism and hurts no one around him, why is this so wrong? How is this criminal? How is this bad parenting?
How it’s bad parenting, Wendy, is that your son has no idea what the kind of dancing and performing and cross-dressing he’s doing means to adults. How it’s wrong is that, like it or not, he’s being sexual, sexualized, and easily arousing adults who would be happy to prey on him or any young children. How it’s criminal, is that you’re exploiting something he’s passionate about for the enjoyment and entertainment of grown adults. How it hurts him, is that he is going to grow up thinking that nightclub culture, dancing on stage for money, sexually suggestive dancing, and drug-dealing convicts are all part of a perfectly normal and healthy life.
If this was a little girl who liked to “vogue,” everyone would think this was completely sick. That’s the bottom line.
This kid is being used as an edgy symbol of an adult’s movement, and he is being robbed of his childhood and used like a puppet while he is far too young to truly understand, autism spectrum or not.