I'm writing to rebut Mister Joshua T. Weiss' column in last month's Oasis, since I felt it inappropriate to give an entire feature column to Mr. Weiss' ranting.
Frankly, while I am a proponent of freedom of speech, I can't see why Oasis would print such hateful tripe. This is supposed to be a safe haven for queer and questioning youth, not a forum for Mr. Weiss' insult-hurling.
Mr. Weiss says that Paul Pellerito's 'gibberish' about PFLAG is not listened to. Who is HE to say this?
He goes on to say, and I quote, "Everybody just kind of gets lumped together in one big gay muck, like a talking blob, ranting about coming out and parents and movies and PFLAG and bad poetry and bad fiction and bad plays and the fact that the blob knows better than anyone else because the blob's been there, only it hasn't been there, it just likes to say it has because deep down inside the blob realizes that it's just the clockwork I talked about in July, it realizes it hasn't really felt, thought, or done anything. It's just sat there and complained. Or gone to a PFLAG meeting. For God's sake."
Bad poetry and bad fiction? Mr. Weiss, shall I review YOUR fiction? I don't think you really want me to.
You also refer to this 'blob' which hasn't really felt, thought, or done anything. Well, it's not a 'blob.' It's real people. People who feel all the time. People who think all the time. And people who are out there, doing things every damned day. Sat there and complained? You have the GALL to get angry because people are complaining? What on earth are YOU doing with that column?
Further, Mr. Weiss, guess what I have a shocking revelation for you. Coming out and parents and movies are a major concern for young gay people. These are TEENAGERS, not thirty-year-olds.
Mr. Weiss also has this to say. "We're youth. What has this magazine made us? What has the internet made us? We go through life clutching our modems and sucking our thumbs like Linus, thankful that, no matter how shitty the world gets, there are always people to talk to on Oasis who've been there, who've done that, who really care. Sure, if you're lucky. But most of them don't care. Just little cogs in the clockwork, waiting for every new month when they can sit down in front of their little computers and type their little hearts out so that nobody can care about what they've written. Great."
Gay teenagers commit suicide three times more often than straight teens. Most because they feel that there's nobody else out there like them. They have nothing and nobody with which to identify themselves. This makes me wonder, Mr. Weiss, how many of these Linus-like youth have been saved from suicide by reading an E-Zine like Oasis. And what on earth makes you think that people care about your own personal grudges?
"Well, not anymore. I'm through. Fend for yourselves, I'm gone. I have the only good thing borne out of my Oasis experience, and I'm running with him. I'd like to say I'm sad to leave, but that would be a lie. And though I am skillful at lying, now is not the time. So when are the rest of you going to stop pretending that you care? When are you going to stop pretending to know what the future holds? When are you going to accept the fact that you're all just dead?"
Death? Spiritually, I would say you were dead. You see only what you wish to see. I don't pretend to know what the future holds. I don't think any of us do. And, whether or not you believe it, some of us DO care. However, I would say that you don't care. You've got a boyfriend, and now that you've gotten something out of Oasis, everyone else can be damned. And I'd like to say that I'm sad to see you leave, but that would also be a lie. I don't think Oasis needs your negativity. I don't think the world needs your negativity.
Despite all of this, I wish you well in your future endeavors. Hopefully, you won't be too disappointed when you realize how wrong your view of the world is.
Until then, I'll be stopping to smell the roses on the way to a PFLAG meeting.
-- Andrew Downing