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Jason Hoffman

October 2000

So here's my thing:

Somewhere in-between last summer (oh those sweet summer nights-no.) and the ever-present NOW, I developed an itch (bitch) :this repetitive, compulsive, insistent, virulent unstoppable urge, and that was to do something with my weak sister self about this this. Never before have I felt a need to be any kind of revolutionary spirit. I didn't set out to Stop The Madness. I didn't set out to light it up. I didn't feel a terribly burning need to attend Pride functions or parades. I am not Che Guevara; I'm not even Ellen DeGeneres. BUT, in between that then and this NOW, I felt something in me, gestating a la "Alien," and that was and is the need to Do Something.

My personal charter during my senior year at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School was simple and ultimately completely futile: outreach. Try and talk to the underclassmen, provoke awareness and open conduits of communication. I saw some of the boi boys (but they didn't see me); I knew the bi and lesbian grrls. I wanted to leave something in my wake to help take care of that in future years, in future times where there are even more boys with heads shaved back into vanilla-colored wastelands of stubble, removing any trace of bishounen characteristic or androgyny or hips or gender doubt (and there will be more before there are less, mark my words). I wanted to make a path; slash and burn one if necessary. But one intrical (if that's not a word, just chalk it us to mespeak, babe) fact escaped me then; that was high school, dollface. Open yer eyes and look around; few enough people in the room at these GSA meetings as is, no more coming forward any time soon. Nobody wanted to ask, fewer wanted to tell. They shared it with close friends, then locked it up and kept it out of sight and undercover of the night. And shit no, baby; attending those GSA meetings would just draw waaaayyyy too much undue attention. Couldn't do it. So sowwy. Fuck you.

I chose to go to a liberal arts school for many reasons; first and foremost it was my work, i.e. Film and writing, my passions, and the sum totality of the two, which is screenwriting, which is supposedly what I want to do with the rest of my life. But second place was probably the local climate; the acceptance factor in regards to gay/lesbian/bisexual youth. Whether it was an open, diverse place. The College of Santa Fe was and is, so I went. From all I'd seen at my visit beforehand, it seemed certain that there was in fact a GSA of some shape or form here. There were enough gay/lesbian/bisexual students to more than warrant it, and they seemed perfectly integrated into the community-indeed, I've been perfectly loved and openly welcomed by everyone I've met here. I looked forward to enjoying meeting people of a like kind, in more ways than simply sexual preference, and finding ways to take on issues that were taboo and unable to be spoken of openly in high school. I still do, even if, as it appears as it may be, I have to restructure and resurrect the college's GSA myself (from earliest reports it may or may not have fallen into disarray-lovely). And if I have to do that then that, Smurf et Smurfettes, is exactly what the fuck I shall do. Brick by brick. Dollar by dollar. Flier by flier.

Some of you may look at me as quite the Froot Loop for daring to put my full name, rank, serial number, and educational institution on here. I don't have a problem telling you exactly who I am. I'm not about to hide it. Everyone in my life knows who I am and what I am, and loves and accepts me anyway. I will never compromise who I am for the sake of less drama or stress. That's all there is to it.

I don't see myself as militant. I never thought of myself as a militant advocate for homosexual rights and homosexual youth. I still don't. But when you're sick and tired, you're sick and tired. And I am so sick and tired.

I am sick and tired of scanning the Internet for 'gay youth' or 'webzine' and reading so many Plath-y little pieces from teenagers and boys or girls barely in or out of the seventh grade saying things like 'I feel disconnected' and 'I wish I could close my eyes and die' and I am so tired of knowing so many people who have Paxil, Ritalin, Zoloft, this that and the other, tune in and shut down, burn up and fall down, shut up and cut yourself, lacerate, incinerate, anesthetize, and burn yourself to the ground because you don't know what else to do. I have a tenuous understanding of what they go through because I have so close to some of those people, but I will never really know that pain, because I don't have it and never have.

I acknowledge that I don't know what it's like. I bouted with clinical depression from age ten to about age fourteen, but I had a wonderful psychiatrist and I got through it without drugs. I've always had a very loving, open relationship with my parents and my friends. I've never been on any kind of medication. I know what I want to do with my life and I know that I can admit I'm talented without that being egotistical (though sometimes I can be egotistical). I've had it relatively easy in all these respects, so I can't imagine what place some of those people are in. I did know, after reading like two dozen of these pieces, that I wanted to try and help make it stop.

