Embracing Authenticity: Navigating the Path to Self-Discovery

December 19, 2023

Desi Napoles is a trailblazing figure in the LGBTQ+ community, renowned for their advocacy, modeling, writing, and public speaking. As a designer, Desi founded the clothing brand Be Amazing NYC in 2021, then closed the store in December 2023 to prepare for college.


They have garnered widespread attention for their activism and achievements, having been featured in high-profile media outlets such as The New York Times, NBC News, Teen Vogue, and OUT Magazine.


Despite being still in high school, Desi has accomplished a great deal. They have used their platform to raise awareness about critical issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, including HIV/AIDS education and prevention, LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, equal rights, and diversity in education. Additionally, Desi is passionate about promoting sustainability in fashion and addressing climate change.


Through their various endeavors, Desi aims to promote inclusivity and empower LGBTQ+ youth. They actively seek to challenge stereotypes and promote more accurate representations of the LGBTQ+ community in the media. Desi accomplishes this through speaking engagements, social media outreach, and community service.


Desi’s impact goes far beyond their accomplishments and media attention. Their work has had a tangible impact on the lives of countless LGBTQ+ youth, providing hope, support, and resources to those who need it most. They have demonstrated that it is possible to overcome adversity, pursue your passions, and make a difference in the world, no matter your age or background.


Ultimately, Desi’s mission is to inspire people of all ages to embrace their authentic selves and pursue their passions fearlessly. Their motto, “Be yourself, always,” encapsulates this belief, and they strive to spread this message of self-acceptance and empowerment to everyone they encounter.

This story took place in United States

In a world that often imposes rigid expectations and societal norms, the journey toward authenticity becomes a profound and personal exploration. As a visible 16-year-old genderfluid LGBTQ+ advocate, I am not just navigating the maze of self-discovery. I am sashaying through it, embracing my unique identity with flair and resilience. 

The phrases “being yourself” and “living authentically” do not just resonate with me; they are the anthems of my existence, prompting examination of their profound meanings and implications.

Living authentically is not merely a concept; it is a vibrant, colorful, and evolving journey that transcends mere self-expression. It is the art of aligning actions, values, and identities to create a life that authentically reflects genuine feelings and beliefs. Picture this: A kaleidoscope of authenticity, where every hue represents a facet of one’s true self.

As I have learned, the journey of self-discovery is not merely an unchanging portrait. It is a living, breathing masterpiece that demands constant introspection, unyielding self-reflection, and the audacity to break free of societal expectations. Guiding others on this transformative expedition is not only about providing a map; it is also about sowing the seeds for an entire garden of acceptance, open-mindedness, and understanding to blossom. Navigating the path to authenticity resembles a rollercoaster ride, demanding that individuals boldly confront societal norms. Within this daring confrontation, the true narrative of self-discovery unfolds, akin to an exhilarating plot twisting the grand story of one’s life.

However, living authentically may  expose individuals to discrimination, isolation, and misunderstandings. Yet it requires resilience to navigate through judgment and negativity, as well as developing a robust support system that acts as a glitter bomb, dispersing darkness.

For members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially the youth, the act of being themselves is not just a personal journey; it is a survival strategy. In a world often clouded by higher rates of mental health challenges, discrimination, suicide, homelessness, and violence, embracing authenticity has become a lifeline. Being true to oneself is not just an act of empowerment; it is a crucial means of resilience and self-preservation and a shield against the storms of a world that may not always understand or accept our vibrant identities. In this context, living authentically is not just an act of rebellion, it is also a declaration of existence.

Embracing one’s uniqueness fosters a society that values individual differences and promotes unique perspectives and experiences. While it may be uncomfortable at times, the act of standing out becomes revolutionary and a means for broader societal acceptance, gradually eroding the boundaries that stifle diversity.

The enduring effects of living authentically are like a cosmic force, sending shockwaves of transformation through the universe of human connections. On a personal level, it is a radical journey about embracing your quirks and turning them into your superhero cape because who needs a secret identity when you can be authentically and unapologetically you? Self-acceptance becomes your sidekick, resilience your superpower, and continual personal growth your origin story.

Zoom out, and the societal impact is like a grand symphony breaking through the silence of a world accustomed to a muted soundtrack. Being yourself

 is not just a personal rebellion; it is a hammer, shattering the norms that cage individual expressions. It is a direct call for a more inclusive culture, where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated like harmonious notes in a vibrant melody. It is the ultimate uprising, breaking down barriers and fostering a deeper understanding of the unique pieces that compose the human experience.

Think of the long-term effects of this rebellion as stardust in the wind—tiny, colorful fragments of authenticity that settle into the very soil of our shared existence. This legacy is not just a footnote; it is a roaring chapter in the epic saga of openness, acceptance, and unapologetic celebration of the kaleidoscope of human existence.

In a world that often demands conformity, the journey toward authenticity is a courageous and transformative endeavor.

Although this path may be fraught with challenges, the profound and lasting effects of authenticity shape both individuals and society. Encouraging others to embark on this transformative journey is not merely an act of personal empowerment; it is a powerful accomplishment, a call for societal change, creating a world in which everyone can live authentically and contribute to a more diverse world without fear of judgment.

So, here’s to living authentically bold, unapologetic, and always fabulous!