It's the December issue of Oasis and I'm kind of stuck in a jam because I thought the celebrations were for November, but going through the November column I realized that there was indeed a few things I had forgotten to mention about what Oasis has done for me as an individual. So to refresh (what I'd stated in November column)
"I think that's what I really got from Oasis. Not just the fact that its a forum where I can submit stuff that I feel strongly about. But it's the fact that the content changes as the authors do. That is to say that the content shows the stories and life experiences of queer youth and the changes and growth that occur in our lives from month to month. I've never read an issue of Oasis where I came away feeling cheated. I never felt like I'd just been preached to by some higher power hack writer who knew dick all about the kind of stuff I'm facing and even less about how to deal with it. More the opposite, When I read Oasis, (past & present issues) I keep getting this feeling of honesty. No bullshit, no fake patronizing flack. Just the raw truth from a youth perspective that changes as we do."
And now onto this month's column
"It's not about us against them our gang against their gang. It's about being yourself. It's about letting people in. It's about taking a risk and trying. It's about sheathing the wit and being you. Yes, life is not fun but what's stopping you from being your normal charming self in the meantime. Just be you."
I've got that as the intro on my web page: http://www.storm.ca/~ajax. Oasis had a lot to do with the formation of that statement. When I first glanced at the personal columns two years ago I thought that they were... well just that "Personal Columns":i.e.: Single White Male looking for good times and fogged up monitor screens. I hadn't delved into the content and took the area at its name sake (just subconsciously added an "s" to personal). I didn't start reading the column until July of 1996.
After starting to read these I quickly learned my error and went through as many past columns as I could. Reading about the lives and situations of everyone just blew me away. It sort of made me hold my own experiences up to the light, and take stock of who I am as an individual, and attempt to break down the walls of shite and face life in a more honestly fashion.
In a sense I believe this is what drew me to write my first column for Oasis (and to come out a second time) and has continually forced me to look at life and draw the conclusions that matter most. By reading the words of others it has challenged me to be a better (more cynical?) person.
But I think the most important thing about Oasis is that its a constant reminder to anyone of us who gets online and find this site, and even for those who never see the site but get a copy of content from friends....We are not alone.
Because after all, Its a desert out there
Peace, Erwin J
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