It's such a joy toward the middle of each month, when my e-mailbox starts filling up with submissions for the upcoming issue of Oasis.
When I came up with the idea for Oasis, I had concerns about being able to implement my vision of a webzine for queer and questioning youth. I was fortunate enough to get Jase on board to make the site look as good as it does, but each month I can only hope that the writers will actually write something.
It's not a normal publication, in that there's no money exchanging hands. I can't threaten Derik Cowan and say I won't pay him if he doesn't send his column soon. All of our writers are volunteer. They donate their time and energy, but more importantly, they share their lives. Many of Oasis' writers talk about their own lives and how being queer has and continues to affect them.
Most of our writers include their e-mail addresses at the end of their articles. And I can only ask that if something they write touches you, makes you think or just makes you feel better for those five minutes, drop them a line. You don't have to write much, just a line thanking them is fine.
They need your feedback and can't work in a vacuum. They need to know that readers are out there, and that the time they take each month to write for Oasis is a good use of their time.
I honestly wish I could pay them, but I can't. I lose money each month on Oasis as it is. But to me, each column in Oasis is special. Each represents a person that cares and is doing more than paying lip service to gay youth, they're making a difference.
Even as its editor, I still have a full-time job distracting me and don't show enough appreciation for the job the writers do. Each month I read our feature columns, and I just want to know more about each of the writers. I love them for their efforts, and for giving Oasis a variety of voices with a common purpose.
For me, Oasis is a voice I never had growing up. A voice I needed to have when I messed around with a "sleeping" junior high school friend and scared myself back into the closet. A voice to tell me I was okay, and that my life would be okay. Eventually, I sorted my life out without that voice, and my friend even told me 10 years later that he wasn't sleeping that night.
But, more importantly, Oasis is your voice. Please drop me mail and tell me what you like and dislike about Oasis. Who would you like to see featured in Oasis? Are there any homepages that helped you better accept yourself? In next month's issue, I'll be writing up a Reader's Survey to see what you think of the job we're doing.
I look forward to hearing from you.