12/11/13

radiosilence95's picture

I guess first and foremost I just want to say that Oasis has been a very helpful resource for me these past three years. The discussions and interactions I've participated in or observed on this site have been eye-opening and have allowed me to even make a few friends on this site. Living in a small rural town with basically no outlets for the LGBT community, a town with a very obscure and seemingly absent LGBT population, this website was a healthy way for me to express my doubts and my turmoils that I had to struggle through due to my sexuality and get some feedback and insight from courteous, free-thinking, caring people.

This site has been a safe place for me, but do I really need this place anymore? I've come out to basically every one I need to come out to, everybody I have come out to has been completely and unwaveringly accepting (that even, more recently, includes my mom's boyfriend, a hardcore Tea Party Republican), and my life is no longer defined by the little "gay" problems that I used to dwell on in adolescence.

The reason for my staying here for the past year or so has been to offer the same help and understanding demonstrated to me when I was a new member to other newer members. I mean, I obviously have still been writing the occasional journal, but that was mainly for my own purposes, to be able to look back on my own thoughts and life events in retrospection. Not only that, but I still felt the need to interact with others within the LGBT community. But the new members are few and far between, and the site's traffic, quite clearly, has dwindled in the past several months. Really the only valid reason I still journal here is for my own selfish reasons.

With that all being said, I think it's good that Oasis is no longer frequented as heavily. We should interpret the decline of Oasis as a sign of the times. A positive sign. Kids who are discovering their sexuality feel safer being out and discussing it with people who exist in their daily lives, friends and family and peers, not anonymous strangers on the internet. People of all generations are generally becoming more accepting of the LGBT community. Hatred and intolerance will always exist to some degree, but we've come so far. The national support for gay marriage is, last time I checked, approaching sixty percent. My own state, Illinois, has just legalized gay marriage, and now I'm free to marry the woman I love someday.

So the fact that Oasis has hit a rough patch in some ways may be tragic, but for me personally it's pretty much a good thing. The need to vent fear and self-loathing and anger that centers around sexual identity is not as extreme or as long-lived. Young adults have generally supportive friends to surround themselves with. Parents of the generation before mine are becoming more open to it. Oasis has been a great safe zone for years, but I would rather see it end on that positive note than have it linger in ruins within the veins of the internet years after its prime.

So that's my little speech about that.

My winter break has been filled with nothing but work and devouring literature. I'm working an average of 35 hours a week, I'm reading as many books as I possibly can, and I call my girlfriend pretty much every night. We talk on the phone till like three in the morning, and it's nice. I'm going to be staying at her house in Missouri next weekend, so that should be fun. I do enjoy talking to her, we have a lot in common, and we've made an agreement to see each other at least once a month, alternating between who has to drive to who each time. I'm enjoying this, just getting a feel for this relationship stuff, and still taking it day by day. Things are good between us.

Also my mom is getting married. It kind of came out of nowhere, but she showed us the engagement ring a few days ago and apparently it's happening. There's no date set yet. I am happy for her, I think she's with a decent man who's caring and honest and hard-working. Like I said, he's a Tea Party Republican who loves guns and scowls at this pesky thing called immigration, so I think it best if I avoid the discussion of politics around him. But he's a good guy, and he makes my mom happy, so everything's fine. The engagement was a bit unexpected. And it will be weird to have a male presence in the house after six years of living with two other women alone, but that shouldn't affect me so much since I'll, y'know, be in college.

Speaking of I cannot wait to get back to school. I like being home relaxing, but I'm starting to miss it a bit. I miss my suite mates too. Two of my closest college friends are staying with me the last three days of break, so I'm anxious for that. I just really love being out on my own, participating in classes that challenge my intellect, hanging out with wonderful people and whatnot. I'll definitely be ready to go back when the time comes.

Comments

jeff's picture

Yeah...

I do think the lack of traffic is because there are so many options for community anymore. Community is way more fluid now than ever. If you add five gay guys on Tumblr with similar interests, you immediately have people to talk to that you selected for some common interest (or they're hot, heh).

Over the years, a transition has occurred in general, which is that when Oasis launched, the site members were seeking a community, and felt removed from the friends and social groups they grew up with. As it became less a big deal to be gay, and society caught up, most people didn't jettison their old world, just added some gay element to it. So, as we transitioned from giving people a lifeline to a new life, and we just became where people would come to talk about the gay element of their intact, accepting social circles, that was the biggest shift.

Similarly, our membership used to be middle-upper white class who thought they were gay, and just needed a slight nudge to accept themselves/come out. Now, it is more likely to involve cutting, transgender, depression, and other things that were never as prominent an issue in 1995. So, I think that was another signal, that the membership went into other satellite issues.

As for relaxing, I am also loading up my Kindle since I go on a weeklong cruise starting Sunday, before settling into the family/holiday stuff. Just looking forward to relaxing at the pool/beaches/spa/hot tub and reading a lot.

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"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

elph's picture

Yeah... Kindle!

I'm also joining the crowd after holding off much too long... no more bookshelf or floor space remains! That was the deciding factor.

Presumably, my brand spanking new paperwhite is scheduled for delivery Monday!

jeff's picture

Yeah...

When I went to move from San Francisco to an hour away, one year before leaving California entirely, it became apparent that I could move 14 huge boxes everywhere I went, or switch to eBooks. So, I downsized to one box of books that year, keeping only reference books, cook books, and signed stuff.

I have the paperwhite, one generation earlier than your new one, and it is lovely. I wouldn't go back... Enjoy it!

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"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles