Written By: Desmond is Amazing
Illustrated by: Dylan Glynn
For Ages: 3-8 years
Topics Covered: LGBTQ History, Drag, Own Voices, Historical Figures, Trans History, Acceptance, Self-Esteem.
Ya’ll. This. Book. I have been SO excited for this book to be release and it’s almost here!! Many of you are probably familiar with Desmond is Amazing, a teenage drag queen. In the story, Desmond walks us through some significant LGBTQ history and gives empowering messages to the reader. In the back is a letter from Desmond, a glossary, and a list of sources!
I love the way this book combines LGBTQ history and Desmond’s personal history together, paired with gorgeous and bright illustrations from artist Dylan Glynn. The fact that we can have books like this, written about LGBTQ history for LGBTQ youth BY LGBTQ youth and it be published by a mainstream publisher is truly beautiful to me. We have so many activists that came before us to thank us for our (still unequal, especially for TWOC) rights today, and we should know their names. I love the reverence for the past and the hope for the future. The reader is encouraged to embody Marsha “Pay it no mind” Johnson and Desmond’s mantra of “Be yourself, always” to ignore those that try to stifle creativity and personal expression. I love this book, and the way Desmond uses his personal story to narrate and encourage others to have self-confidence and appreciation for the LGBTQ elders that worked tirelessly for us. I hiiiiighly recommend you check this beautiful book out, and share it with everyone in your life, especially LGBTQ youth!
This ARC was kindly sent to me by MacKids, but all opinions are my own. This book will be released tomorrow, July 21st!
Desmond is Amazing
When he was two, he was inspired by and began imitating the drag queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race by fashioning household items into dresses and wigs. He identifies as genderfluid and has been described as androgynous. He also identifies as gay and states that he has been out since a very early age. In 2014, when he was six, he made his professional debut in a Jinkx Monsoonmusic video. He came to wider attention in 2015 when videos of him voguing through the entire NYC Pride March went viral. In February 2018, he made his fashion runway debut, and was in the accompanying campaign. He has since done high fashion shoots, runways, and campaigns for numerous brands, and was named a spokesperson for Converse and NYC Pride.
He has also become a public speaker on LGBTQ issues: his public appearances include both traditional drag performance and LGBTQ advocacy. He has been recognized for his work; in 2017 he was honored with the Marsha P. Johnson ‘Don’t be Outraged, Be Outrageous’ Award, in 2018 he was named to the Dazed100 most influential people shaping youth culture, and named to the Out100, as one of “the most influential LGBTQIA figures,” and in 2019 he served as grand marshal of Brooklyn’s pride parade. His doing drag has raised criticism from social conservatives for the perceived sexualization of a child, resulting in harassment and death threats. Out magazine has described these criticisms and attacks as “blatant homophobia and transphobia“.
Dylan Glynn is based in Toronto and studied animation at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and directing for animation in Valence, France. His multidisciplinary practice is characterised by its emotion, grace and sense of wild-movement. His work has been recognized and exhibited by Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Somerset House and the Canadian Screen Awards.