I first discovered Darnell’s body of work my junior year of college. It was a time of blooming, the seeds of understanding queerness, patriarchy, and feminism were deep set, and had become the lenses in which I navigated the world. It was for this reason that finding Darnell’s work was both healing and exciting. I hadn’t yet come across another Black queer male who was engaging with ideas of feminism and patriarchy in such an accessible way. Darnell’s work was, and is, an oasis, refreshing and stunning.
So I was thrilled when he was gracious enough to sit down for an interview near the beginning of the year. HIs memoir is equal parts social commentary and autobiography. He already offers so much of himself through his published essays, articles, and public speeches that anyone who follows him would be surprised to find that there's so much of him that we haven't seen: his bouts with depression, fragile relationship with his father, the internalized homophobia he battled, and challenges with self-acceptance. In his first book, Darnell forces us to ask ourselves: How many truths are inside us that we have to excavate out of the darkness?
In a world where forces both great and small are trying to convince us of our disposability, Darnell's memoir helps us feel less lonely. Darnell’s memoir teaches us to do the work of reacquainting ourselves with the parts of our stories that have grown dim, and in doing so, replace loneliness and isolation with more rich, more profound, and more loving companions.
You can order the memoir here.
Aaron is a Chicago-based writer, activist, and educator. His work has been featured in Colorlines, Mused Magazine Online, the Feminist Wire, TruthOut.com, the Advocate, the Education Post, and Chicago South Side Weekly. He is currently working on a speculative fiction novel for young adults. Follow him on twitter and Instagram: @Talley_Marked