Converse Announces Ad Campaign Featuring ’Abused’ 11-Year-Old ‘Drag Queen'
The new campaign celebrates the Gay Pride's 50th anniversary
Sneaker brand Converse has announced a controversial partnership with 11-year-old drag queen Desmond Napoles, a child identifying as gay who frequently performs in nightclubs under his stage name - 'Desmond is Amazing.'
The new campaign includes five other models from within the LGBTQ community and celebrates Gay Pride's 50th anniversary.
According to the site:
"What started as a rebellious fight for equality has since grown into a loud, proud assertion of true self-expression. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride with a glitter-dipped collection of parade-worthy sneakers, including our first-ever trans flag design. Because equal rights are for everyone."
Converse says it is committed to "supporting movements for positive social change and amplifying youth voices as they spark progress to build the future they believe in."
"Let's spread a message of love together and shout a little louder," the page adds.
If you wanted to buy Desmond's shoes, the low-top Chuck-style sneakers with a vivid 'LGBT" rainbow design costs $95.
Converse 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."
Controversy and abuse allegations
In March, Desmond's mother was visited by Child Protective Services.
Authorities investigated the young boy's parents for alleged child abuse, his mother Wendy Napoles confirmed via Instagram on Saturday.
According to Life Site News, “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.”
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
Left-leaning news outlet like ABC's "Good Morning America" championed a 10-year-old Desmond as a brave pioneer.
Desmond, who identifies as a same-sex attracted "androgynous drag kid," said he became inserted in women's clothing at just age six.
When his parents expressed concern, a "therapist" advised them to let Desmond simply "explore" himself.
Last year, Neon Nettle reported on video footage that sexually captured Desmond dancing on the stage of a New York gay bar, dressed in full drag, while grown men threw dollar bills at him.
The footage, if taken out of 'LGBT' context, should be worrying for not just parents, but a whole society.
With all the controversy surrounding Desmond, it's worrying to see such a massive global brand endorse what could easily be interpreted as child abuse.