So getting to the point, I suppose that's why I'm here-to try and Do Something, as usual. Whereas I couldn't reach out to the youth I wanted to in high school, I am determined to do it now. I want to be able to tell people that just because you love someone of your own gender and just because it may go against taboo, creed, society, religion, or anything else on our homogenized nation-planet (and really, doesn't our nation view itself as Planet America sometimes?) , it doesn't make you dead already. You are not a leper, you are not primordial slime, you're not condemned to the seven hells, you don't have to bleed yourself white, you don't have to up your Xanax dosage; you're alive, you're breathing, and you're among a immense and supportive sub-section of the world's people. Somebody told me once that every five minutes a gay/lesbian/bisexual/questioning teen tries to kill themselves. You want to know why I'm here? That's why I'm here. Hitting the repetition, I am SICK and TIRED.

I'm sick and tired of our milquetoast-fascist popular culture that goes through cycling fads over and over, that doesn't bat an eyelash at the gleeful objectification and sexualization of the 'girl singers' and their shades-of-Humbert-Humbert twirling-Lolita Catholic schoolgirl skirts. I'm sick and tired of a homogenized culture where the boys feel to need to burn and plunder their hair down to the roots just to prove that they're not girls or anything like that. I'm sick and tired of the oppressive, destructive, elitist, holier-than-thou elements in our society and culture that give so many of our youth complexes while still in the womb. I'm sick and tired of all the answers to every unhappiness coming up on flash cards that read PROZAC, LITHIUM, PREDNISONE, LIBRIUM. I'm sick and tired of all the depressing columns with guys wishing they had the courage to shoot themselves with Dad's shotgun. I am sick at heart and I'm tired of all that waste and, to quote "Network," "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" You want to call me an angry young man? Okay. You want to call me a fire-&-brimstone preacher without a revival tent? Okay. I'm not any of those things, but okay. But I know what makes my blood boil and my heart bleed, and it's columns with thirteen-year-olds talking about wanting to Hurt Themselves Today To See If They Still Feel and wondering why it had to be like this.

I'd rather be angry and alone and impotent then mum and placid. I'm not afraid of who I am-what I am afraid of is not being able to make a difference, to keep letting the numbers rise and the bodies drop, to stay impotent and keep taking shit. If you want to email me, email me. If you want me to email you, I'll email you. I've seen some of the most articulate, brilliant writers here in the Oasis archives, and I wanted to write for and to gay youth anyway, which is why I signed up. I'll talk to whoever needs listening to; I've developed a great side career as the useless listener. Anything that makes someone loathe and despise themselves on account of who they love less, I'm up for it. Anything.

I don't see myself as militant. I see myself as sick and tired. But if the twain shall meet-so be it.

For the record, I'm not just sick and tired, babecakes. :D I know I come on strong and scawwy here; my apologies. It's Project:Catharsis. I didn't even reach my usual heights of incoherent grandeur in my writing this time. I'm generally a lot more insane and silly, and I'll aspire to that more often. Next time:more on me, When I Knew, the difference between bois and *boys*, and why I'm in love with Shinji Ikari from "Neon Genesis Evangelion." Sounds like fun, doesn't it, kitten? I knew you'd think so. Smashing, dahhhhling.

Oh, and I know there's no picture to go with this. Sowwy. Workin' on it, babe.

luv luv

jase

--

Jason Hoffman is a bisexual nineteen-year-old Film major and freshman at the College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He originally hails from the bonny gravel and mud of Washington, D.C, or more accurately Chevy Chase (yes, you heard right) , Maryland, a suburb just outside the city, which lives up to its reputation as a bourgeoise fascist paradise. He is overly single and hugs his stuffed monster Blinky and girl friends for vicarious comfort. Ask him about Peter Gabriel, Bjork, or Tori Amos and get a kiss. He loves "Buffy," "Angel," "The Exorcist," "Twin Peaks," "Labyrinth," and lots else. Jason is by trade a writer, screenwriter to be exact, but you wouldn't know it from his lack of output. E-mail him (me) at jaseybrite@aol.com.


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