Pride Spotlight: Darnell
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: PRIDE MONTH!
We wanted to spotlight some of our bada$$ LGBTQ+ instructors this month as a way to spread the love.
Get to know one of our OG NYC faves Darnell and his PRIDE MONTH must-dos.
Tell us about your coming out journey:
Being black & gay hasn’t always been easy, and even this very day I find it hard AF - especially since I can only think about the negatives. When I was about 13 years old, my “friend” outed me to the ENITRE cafeteria while I was in lunch/recess detention (yes, I was a bad little rugrat ). It wasn’t until I received strange looks and comments from my peers to realize that my secret had been exposed.
I will say that at the end of the day, it was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulder because… I didn’t have to do a DAMN. THING. THANK YOU, GIRL! Even though that was a huge relief for me, I believe my biggest fear was communicating this to my mother. The last thing I wanted to do was lose the most important person in my life, but instead I gained the biggest cheerleader and the greatest love of all.
How long have you lived in NYC/ what was your journey to get here if you are from out of town?
I have lived in NYC for almost 7 years now!!! HOLY CRAP. I am originally from Lowell, Massachusetts (yes, I am a #MASShole 🏾), and was a student at Lowell High School where I found my joy and passion in performing. I started off in a show choir and would compete at different schools across the Northeast. I landed my first big role as Lion in “The Wiz”, was a member of my high school’s dance ensemble, and even tried the marching band life playing the trumpet.
The amount of opportunities I had to use my creativity was incredible. Which is why attending college in New York was, without a doubt, the BEST decision I ever made. Since graduating in 2016, I moved straight into the city and was exposed to not only other performing opportunities, but fitness as well!
What is your must-do pride month activity?
Watching the Parade , taking shots - oh, and Drag Brunch!
Love that! What is your favorite queer show/podcast/move/book?
My favorite show is Pose on FX and RuPaul’s Drag Race
Are you dating or single? SPILL THE TEA!
Single! My last relationship ended earlier in the year, and my biggest challenge was giving back to myself. I am very independent and, for a while I’ve been finding ways to give myself that same amount of love (if not more) that I have been giving to someone else. So to answer the question, the best parts of the single life is the attention you receive, the focus you are able to give yourself, and all the rules ya get to break!!!