afternoon snacc

Let’s hear it for ‘Tom Swift’s’ sexy star Tian Richards, TV’s first gay Black lead

Photo Credit: Getty Images

If you haven’t already, you need to follow Tom Swift star Tian Richards with a swiftness.

The sexy actor-on-the-rise is making waves in the titular role of the new CW mystery-drama, lauded as television’s “first gay Black lead.”

Related: A gay billionaire inventor sends sparks flying

A spin-off of the network’s supernatural take on Nancy DrewTom Swift is a modern-day update of the literary hero. Richards breathes new life into the classic character, reimagining him as young inventor-entrepreneur-billionaire-playboy who just so happens to be gay and very, very hot.

“What does a genius inventor do when he’s not inventing or genius-ing?,” one character quips. Well, see for yourself in this steamy scene (the clip is age-restricted on YouTube, so you’ll just have to click through yourself, but there’s a screenshot tease below):

Screenshot: The CW

Yes, we’re pleased to report that The CW series isn’t shy about giving us glimpses into Tom’s sex life. You might think of network drama’ as being pretty chaste, but in the five episodes that have aired thus far, Tom Swift has given us plenty to swoon over.

And Richards, similarly, hasn’t been shy, posting a number of steamy pics on his Instagram that prove he’s just as suave and stylish even when he’s out of character.

 

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A post shared by Tian Richards (@tianrichards)

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Richards opened up about what it’s meant to him to have his unabashedly queer, Black character out there in the world—during Pride Month, no less:

“To see that people have this reverence for something that I was a part of, that obviously feels amazing,” shares Richardson. “And to be airing during Pride Month has been such a highlight, because the show is so many different intersections and we get to talk about the queer experience, what it’s like to actually exist and not just to be entering that space by way of coming out or coming to terms with ourselves. And for it to be Juneteenth this month and with just how much Black excellence is highlighted in the show, and that it shows us freely in all spaces and fully, I love that the most.”

 

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A post shared by Tian Richards (@tianrichards)

Richards has been making the rounds in film and television these past few years—with roles in 24: LegacyBeing Mary Jane, and Netflix‘ Dumplin’, to name a few—but Tom Swift is undeniably his biggest breakout yet, and it’s something he’s determined to not take for granted.

Related: TV has gotten gay AF and it’s probably only going to get gayer

“It’s beautiful because you see a coming-of-age story in a different way with a different hero at the front of it, and finally see us in those spaces,” the actor says. “Queer people and Black queer people, we don’t get to see our story portrayed that way—it’s usually by way of trauma or grief or oppression. Even though Tom is of the one percent of the elite culture, he still has human issues. He’s having fun, he’s got the cars and the clothes and the cool tech inventions, but we’re rooted in this heartfelt place. Tom is central, taken seriously, and still fabulous, insecure, broken, messy, and chaotic.”

We’re grateful for all the Tom Swift represents. And we’re certainly grateful it’s brought Tian Richards into the limelight—and actor who hope to see a lot more of in the future.

 

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A post shared by Tian Richards (@tianrichards)

 

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A post shared by Tian Richards (@tianrichards)

 

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Tom Swift airs Tuesdays on The CW—you can catch up now on The CW’s streaming website.