BE Modern Man: Meet ‘The Visionary’ Darnell L. Moore

Name: Darnell L. Moore

Age: 40

Profession: Senior Editor/Correspondent for Mic. Co-Managing Editor for The Feminist Wire

One Word That Describes You: Dreamer

What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?

It means so much to know that some of us are moving away from standard ideas of black manhood. We aren’t all straight, cisgender men. I am honored to be represented in my truth: I am a black gay man who thinks critically about what that means everyday. So, it’s nice to know BEMM is a space where black men can be represented in all the ways we show up in the world.

What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?

I can think of a few, but the moment that comes to mind right now is when I barely made it out of undergrad. I graduated with a 2.1 GPA. I was so ashamed, especially since I was voted ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ in middle and high school. I wasn’t used to failing.

But undergrad was difficult for several reasons: It was my first time away from my home and family in Camden, N.J. I was not prepared to survive on the predominantly white campus of a Catholic University. I partied a lot and smoked a lot of weed. I suffered a minor heart attack that took me away from school for a semester. I battled depression, which was exacerbated by my growing awareness that I was attracted to other men. I really believed God hated me, etc. But I made some amazing friends, developed a support system and finished. I went on to complete two master degrees after that. It was a rough but blessed journey.

What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?

Trust is so important to me. It is one of the keys to experiencing safety in relationships. And if I can’t trust another person with my body or dreams or well-being, I will back away.

What are some immediate projects you are working on?

The most immediate is my memoir. It’s a book that mixes cultural criticism, social commentary, and personal narrative. I have been working hard and hope that whatever I create reflects that hard work.

What is the best advice you ever received?

To be my truest self. To love myself.

What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?

Figure out what you’re passionate about — the thing that keeps you up at night or wakes you up in the morning. Hone in on that passion. Chase it down. And all else — resources, contentment, fulfillment — will follow.

How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?

Sheesh, I am anxiety prone so I try to center myself, meditate, pray or take several trips to the restroom (haha). So many people react surprisingly when I tell them I’m an introvert. But I work to prepare myself.

As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?

I don’t like to travel alone, but I challenged myself to take a leap recently. I traveled to South Africa solo and spent time in Cape Town and Johannesburg. To say it was amazing would be an understatement. I learned so much about myself. And tapped into the courage I forgot I possessed. I also met new friends and experienced some unforgettable moments I would have missed had I had my friends to hide behind.

If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I am planning a return to Cape Town. If all goes well, I’ll be there for a few months. It’s gorgeous and the people are too.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Most of what I learned about becoming a man; rethinking manhood, I learned from my mama.

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