“I’ve created expectations of myself based on what I imagine others expect of me. Noah was the poster child for black gay hopeless romantics and it just so happened that Darryl desperately wanted to be in love, too. When people were writing to me on social media, asking me how to find a boyfriend like Wade Robinson, I wanted to have answers for them. I wanted to offer them an example of how happy and fulfilled gay men could be if we stopped limiting our sexual encounters to shame-based trysts with strangers.”–Darryl Stephens, Required Reading: How To Get Your Life For Good
It has been a decade since the first episode of Noah’s Arc aired on Logo TV. Darryl Stephens exploded on the scene in 2005 as the lovable, sexy, hopeless romantic Noah. The show, which was the first of its kind, featured the lives of Black gay men living and loving in Los Angeles. Now, almost a decade later, Darryl opens up in his tell-all book that delves into love, loss, dating, sex and acting as an actual gay Black man living in Los Angeles.
Darryl is currently starring in a new film named, From Zero to I Love You, which is set in Philadelphia. Don’t be surprised if you spot Darryl downtown Philly filming this summer, boys! It was nice to catch up with Darryl for a one-on-one interview before the premier of his new show and right after the publication of his new book, Required Reading: How To Get Your Life For Good.
In your book, you talk a lot about dating, which I love! Does your profession as a gay Black actor add a layer of complexity that you wouldn’t necessarily see attached to other professions? For example, do guys have a hard time separating Noah from Darryl? That has been a big issue for me. For years after that show [Noah’s Arc] I was getting, you know, approached very aggressively by men who thought I was going to bend in the same way Noah would.
Like … literally? In a sense, yes! So, I have had to be sort of be on guard a lot. It’s more about negotiating what information people are approaching me with. Are talking to me because you saw me in a coffee shop or is this about something you are assuming based on a character? It does sort of keep you alert. It’s just an added layer due to being visible. Read more »