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Desmond Napoles on GMA Nov. 2, 2018. Good Morning America / Youtube screen grab
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Mom whose 11-year-old dances in drag at gay night clubs cleared by Child Protective Services

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NEW YORK, March 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Drag kid “Desmond Is Amazing’s” mom has taken to social media to vindicate herself after state and local agencies determined that she has not committed child abuse by allowing her young son to perform in gay bars.

A barrage of allegations of abuse and exploitation were triggered when a video of Desmond performing in drag at the “3 Dollar Bill,” a gay club in Brooklyn, New York, was released last December. The internet and social media quickly erupted with calls for child welfare authorities to intervene.

Child Protective Services (CPS) investigated Desmond’s family, as did the New York City Administration for Child Services (ACS), the New York Police Department (NYPD), the Child Advocacy Center, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of Labor, and the District Attorney’s Office.

“Because of the number of reports they received, our case went all the way to the Governor’s office,” said Wendy Napoles, Desmond’s mom. “We had announced visits & unannounced visits to our home nearly daily & at all hours & Desmond’s school. Our family was probed more intensely than any other case before.”

This past weekend, Napoles posted on Instagram a series of ten photos of the exonerating letters she has received from the concerned agencies, showing that the assertions of child abuse were “unfounded.”

“We have been accused of child abuse, exploitation & maltreatment to the point that we have been backed into a corner trying to defend ourselves,” she said in the Instagram posting. “We have been under a microscope since early December. I never thought I would have to breach my own privacy & confidentiality to provide proof that has been demanded of us out of malice.”   

Within the law versus the best interest of children

While Desmond’s mom dismisses the public’s concern as harassment because no crime has been committed, some suggest that what is legal might not necessarily be in her son’s best interest.

Earlier this year, blogger Elizabeth Johnston, better known as The Activist Mommy, urged updating laws to protect children like Desmond.  

Johnston asserted that laws protecting children from sexual exploitation are not being applied to the LGBT community, saying, “It's 2019 when apparently it’s not only okay to be gay but also okay for grown gay men to pay little boys for dances in bars.”

“Parents can get away with it because they are members of the all-protected LGBT community,” she said. “The double standard needs to end. And children in the LGBT community need to be protected as much as those outside.”

Desmond’s mom defends, says “times are changing”

“Desmond is never allowed into the bar area of any club, nor the main floor. He stays backstage with me, in the dressing room, or on stage only. It must be noted, however, that it is not against the law in New York City for a minor to be in an establishment that serves alcohol as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

“Desmond was the sole performer for the performance at the center of this controversy and he performed three numbers. The venue took measures to make sure it would be age appropriate and audience members that attended were respectful and in good conduct.

“I know a lot of drag fans/drag queens do not want to see kids in what they consider an adult form of entertainment or venue, but drag is changing and becoming more widespread and popular with people of all ages, genders, identities, races, abilities, and disabilities.

“My son is a professional drag performer, not a stripper,” said Napoles in an early January Facebook posting. “No one forces him to perform, performing is what he loves to do and has always loved to do.”

“He was a ballet dancer for four years and is currently earning an A+ grade in drama at his school,” she continued. “He is extremely talented in his celebrity and character impersonations.”

“His costumes are less revealing than a dancer’s or cheerleader’s uniform, and are always age appropriate. While he dances, he does not move in a sexual manner,” she asserted.  “He often collects tips, as drag queens sometimes do, which we allow him to keep and he uses to buy clothing and the toys he wants.”

“His engagements are contracted and booked by his management agency,” she added. “All of his performances are conducted in accordance with the Dept of Labor’s regulations for child performers.”

Even some drag queens, gays, and liberals object to Desmond’s adult club performances

At the same time, Napoles admitted via Facebook that some in the “drag community” had negative reactions to Desmond’s gay club performance.  

“I left after seeing a child dance on stage for money at nighttime. This was on Saturday night and I have been feeling disturbed ever since,” said a patron on Yelp shortly after Desmond’s drag dance act at the 3 Dollar Bill in December.

Another said the club “exploits children and sexualizes them in the wee hours of the morning” and then warned that it “has provided just the ammunition to homophobics everywhere and endangered the community.”

“11 year olds are too young to be performing at bars. This should not be legal,” declared “God is not Real” on Twitter, adding, “I’m a liberal democrat.”

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