Two years of Oasis, it's hard to believe.
It's also hard to sometimes pull back and take in the big picture. A lot of the time, Oasis just seems like something I do each month in my living room by force of habit.
But this month made me realize what all has been accomplished. Initially, I had planned to feature a special section on what Oasis has meant to its readers and writers. Well, so many writers included that topic in their columns that I canceled the sections since a lot of the issue will speak to that throughout the sections.
One of the most amazing stories I read this month was from Eric Wahl, who found Oasis through one of his students while teaching in Turkey. The student was caught reading Oasis and expected to be punished, holding his arms in front of his face to thwart the expected blows. Shortly thereafter, he asked Wahl about being gay.
I mean, this makes it hard to think Oasis is just me sitting in my living room once a month.
A lot of people say that if by doing something they reach one person, they have done their part. Judging from the words in this issue alone, Oasis has fulfilled its role and surpassed any expectations I may have had.
Of course, that's no reason to rest on our laurels. So, next month, Oasis will be regularly updated and the initial page at http://www.oasismag.com/ will be changed daily. Each day one of our columnists will be plucked from the masses and made the columnist of the day, and news stories will be posted to the Web site as quickly as we can get them there (of course, we still have no paid staff, so cut us some slack every now and then).
A favorite feature from our June issue, Portable Pride, will now be a regular feature, and staff positions will be filled soon to bring Oasis readers the best of the Web, music, film, books and more.
But we can't do this without you. Oasis is founded on people like you helping us achieve our mission. So, when you find a news story about gay youth on some random site, let us know. If you see a great movie, either review it for the Portable Pride section or let us know the movie exists. Take a few moments to help people who aren't as far along as you may be with your sexuality. The entire Oasis staff at this point is nearly made up of former readers who now want to "give back."
Now, we're making it less of a commitment than writing a long column each month. Write a few paragraphs about a gay-themed book, and we'll let other people know it's worth reading (or not).
Because we're decidedly unlike most gay sites on the Web, whereby the primary concern is how to make money. Oasis' goal is finding out how we can help even more people. We have no intention of profiting from that mission. We are looking into some avenues that might bring money into the site, such as if you purchase your books by clicking a link from Oasis, but we will tell you how much money is brought in on a regular basis and what we spend it on. And not quarterly or anually, like some of these non-profits, when I get a check, you'll know in the next issue.
But most importantly, tell me what you want from Oasis. Tell me what helps you the most. Tell me what you wish we had online. Tell me your dreams and let's make them real together.
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