The Mom of the 8 Year-Old Who Stole the Show at NYC Pride Has An Inspiring Response to Critics

With the fervor of Pride 2015 now dying down and everyone going back to their normal lives where rainbow colored tutus aren’t exactly day-to-day wear, there’s something that we must not forget.

Being an advocate and supporter for LGBT+ lives and rights isn’t a once a  year event. We must keep attempting to support, learn about and understand how other people live their lives all year long.

This is something that some people forgot when viewing images and video of a little boy absolutely stealing the show at NYC Pride. I mean, doing this in an of itself is incredibly difficult to do, but there’s no doubt that this sassy 8-year old named Desmond Napoles danced more fiercely as he joined the Gay Pride Parade over the weekend.

He wore a rainbow tutu and a gold sequined cap for the event. A photo of him was posted on the New, Now, Next Facebook page and has since gone viral.

With the newfound attention, came some naysayers and critics who think Desmond is “too young” to know better and wondered why his parents had allowed him to attend the event.

His mom, Wendylou Napoles, had this to say in response:

He has always been very gender fluid when it came to toys and his development. He preferred fashion dolls to action figures. I looked at both in the store and figured that the action figure was as much a doll as a Barbie, so if he wanted the one marketed to girls, that was fine with me.

He also likes to play with trains, especially wooden subway trains. He never wanted to play sports and likes to draw pictures and do word searches. He goes to ballet class and loves to dance. He loves drag queens and thinks that it is fantastic that boys can play dress up and become beautiful girls, even after they grow up. He, himself, likes to play dress up in skirts and dresses, but most days he looks like any other ‘boy.’


He is a shy boy who is self-conscious about his missing teeth when he smiles and very intelligent. He doesn’t like school because he gets bullied, but he does well academically. We do our best to stop the bullying and involve the LGBT services at his school. We keep him involved in the LGBT community because we believe that by speaking to other people who were like him when they were his age reinforces that he is of value and that his life as he wants to live it is okay. 

He is 8 years old and is starting to get crushes on boys. That is pretty much the extent of what he knows about sexuality. I do my job as a parent and censor things in his life that may not be appropriate…

He is old enough and smart enough to know he would be marching in the Pride parade in front of thousands of people and did all of it willingly. In fact, I thought he would stop after 10 blocks of walking, but he felt so good about being dressed up and being who he is that he vogued and danced the entire two miles. We collaborated on the outfit and this is how he wanted to look today.

This was his Pride today. He felt it. He loved it. He was it. These children will be our future. Embrace who they are. All they are asking for is the same love, respect, and acceptance of themselves as any child would.”

Her letter proving that some children like Desmond are blessed enough to have parents like Wendylou. It’s a reminder to all of us that each of us is truly special in our own way and the best thing we can do for children is let them be and do what they do best. I

In Desmond’s case that would involve being a showstopper with his mom as his biggest cheerleader:


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