I know the first moment I decided I was going to start a magazine because it’s not an easy day to forget: November 9, 2016. I remember I was working at the University Bookstore, and copies of 1984 and What We Do Now were flying off the shelves. The shock of my country electing a man that wore BIGOTRY proudly tattooed across his head was a grotesque reminder that I and everyone I cared for were not safe.
Feeling angry at myself for my naïveté and inability to take action, working three jobs to pay my rent, and having spent the past few years in a writer’s block I felt might never lift, I felt utterly powerless. And at some point, I was flipping through a magazine and found myself reading a sarcastic article about the dos and don’ts of being a houseguest, and I couldn’t stop laughing. God, I could write a whole book of those. Call it “How to Not Be a Dick.” Maybe it could be a recurring section in a magazine.
—And why don’t I just start that magazine?
A year later, a hundred miles from where this began, I’d told everyone I knew I was going to make a magazine, fallen into self-doubt and disrepair at the level of work and money it would take, lost some friends, gained some friends, spent the better part of a year trying to believe there were alternatives to suicide, lost a lot of faith in humanity and gained back a lot of love for it.
In a haphazard way, I figured out that at the heart of this publication I was trying to find a way to nurse my wounds. More, I was trying to find a way to combat apathy and despair and lend an arm to those outside myself.
But how? I was more than a little sick of the methods of the internet (social media). Useful to some as they may be, the excessive self-coddling and sensitivity, the endless complaints and questions with never any answers in sight… all of it dragged down on me until I just up and left. And felt better. Granted: Answers aren’t easy to find and everything should be questioned. Setting and respecting boundaries is deathly important. And gentrification is a terrifying reality when your home is being taken from under your feet. But. I want to believe there are alternate ways to explore the chaos and, small though they may be, that real answers to real problems exist and wait only for platforms to help them reach those that need them.
So I cobbled together the idea of a magazine that could serve this vague goal: artists and creatives that wanted to do something about the Big Bads in the world. Or at least in our tiny communities. It would be a compilation of art as witness to life, humor as witness to pain, and what support systems we could provide in the hope that someone, somewhere, could benefit from them.
Since asking for submissions I’ve been overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude and humility as one by one each story, each artwork, was proffered forward from our contributor’s hands. For the first time, I realized I was not alone and this magazine was about to grow into something so magnificently beyond myself that I would become only a small part of it. For this I can only say: Thank you, I am immensely grateful and consider every submission an honor to receive.
With that I am proud to announce the first issue of Beholder Magazine. Enjoy.