“The truth is that Morse doesn’t give a crap about Desmond. She is intent on blaming the LGBTQ community for something that is blameless.”

Jennifer Roback Morse
Hate group leader Jennifer Roback Morse

Image: YouTube

Jennifer Roback Morse, leader of Ruth Institute, an anti-LGBT hate group, has penned: Stop Exploiting Desmond: A Challenge to the ‘LGBTQ’ Community. Every fundamentalist Catholic blowhard seems to feel compelled to voice their disapproval of “drag kid” Desmond is Amazing. Enough! It is these odious shame machines who are exploiting Desmond.

Before I get into this, Morse cannot explain her disapproval but I think that she is confusing drag with transgender (as you will see). Although, I am reminded that in 1431 the Church burned 17-year-old Joan of Arc for dressing as a man so there is some historical consistency. Right? Now is a good time to state that the majority of Catholics do not share Morse’s sentiments.

Desmond is a professional performer. It is safe to say that Morse has never met or communicated with Desmond or his parents. I have every reason to believe that Desmond is doing precisely what he wants to do with proactive parental supervision. I can find no evidence to the contrary and neither can Jennifer Roback Morse.

Therefore, this awful woman is exploiting Desmond to shame the LGBTQ community for religious purposes. When it comes to that LGBTQ community Morse has demonstrated nothing but contempt, deceit and hate. Now she poses a rhetorical challenge which is intellectually dishonest per se.

She writes:

Imagine this scenario: A married mother and father encourage their 11-year-old daughter to dress in sexually provocative clothing. They take her to a strip club and allow her to dance onstage. The patrons throw money at her. No one touches the girl in any way, given the environment. What are we to think of these parents?

I am struggling to self-censor. Suffice it to say that Desmond did not perform at a strip club. Just because it was a gay venue does not make it a strip club. Michelle Cretella said the same stupid thing. Apparently that is now conservative Catholic lore. All that is required to be factually accurate is sufficient intellectual curiosity to view the website of 3 Dollar Bill.

Morse drones on (I am skipping her bit about the priest and the altar boy):

These completely hypothetical scenarios are based on the real-life events of an 11-year-old boy named Desmond. He wears women’s clothing. His parents say he chooses the clothing and he enjoys wearing it. His choices are not just ordinary women’s clothing, but provocative women’s clothing.

In fact, his choice of clothing is stereotypical drag-queen clothing. His parents have arranged for him to have his own website, “Desmond Is Amazing,” to showcase his talents as a drag performer.

Desmond’s clothing is not provocative. He (a very talented female impersonator) is doing just that; impersonating a specific woman. All of this is perfectly innocent.

I don’t know if anyone has inappropriately touched him. But his parents did arrange for him to perform at a gay nightclub, where the patrons threw money at him.

If a mother and father did this to a little girl, we would think there was something seriously wrong with them. If a priest did this to a little boy, the whole country would be in an uproar.

Morse doesn’t know but she wanted to float the notion that gay people are pedophiles. People did tip Desmond. So what? His parents allow him to use tips to buy toys. Were there a girl, a male impersonator as talented as Desmond, I do not see what the problem would be. Desmond is a legitimate entertainer — not a sex object. It takes a narrow-minded nut like Morse to find salaciousness.

More importantly, Morse is explicitly stating that Desmond’s parents did this to him. She has no evidence to support her, well … leap of faith. If this kid is being exploited I will be among the first people to write about it. That is because I really care about children. Jennifer Roback Morse feigns fondness but it is dishonest. The truth is that she has found a way (in her mind) to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Those are the same teachings which claim that I am “objectively disordered” and thus evil. This applies to gay children and the gay parents of children. Now she is attacking the presumably straight parents of a child because religious opprobrium is somehow excused when the targets are disapproved of. The irrationality is appalling.

A threat?

We would instantly recognize either of these situations as exploitation and endangerment of an innocent child. We would recognize the nightclub performance as sexual grooming. Any adult who supported this would be regarded as a scoundrel. Some people might call on Child Protective Services to take the child into custody or demand the local authorities confiscate the nightclub’s liquor license.

“Sexual grooming?” Where on earth is she getting that idea from? Has Morse called CPS? By the way, the lack of curiosity continues. New York’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Law does not prohibit minors from being present where alcohol is served. It only requires adult accompaniment. Desmond’s performance in no way imperils the establishment’s liquor license.

Obviously of greater importance is that Morse is indirectly stating that Desmond has unfit parents. It is not only irrational. It is irresponsible. She did not see the performance and has not entered into so much as a Twitter colloquy with anyone involved.

Coming from an anti-LGBTQ bigot, the following takes “amazing” chutzpah:

I want to issue a challenge to people who identify themselves as part of the “LGBTQ community”: Please stand up and publicly object to this.

I’ve seen a few individuals who describe themselves as “gay” or “liberal” objecting to this on social media. I am urging more of you to speak up.

The “Gay Establishment” could put a stop to this egregious exploitation of a child. They could speak publicly about boundaries and the innocence of childhood. In addition, it could probably solve this immediate problem without public incident. Someone from the Human Rights Campaign or other advocacy organization could quietly call up Desmond’s parents: “Look, we’ve spent millions of dollars convincing Middle America that transgenderism is harmless, heteronormativity is unnecessary, and that we aren’t interested in sexualizing children. You are creeping people out. Knock off the gay-bar scene with your 11-year-old.” I bet Desmond’s parents could be persuaded.

Notice the “identify” and “describe themselves” language. Peter Sprigg, a rabid bigot at Family Research Council (another hate group) explained this:

…when discussing homosexuality, we
avoid using the terms “gay,” “lesbian,” or “bisexual” as solo nouns because this tends to imply
that some people’s intrinsic, inborn, immutable
identity as gay, lesbian, etc. is who they are.

As we
will explore, this idea is empirically false.
We instead say “people who engage in homosexual conduct” or “people who identify as

What is empirically false is Mr. Sprigg’s deviation from settled science regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

Morse usually closely adheres to these guidelines. Here she is using the word gay but she will never use the term “gay people” or “people who are gay.” Morse would assert that sexual orientation is voluntary and can be cured if it deviates from what the Church approves of.

As you can see from Morse’s text she is treating Desmond as transgender. He is not. As I said Morse cannot adequately explain why she disapproves of Desmond. She is using conjecture to claim that there is a problem when none provably exists.

The witch should mind her own business.

The truth is that Morse doesn’t give a crap about Desmond. She is intent on blaming the LGBTQ community for something that is blameless. Morse is a shame-dispenser and this is a way for her to express her disapproval. Do you really think, for one second, that HRC is going to contact Desmond’s parents with concern? I contacted Desmond’s father today to express my concern for the toxicity of the Internet regarding Desmond. I only hope that I am not adding to the problem.

The simple fact of the matter is that Desmond, an 11-year-old kid, has done absolutely nothing wrong. The way I see it is that Desmond’s caring parents are allowing him to do something that he enjoys; something that he has turned into a profession.

Exploitation can only occur when a child is coerced to do something that he or she does not want to do outside of normal parenting rules. My advice for Jennifer Roback Morse is to find some evidence of coercion or shut the hell up.

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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.