What effect has Oasis had on Curtis Lawrence's life? That's a pretty good question, so to answer it how about we go back to the beginning...
First, there was no visible light as all matter and energy from the previous universe had condensed into an infinitely dense mass that distorted the space around it infinitely. Then the black hole's event horizon surged outwards and a then collapsed faster than the speed of light...
Sorry, wrong beginning! But it would have been cool to hear Patrick Stewart doing the narration for it!
I first discovered Oasis last year in about April or June, having grown bored of merely using the free (well, sort of free if you don't count tuition!) Internet access at my university for the ignoble pursuit of porn. All right! I admit it! I was beginning to become a porn/erotica addict (gross exaggeration) so I decided I'd have to find something else to fill the void that was my life. We are officially forbidden to use IRC at the campus because one year it caused a complete systems failure or something (and besides that, no one could get at the computers to do something really important like find pictures of sailor moon), so I never heard of stuff like #gayteen, etc.
So screwing up my courage (after checking around to see if anyone could see what was on my screen -- I was a VERY paranoid boy at this time in my life -- I typed in gay youth resources. Among the stuff for young people was an icon for Oasis, the online magazine for queer and questioning youth.
Wow, I thought, that's different from just having some online pamphlet telling me about the issues. These are people like or bearing some similarities to me. I experienced the Rapture there for a little while, bathing in the screen's warm, glowing, warming, glow (screens aren't supposed to generate radiant heat are they? it might explain why the fertility rate around here is dropping -- only 57 new single and/or scummy people raising illegitimate kids!)
I found 'sexually diverse' youths from all over the world here at Oasis, even some from really close to my home town of Cesspool -- I mean Glace Bay! -- it was like the distances were shrinking incredibly fast and my mind was exploding outwards over the world embracing all in its reach making me aware of all life and matter! Pretty cool, huh? Bet it makes other stories like "it gave me a really warm and squishy feeling inside, either that or I require diapers" look pretty mundane (and a tragic testimony to the large number of incontinent gay people in our midst, so give money to the charity, please. Send all checks payable to me)
Even to this day my fellow Oasiseans inspire me, move me, and make my eyes shrivel by writing unnecessarily long columns like this one. For several months, I just sat back and merely read, then finally I got up the courage to submit an article. Jeff, our illustrious editor, mentor, and all-around cool guy, contacted me and asked for stuff like a picture, he was nice, understanding, and then he flirted with me and made me feel cheap---no! Just kidding!
Now after this my fourth article, I'm just about ready to take the next steps in my development, I've joined the college support group and am beginning to select those whom I wish to come out to.
In addition I'm getting a little political: I'm taking an honors course where you pick your own topic of study and this year I'm going to examine the topics of gender assignment and something called, I believe, adolescent gender/sexuality identity disorder (or something really close) I'm going to be examining the ethics of tinkering with a child's identity simply to make there parents less embarrassed of their children (that's not the only reason for these procedures but it is part of them). And a bunch of other neat stuff like that!
So thank you, Jeff, and all you other writers. You've all helped me on the road to realizing my potential, which is a really nice thing to do for a humanist.
With a feeling like a whole big bunch of good things wrapped up in a blanket with me in the center,
Until you read about me next month,
2nd Lt. Korboq of the IKS Dreadlock
(So I joined the Klingon Assault Group, so what?)