Desmond Napoles

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LGBTQ+ Youth Advocate Author: "Be Amazing: A History of Pride" Founder Haus of Amazing Published Editorial/Runway Model Designer

Location Brooklyn, New York Northeast
Country United States of America
Member Since FEBRUARY 09, 2022
Social Audience 197K
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I just wanted to make a statement on how I feel about what happened on Saturday night. The past few days have been full of reflection. The tragic violence shook me. I was in shock, this being the second mass shooting of LGBTQ+ people I have witnessed in my life as well as reflecting during the Transgender Day of Remembrance on the violence that transgender people around the world are facing daily. I was honoring lives lost when more were added to that list. It's a very scary realization I think at my age that people are not allowed to exist just living their lives the way they were meant to. I don't know much of the real world adults live in and it is a future I am getting more apprehensive of watching the way some adults are behaving and celebrating violence against LGBTQ+ people. Young people are always watching hoping you will give us guidance in our lives. I’ve spoken with my school counsellor, peers, and mentors at the Teen Activist Program and now feel more at peace with my shock, anger, fears, sadness, and rage I was feeling. I know I am an outspoken advocate, but I also understand that sometimes you need to take care of yourself in the face of tragedy and therefore I took time to process what happened and I apologize for my silence. I had to speak when I had the words and a calm mind to do so. I now refuse to accept this as the world I live in. I can't accept LGBTQ+ people being targeted in a day in age when inclusion, diversity, and acceptance are values the majority of people hold. We have to create change. We need to hold the people responsible and accountable for hate crimes rather than enabling them by staying quiet and ununified as a community. Studying the Stonewall Riots, the first thing I learned is that there is strength in numbers. I’m ready to continue fighting for LGBTQ+ and gender variant youth to exist without hate. They should be able to comfortably live in their authenticity and have the ability to come into their own identities with dignity. We all deserve to be safe and have safe spaces. Thank you.

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