GCN Webinar: LGBTQ Families Discuss Motherhood, Love, and Acceptance

Two generations of LGBTQ individuals have an honest conversation about love and acceptance.
SCHNEPS MEDIA

Gay City News hosted a webinar on March 23 featuring two generations of LGBTQ individuals and their mothers for a conversation about love and gratitude.

The event, called “Love is Everything,” included speakers paired up with their mothers to discuss their relationship with their parents. The event featured Robert Alario, the president and CEO of Holy Fit, and his mother, Carole. This family was joined by Desmond Napoles, a 13-year-old drag kid known as Desmond is Amazing, who was accompanied by their mother, Wendy Napoles.

During the conversation moderated by Schneps Media’s Elizabeth Aloni, the parents talked about the importance of loving and supporting queer children regardless of their age. Alario’s mother, Carole, recalled that she has always been accepting of her son’s sexuality.

“What comes from your heart is love no matter what,” said Carole, who participated in the webinar from her home in Las Vegas. “At the end, that’s all we have.”

Although Carole’s son came out as LGBTQ later in life, that didn’t change how she viewed her child.

“I accept my children no matter what they do,” Carole said. “As long as their heart is good.”

In the discussion, Alario revealed that his mother was an “unexpected hero” in his journey to learning more about his sexual orientation. Alario said it is inspiring to see younger generations come out as LGBTQ to their parents, and he appreciates that Desmond is Amazing is able to live in their truth at an early age.

“It brings me back to what I can never get back,” Alario said.

Desmond emphasized the point that their mother has always allowed them the freedom to express their gender — which has helped them uplift others in the queer community.

“My biggest mission is to help everyone be themselves,” Desmond said. “I like using my popularity to get that message out.”

Desmond earned the Youth Award at the Gay City News Impact Awards event last year. It was at the young age of two that Desmond began exploring their identity. Desmond said they enjoyed sashaying around the house in their mother’s heels and wearing a blanket on their head. As a child, they quickly discovered the art of drag, which eventually led them to perform on stages across the country.

“She just let me be me,” Desmond said, referring to their mother’s support.

The teen’s mother, Wendy, said parents should not force gender stereotypes on their children. All too often, she said, this is limiting to a child’s self-discovery process.

“You see, parents get caught up in making sure their children do a certain activity,” she said. “Like their children have to be on the football team, or their child has to be a ballerina.”

Nevertheless, she advises parents to give queer kids the space to explore all aspects of their identity.

“It’s about allowing the child to discover for themselves what it is they like to do. No child is going to be the same,” Wendy added. “One thing that has always bothered me is seeing other parents who try to create a mini version of themselves because those kids don’t want to be you; they want to be who they are.”

Watch the complete webinar below:

To sign up for the Gay City News email newsletter, visit gaycitynews.com/newsletter.

More from Around NYC