DeAngelo Jackson: Activism & Sex
Article written by Alexander Rodriguez, host of On the Rocks with Alexander
Nothing is hotter than when someone sexy is also an activist, inspiring and challenging our community. Adult film star DeAngelo Jackson has been in the industry since 2009, earning money for his Criminal Justice studies at Florida State University. Never having been with a man or woman, he lost his virginity on-camera and has never looked back. He has been a mainstay in the adult film world and is the first black man to win a GAYVN Best Actor Award in 2020 and most recently claimed the most coveted GAYVN Performer of The Year 2021 title. Now he is hitting the scene with a different kind of film.
DeAngelo narrates and executive produced Being Black in Porn, following the lives of four gay men of color as they navigate their way in the competitive and often complicated adult film industry. Through interviews with DeAngelo, Dillion Diaz, Max Konnor, and Rock Rockfella (who directed DeAngelo’s first scene in porn), the film examines their unique experiences including their encounters with racism (being cast in servant roles or as thugs; also, facing white performers who refuse to perform with them because of the color of their skin), stereotypes (black talent are expected to have large penises and they’re made to bottom when they do not) and inequality (though “BBC films” is one of the most searched terms in porn, black actors report making less money than their white counterparts). In addition to their time behind the camera, Being Black in Porn delves into the personal lives of the men, exploring the impact their careers have on their real worlds, on social media, and in the global Black Lives Matter movement. The film is produced with Noir Male, the adult film studio that DeAngelo has been a contract player now for three years.
This film comes during a timely period as we celebrate Pride season…we can’t forget that members of our own community face additional bigotry, and not even the adult film industry is immune. We sat down with DeAngelo for this Andrew Christian exclusive:
Photo Credit: Noir Male
What is your favorite part about being in the adult industry?
I enjoy acting. It's fun taking on a new role and being directed. I'm an exclusive talent with Noir Male, so I really do enjoy the time and effort that goes into selecting a set location, the script ideas, and the level of professionalism. I also love my fans! I have the best fans there are. It's so cool meeting them in person and them being in shock that it's me. I was in Dallas over the weekend for Juneteenth and one fan legit passed out. It's so humbling to be in their presence.
How did you get your stage name?
Two of my all-time favorite singers are R&B sensation D'Angelo and Michael Jackson. I mean combine the 2 and you get me! LOL
What is your coming-out story?
I actually wasn’t given the opportunity to come out because I was outed by a family member. I wasn’t out before my first scene with Flavaworks. It's really sad when we don't have the opportunity to share our own truth. My advice to anyone who wants to make that choice for someone else is, don't.
What was the spark that inspired you to make Being Black in Porn?
Noir Male pulled together many of their most frequently used performers last year around Juneteenth, which is another reason I wanted the trailer to launch for Juneteenth. The thing about Jon is he is about actions speaking louder than words, publicly people were accusing them of not saying anything, not being a part of the movement, but he actually was coming to us to see how they can do better as a company.
From this dialogue, I heard all of my peers' concerns, issues, and treatment. I immediately reached out to my manager and we pitched the idea to Noir Male and here we are!
Why do you think we, as gay men, are so slow to talk about racial issues within our community?
I think oftentimes people assume that gay people are already marginalized and that we just all get along, and have no issues. Well, I'm here to say that's not true.
What did you learn most about yourself from producing Being Black in Porn?
I learned that we all are a part of the problem, and we all can be the solution. There is so much more that I want to do to assist in creating a safe space where all industry professionals feel valued and safe. This documentary is only Step 1. I have so much more that I want to do.
What did you learn most about filmmaking from producing Being Black in Porn?
There are so many moving parts. It was hard work getting a cast. We heard so many no's and then trying to get to them in the middle of a global pandemic. I personally am over virtual zoom calls, so it was important to capture these stories in person. I couldn't physically be everywhere because I was quarantined to work in LA for months, so our incredible crew was out there making it happen. Phone call after phone call, email after email, covid test after covid test, but they did it and I'm so proud of them.
Photo Credit: Noir Male
Was it odd to be naked on camera, in a different way, having the audience see your “beyond the camera,” real-life persona?
A little. I am actually shy. So to lead this project in the ways that I did really did have me feeling naked.
Have you gotten any push back from the adult industry for questioning the inequality that goes on?
Absolutely! Let's lead with the positive though. I'm so grateful to everyone who has shared the trailer, commented, emailed, and called. The support is amazing. We have had some pushback though. People aren't ready for the talk, but gone are the days of us waiting to talk. Speak to us now!
I was surprised to find out that it took until 2020 for GayVN to name its first black Best Actor win. What does it mean to you to have made GayVN history?
The GAYVN best actor award wasn't just for me. It was for all of my BIPOC performers who haven't received the recognition they deserve. My manager teases me all the time calling me Sidney Poitier of the adult industry.
How can we build bridges between the LGBTQ and black communities?
We need to start by having a dialogue and owning what we both contribute to the separation. Next comes respect, you don't have to understand me, but you definitely owe everyone respect. When it comes to the BLM campaign we must remember that ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER!
You have been in the industry for over a decade. To what do you attribute your long-term success in the business?
Staying grounded, healthy, and having a strong support system around me.
What assumptions do people make about you?
I think some people think I’m stuck up. Which is so funny to me. I’m very approachable and down-to-earth. I like to laugh, have a good time, and genuinely connect with people.
What is a stand-out memory from being in the business?
Standing on stage winning the GAYVN for Best Actor. I didn't think I was going to win. I was really nervous around that time too. My calendar had just launched and it wasn't selling as much as I hoped, so I was thinking "Is Noir Male going to be disappointed? Would they renew my contract?" Thoughts only in my head, so when my name was called, in my mind, the room paused, time stopped. When I looked around the room and saw how everyone was cheering me on, I was filled with so much joy. Such an incredible moment.
Do you have any love and dating advice for others in the industry?
Full transparency and communication are key to any successful relationship. I also offer the advice of ensuring that you comprehend what your partner is saying to you. Also, learn their love and apology language.
If someone were to slide into your DMs, what kind of messages do you respond to?
I must be honest. I only respond to messages that are business-related. I know I'm a prude LOL
What celebrity would you want to take home for a night?
Wolfgang Puck to make a romantic dinner for me and my partner. The way to his heart is through his stomach, and he loves me even though I can't cook. Wolfgang! Can you help a brother out?!
What is the strangest thing you bought online during COVID?
I guess the strangest thing would be moonshine pickles. I love moonshine and pickles... why not combine.
What is a hobby or strange talent your fans would be surprised to find out?
I dabble with the guitar.
If you were to design a pair of Andrew Christian underwear, what would they look like?
Why not a black and white Noir Male collab. I've always dreamed of modeling for you (hint hint).
You can view the trailer for Being Black in Porn here
Follow DeAngelo on IG: @TheoneDeAngelo