MY NAME ISN’T CHARLIE, a coming-of-age Black and queer in the modern South memoir

I first ideated sharing my complex, poignant (and sometimes hilarious) stories when I was only a junior in high school. While applying to colleges, I quickly realized that the Common Application’s 750-word limit wasn’t a sufficient allotment to write my personal statement. 750 words couldn’t even begin to explain what it’s like to have been raised in the South as I explored my intersectional identity as queer and Black. I knew that if I were to write a story with unflinching authenticity, I would need more time and space. This was over six years ago—shortly thereafter, I developed what would become my first draft manuscript of my memoir and have been working on improving it ever since.

MY NAME ISN’T CHARLIE Mission Statement

MY NAME ISN’T CHARLIE (50,000 words) explores the all-too-often unexplored intersection of queer, Black, and male identities in the modern South.

MY NAME ISN’T CHARLIE is profound and moving as Laurie Halse Andersons’ Shout, witty and humorous as Michael Arceneaux’s I Can’t Date Jesus, and curious and quirky as the character Lionel from the screenplay Dear White People. 

Despite themes such as a parent’s mental illness, homelessness, homophobia, racism, physical abuse, and attempted suicide, MY NAME ISN’T CHARLIE earns its place among the LGBTQ* literature that doesn’t end with tragedy, but instead serves as an inspiring testimony about living courageously in the face of rejection.

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The next step for me as a writer is to find either a literary agent or a publisher who would like to help me put this story out into the world. Together, we’d work together to create a final book that’ll inspire many queer youth to step outside of their thoughts of suicide and into a life that they’re proud of.

If this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, please consider helping in one of the following ways.

  1. Join my e-mailing list for updates on my writing journey
  2. Contact me at charles (at) charlesorgbon.com
    • if you’re not a writer, but are interested in being a volunteer beta reader for the manuscript and providing feedback
    • if you are a writer and would like to form a critique circle where we can review each other’s pieces
    • if you are a literary agent or publisher and would like to discuss my writing
    • if you’re a part of a social group or organization that would like to host me for a talk either now or when my book will be published