After strutting his stuff at New York Fashion Week, “androgynous drag kid” Desmond Napoles is in the spotlight once more as the star of a poignant video released Wednesday in advance of the city’s Pride festivities.
In the clip above, the 10-year-old Brooklynite and LGBTQ rights activist says being a tween drag icon makes him “feel amazing.”
“I am different because I am very young and doing drag at a very young age,” Napoles, who is better known by his drag name, Desmond Is Amazing, says as an unseen makeup artist applies lip gloss. “It gives me courage, and it also gives other people courage to do what they want.”
Napoles, who made his NYFW debut at Gypsy Sport’s fall 2018 show earlier this month and has said he came out of the closet “when he was born,” is among the many performance artists, mental health advocates and other LGBTQ personalities featured in a new campaign promoting NYC Pride in June.
The 2018 festivities, organizers said, will feature a “Defiantly Different” theme, celebrating “the rallying cry of generations who laid the groundwork for equality, the next wave of creative thinkers prepared to score their own trails, and each distinctive individual in between.”
“This year’s theme is about showing our power, squaring our shoulders in the face of adversity, and continuing to sculpt that magnetic bond within the LGBTQ+ community and our allies,” NYC Pride co-chair David Studinski said in a news release. “We are standing defiantly ― defiantly different and defiantly as one.”
Napoles also appears with other LGBTQ pioneers, including transgender model Pêche Di and 94-year-old activist Frances Goldin, in a stunning portrait for the “Defiantly Different” campaign, shot by Danielle Levitt, below.
This year, NYC Pride kicks off June 14. You can check out a full calendar of Pride Month events here.