By Jackson Cooper, Staff Writer
Published in print Apr. 1, 2015
The accountant who spends his whole life trying to calculate Pi has the same amount of difficulty in his job as the writer who writes his memoirs.
The writer will spend his whole life trying to understand life’s solutions (if there even are any) and find the hardest part about putting words on paper is when they are about yourself. He or She must be fearless and unflinching with words, not letting their self-consciousness get the better of them. It’s a tough task, sharing your stories and memories.
“I Don’t Do Boxes” (IDDB) is an independently published literary magazine with the mission of sharing the stories of the southern LGBT community and features creative writers who are fearless in their courage to share their stories of first love, coming out, and even offering advice. Now in its third issue (available online and in print), IDDB seems to be the Triad’s most inventive creative outlet for giving voice to the LGBT community.
Allen Moore, the 18-year-old editor of the literary magazine, first became involved in the publication two years ago, but assumed the position of managing editor in January. “I got involved because I wanted to share others’ work, not my own, but help others have a voice and for their work to be seen.”
Before becoming editor, Moore was not—like many who also identify as gay—involved in the queer community in terms of literature, political rallies, etc. Since serving as the managing editor, he has created with the magazine a sort of literary haven for people of the community to have a voice. They don’t necessarily have to be majoring in English at Harvard.
“The responses from the community has been extremely supportive,” Moore commented when asked about the short span of two years the magazine has been in publication. “Two years ago, [with the first issue] it was produced by the editorial team with a majority of it being their own works. By the time the second issue came around and we had opened the submissions, we received enough to where the editorial board didn’t need to contribute and could focus on filtering and finding good submissions.”
I picked up a copy of the first issue, subtitled “School’s Out”, at Glenwood Books and was moved by its honest writing & the amount of varied topics the stories offered. Stories on topics like Queer Hip Hop, an article on discussing consent with your partner, and even a touching reflection about two girls who invented “invisible boyfriends” just so they wouldn’t risk the backlash of coming out as gay or bi. It was like I was reading an issue of Reader’s Digest, except longer articles and better writing; everything was engaging and different.
That is what IDDB celebrate; being different and engaging.
For those interested in submitting their own work for consideration, Moore recommends going to the IDDB website and clicking the tab “Share Story,” send an email, and, if chosen, sign the release form for publication.
IDDB is in collaboration with Elsewhere, the urban, chic Living Museum in downtown Greensboro where open editorial meetings for IDDB are held every other Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. In the same building, a program called Queerlab, which provides youth with workshops focusing on digital storytelling and creative media production. The workshops, as well as Elsewhere Art Museum, are free.
With the recent decisions in Indiana and other states to adopt anti-gay laws, it is a publication like “I Don’t Do Boxes”, and people like Moore and the editorial staff, that provide a safe, creative, and healthy way for voices to be heard. To say thank you, join them for a meeting one Wednesday, submit a piece, or simply pick up the next issue and engage yourself.