July 21, 2024

If I Told You Celebrates 2nd Annual Release Since 2022 Revival

Presley Beal 27' and Emma Feria 25'

IITY 24' Front and Back Cover. Photo Courtesy of Emma Feria

If I Told you held their release party on April 12th from 4:30-6:30, marking their thirteenth issue since the publication’s revival in the 2022-23 school year, Revisiting Doubt and Apostasy. Building student anticipation, The Bistro sold Lavender London Fogs in honor of If I Told You the day of the publication’s release. The night before publication, the staff, including editors Gab Bolds ‘25, Shelby Markey ‘25, Emily “EmJ” Jones ‘26 and intern Jordan Walker ‘24 built small paper boxes with printed designs and snippets of quotes from the newest edition, scattered around desks and coffee tables in Jenks.  

Though challenges change throughout the decades, our need to express suppressed feelings does not. If I Told You was revived last year by Maddie Miyares ‘22, after a decade-long hiatus. The publication’s mission is to provide a space for topics that are difficult to discuss and stigmatized within the church. The theme selected for this academic year, after months of thoughtful reflection and conversation by If I Told You staff, was “Identity Formation: Gender.”  

Photo Courtesy of Emma Feria

This included published stories depicting experiences with gender across various cultural backgrounds and contexts, along with a space for writers to share experiences beyond the gender binary–areas of dissonance or disconnect from traditional, heteronormative expressions of gender. After the reading of each piece by one of the If I Told You staff members, there were spaces for silence or “breaths” for individual reflection. Other pauses were followed by questions to prompt small group discussions. People at each table colored the black-and-white cover-art designed by Design Editor Ella Gerrard, ‘25. 

Drake Sprowles ‘24, Editor-in-Chief, spoke on the challenge of being the head of the publication receiving these heartful stories. “Every time I engage in this publication [and] the editing process, everything revolves around the intentionality of compassion and love, no matter who you are and where you’re at in life,” he went on to say, “I think that is probably the most striking thing to me and something that I deeply appreciate about If I Told You.” The feeling of being authentic and heard without judgment or disruption in your personal peace; no interruption of your words; just one’s anonymous expression of themselves…and a freedom in doing so.  

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