[oasis] [columns]

Josh Puetz

October 1996

For the soul
You'd better give me something
To fill the hole
Before I sputter out

--The Eels, Novocain

Could somebody please explain to me what is going on in our government? Last time I watched the news, I sat on my couch with my mouth wide open in disbelieve. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed? I can't get married?

Now, understand that I have never been very interested in politics. The differences between Republicans and Democrats seem small to me. So far as I can tell, the goal of politics is to say whatever appeals to the greatest majority of voters in order to get reelected. I have never seen a politician that I trusted; they all seem to be a lot of image and no substance.

A friend of mine asked me the other day who I was voting for in the upcoming presidential election. After a few minutes of thought and discussion, I had to admit that I had no idea who I was going to vote for. I believe that it is important for everybody to exercise their right to vote, but I also believe that nobody should vote unless they are making an informed choice.

Evidently, human rights for gays and lesbians didn't make it into either the Republican or the Democratic platforms. I have no doubt that Bob Dole will never pass a bill that would give equality for homosexuals. On the other hand, I can only see Bill Clinton promising to pass such a bill and then stalling it. Which do I choose: inaction or empty promises of action?

When November finally arrives, I have a feeling that I'll be voting for the candidate and party that I stand to lose less with. Settling for the least harmful candidate; somehow I don't think that's what the authors of the constitution had in mind.

Enough of my ranting on politics; I've plenty of other subjects to rant about! Such as, what's with the recent out mania? Everywhere I look, it seems that another prominent person in the media is stepping out of the closet.

Just the other day I read some news at an entertainment website that said Ellen DeGeneres' character on TV, Ellen Morgan, would be coming out in an episode sometime this season. That would make her the first openly gay lead character on television; I never thought I'd live long enough to see that. Everywhere I look, even in my personal life, it seems like being homosexual isn't as big of a deal as I used to think it was.

Then I go to a party with my straight friends, like I did last weekend, and overhear a bunch of guys bitching about 'the queers.' I know they're just little boys that are insecure about their sexuality, but that doesn't make hearing the word 'faggot' sneered off in the distance any more comfortable.

National Coming Out Day is coming up this October 11. I'm not planning any type of earth shattering press conference, but I do plan on coming a little more out of the closet. I still have one foot in there, and it's not a comfortable feeling. I want to come out slowly, and on my own terms. What could be wrong with that?

So this October, the lies stop. No more excuses about who I'm talking to on the phone. No more covering up my screen when I'm reading Oasis. No more vague reasons for not chasing after women. And hopefully, no more guilt.

[About the Author]

©1996 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.