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'Drag Kid' Swats Down Conservative Sites' Insults

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Sep 21, 2018

When the conservative site Red State fired off an insulting, homophobic post at Desmond is Fabulous, the original Drag Kid's youth didn't stand in the way of him making an eloquent response.

Red State's hissy fit stemmed from Desmond's critique of how certain pro-gun factions are choosing to deal with the crisis of school shootings. In a Facebook post, Desmond put up photos of children protesting and himself wearing a gas mask in a satirical show against recent suggestions that school kids arm themselves or use special backpacks as shields in the event of a school shooting. Other children wore different gear, including battle helmets. "Take a good hard look," he wrote. "Are these the clothes kids are going to have to wear to school?"

Red State lost no time in lashing out.

Characterizing Desmond's post as an attempt to "Take Away Your Guns" — the standard rhetoric from pro-gun extremists any time advocates for sensible firearms regulations speak out — Red State got right down to personal insults, some of which went wide of the mark.

"Just in case you're wonderin', he ain't straight," the post pointed out, after making a snide inference about the ways in which Desmond "likes" RuPaul. Declaring Desmond to have involved himself in "anti-gun radicalism," the site then excoriated the 11-year-old for his celebrated fashion sense.

"[S]ometimes it isn't enough to slap on some rouge, top yourself with a daffodil wig, and pull on a pleather polka-dotted sequined v-neck tapered blousy netted metallic backless cocktail dress," the Red State post sneered; "sometimes ya gotta rage against the 2nd Amendment."

This is far from the first time minors — understandably concerned for their safety in a nation awash in guns, and with shootings at schools and other public spaces exploding in number and frequency — have expressed their concern and outrage, and it's far from the first time that right-wing gun violence apologists have attacked them for it.

But Desmond simply brushed Red State's ugliness aside.

"This Conservative website, Red State, did an article about me," Desmond wrote in an Instagram post. "They meant to make me look like a fool and hurt and embarrass my family. They tried to make me look crazy for protesting against gun violence in schools with @changetheref and @gaysagainstgunsny

"But really, they made me look even more AMAZING," Desmond continued, "even going so far as to emphasize that I've earned awards for my work in the LGBTQ+ community, that my career started in 2014 with @thejinkx, and that I created the term 'drag kid'. I mean, they ain't lying! I've done ALL of those things and I'm grateful for the recognition."

When one right-wing insult font is shut down, of course, another starts up, and so it was the case this time. Fringe site Newsbusters promptly went after Desmond for "hitting back at conservative media for having criticized his stiletto-heeled foray into the gun control debate."

After a show of questionable concern for Desmond, and prickly comments about the adults in his life responsible for looking after him, Newsbusters summed up with this:

There's not much to say against Desmond, as he's a child and not entirely culpable for the course his life has taken. But his guardians should expect all sorts of criticism for parading him around as some dress-wearing, progressive ideology parrot.

Desmond dispatched this outburst with his usual élan.

"What they don't realize is that they are the shameful ones" he posted at Facebook in response. "This article is filled with outdated beliefs and homophobia, comparing members of the LGBTQ+ community to 'gender-bending CREATURES who inhabit drag culture,'" he wrote.

"That's supposed to be an insult, but personally, as a fan of the Boulet Brothers and The Boulet Brothers Dragula, I love drag creatures and drag super monsters," Desmond added.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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