Michelle Cretella
Former pediatrician and hate group leader Michelle Cretella – American College of Pediatricians.

Image via YouTube

Michelle Cretella, executive director of American College of Pediatricians, an anti-LGBT hate group, has accused the parents of Desmond Napoles (drag kid, Desmond is Amazing) of child abuse and neglect. She has presented this as a professional opinion.

Cretella has no first-hand knowledge of events, she has never met Desmond, she has made no effort to contact his parents and she has no evidence to support her allegations. Hers is highly irresponsible commentary without any foundation. Cretella is often indifferent to the truth.

Just in passing, Cretella’s remarks are defamatory and probably actionable. NY Times v. Sullivan does not protect reckless disregard for the truth (which constitutes actual malice).

Yet this is more about common decency:

I do not make a habit of reading WND.com for obvious reasons. A WND post on Friday about Desmond is Amazing includes quotes from Cretella:

Michelle Cretella, M.D., executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, spared no words.

“As this article and many liberals and conservatives alike have pointed out, Desmond has been sexualized and exploited as a ‘child drag queen’ at least since 2015 when he began starring in the NYC gay pride parade. I have commented in the past that facilitating child drag queens amounts to sexual grooming, if not an all-out embrace of pedophilia.

“That this poor child is now performing in a NYC strip club is further proof that this really is child abuse.”

A drag queen is a male who is a female impersonator. It is a respected art form. Doing drag successfully requires a complex combination of skills. Desmond is highly skilled. There is nothing sexual (actual or implied) about drag queens. The gay community has embraced drag culture because so many of the performers are gay. Audiences are  mixed.

Sundays, a drag show at The Palace (a gay bar in South Beach) creates a very long line of people hoping to watch. Almost all of the people on that line are heterosexual couples with a decidedly Midwest affect.

Cretella’s claim that Desmond is being exploited is highly irresponsible. There does not exist a shred of evidence to support Cretella’s contention. I will be among the first people to correct the record if evidence to the contrary ever surfaces. Right now my concern is for Desmond’s dignity, something that is imperiled by the rhetoric of Michelle Cretella and her ilk.

Cretella’s claim that Desmond’s performances constitute “sexual grooming” is preposterous. A connection to pedophilia is even more ridiculous.

The Stage at Three Dollar Bill | Venue’s website

We cannot even guess where Cretella got the idea that 3 Dollar Bill is a strip club. It is not. Cretella has made just one more false and reckless statement.

Let me explain something about child abuse.

Dr. Michelle Cretella used to be a licensed physician and she was a practicing pediatrician. Cretella continues to promote thoroughly discredited conversion therapy. She is at odds with medical science and the position of her former professional organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics. Conversion therapy is ineffective and potentially harmful. Any parent who listened to Cretella and subjected their child to conversion therapy is guilty of child abuse.

In an exchange of email Saturday, Desmond’s father, Andrew, makes the point that Desmond is a professional performer who is professionally managed. Reminding me that he is an 11-year-old kid, Desmond spends any tips he receives on toys. More importantly one or both parents must be at every performance. I don’t think that they are going to let anything bad happen to their child.

I used to think that children were pests who were determined to impede my ambitions. That all changed when my partner’s twin nephews were born. We took on ever-increasing responsibility for raising them. They are responsible grown men now and they created a lasting effect on me. I continue to really love kids.

With that in mind it is my sincere hope that Desmond does not read all this crap, including my responses. The profoundly incurious religious right treat Desmond as transgender. He is not. I wonder what those narrow minds would think of Milton Berle. “Uncle Miltie” loved his drag persona.

Were Desmond trans, that would make no difference at all (as frequent readers know). These religious zealots are treating him indecently either way. They are indulging in a familiar fundamentalist Christian ritual:

  1. They disapprove of something due to ancient texts and;
  2. They place great importance on demonstrating their disapproval and;
  3. The object of their shame must be aware of the opprobrium.

That is how we end up with bakers who will not make a cake for a gay marriage. Not all people of faith behave in this manner (I have pious family members).

Cretella receives my scorn for preferencing religion over medical science. In doing so, she fails to appreciate that her belief system is based on faith while medical science (the basis for her rhetoric) is based on evidence. It becomes easy to understand how and why she promotes faith as if it were science, confusing two disparate concepts.

Desmond should not be victimized by the irresponsible rhetoric of religious zealots. An innocent, prepubescent kid is being told that he is evil because he is doing something that some people do not approve of. Their disapproval is devoid of intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and intellectual honesty. I disapprove of them!

Related content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.