[oasis]

[columns]


Paul Sepuya

February 1998

Welcome back, Oasis readers. All of you out there know that it's now February, and us single teens both young and not-so-young, queer and not-so-queer, out and not-so-out, will have to put up with That Day. Saturday the 14th of this month, aka Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day, Le Jour de l'Amour, El Día de los Enamorados... so be it

I pray that I should be so fortunate to find someone to spend Valentine's Day with, besides my other friends who wish they'd got a lovie to hang with too. Not that I don't love the company of my oh-so-wonderful friends, but you're supposed to spend this special day with someone whom you love in THAT way.

We in my group all know who we secretly yearn for, and I being as out and proud as I am, have made it perfectly clear who I have the hugest crush on. I'll call him X. I've known X since Freshman year. I've thought X was kinda cute since the middle of Freshman year. I've been in love with X since August 17, 1:30pm. That's the moment he came up to me in the midst of the mall to say hi out of nowhere, and I fell into his deep brown eyes and haven't gotten up yet. His handshake caught me, his Spanish accent drew me in, and his soul has held me close ever since. Now it's the middle of Sophomore year...

X knows I like him, has known for a long while. A lot of girls have liked X too. X never has gone out with a girl as far as anyone knows. No one at school knows if X is gay or bi or what. Is X just shy with the girls and won't even talk to them when they jump in his lap and say "I want you, Eric" ? (Oops, just gave away his name!) Or could those who suspect X may be gay or bi be right, and I'd be the first to get a chance with him? X... X even stares over at me from across the room, I've noticed...

About 40 of my 50 or so poems I've written about, are inspired by X. In my writings, I can express to him everything I've ever wanted to say to his face, but behind the security of poetic license. X has heard almost all of them. But then, so have all my friends....

X. I've gotten the courage to call him twice... X. X. X.... at least we're still friends, if it can be nothing more...

I've never lost hope....

(SCENE CHANGE)

and speaking of hope, I'm afraid I've crushed one of my mother's dreams for me. Because you see, in the life of every young dedicated Christian, there comes Baptism, and finally the choice of Confirmation. A sacrament in which you receive the continuing strength of God the Spirit, to help guide you to a mature Christian way of life for the rest of your days.

And unfortunately for Mother Dearest, I am not that young dedicated Christian.

"But all you have to do is believe in Jesus Christ. And do you believe he died for our sins, and in everlasting life through Him?," she says every so often to me.

in a way, I suppose you could say so," I reply

"Then that's all you need, so start thinking of Confirmation. It would be good," she adds.

That's lovely, isn't it? Do I believe Jesus Christ? I believe in Jesus, with or without the Christ surname. Well, I don't believe that you have to find "salvation" through any Church. The teachings of Muhammad, Buddha, the Rig Vedas, and pagan faiths all have something good to say to humanity, and more importantly, about humanity. We all have a need to feel secure, to know what will happen post-mortem. Seeing as a faith doesn't become destructive to one's own self pride or put down others, then it's A-OK for me.

I do not discriminate on account of faith. Confirmation would be the ultimate in discrimination and exclusion. By doing so, I am saying that living a Christian life, though it may be good at points, is above other faiths.

I just cannot see my friends who are Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Witches (Wiccans) etc. going to hell for being just as good and moral as everyone else, but only because they didn't recite the Nicene Creed.

That's a shame

(SCENE CHANGE)

On a happier note, I went to see RENT at the Ahmanson Theatre, downtown in LA. Next week is its last week showing in LA, so by now it's moved on. I always wanted to see it months ago when I saw the Oasis story way back, but never got around until now.

Absolutely wonderful. That sums it up. A true to life, encouraging, tear-jerking, and always cheerful story of a group of young New Yorkers, all trying desperately to find a place, a family, "living in America, at the end of the millennium." It was wonderful to see so many positive gay characters, and straight one's too of course.

You'll love the music, the performances, the drama and comedy. It's all good.

(SCENE CHANGE)

Now I realized that this column got very long, and it may get longer. Sadly for all you novel readers, it won't be that long. But I want to say one more thing.

What is the difference between gay, queer, and faggot?

I and my friends were recently hanging out one weekend. We got to talking about sexual orientations and sexual lifestyles while a talk show was on in the background. After much scholarly debate and Greek-style rhetoric over fast food, we came to this conclusion (sorry if I will soon offend anyone, but I can't make everyone happy):

gay, we'll call someone who is homosexual. attracted romantically and physically to the same sex. gay doesn't necessarily make you queer or a fag as you will see...

queer/queen, we decided are guys who act effeminately and flamboyant. this is just who they are. queers can be gay bi or straight, but used by homophobes to refer to gay guys because they want to picture gays as not as "manly" as they are. Queens are always fun to hang with. You can also say queer is anyone non-straight.

faggot. you're not a fag unless you like to call yourself one. we thought could apply to extremely "militant" gays or gay queers and queens. They like to call themselves faggots while walking proudly in the streets. This is "out and proud" gone out of hand. Most gay people don't like to be called faggot.

Doesn't that make you think? It's good for people to think about these labels, and about how they throw them around when referring to people. You don't have to agree with me about what me and two of my (straight but gay-loving) friends came up with.

If you don't agree with what we came up with, or want to tell me your opinions on this or anything else, then feel free to email me at spacemanq@geocities.com, and my homepage is at http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/2446/

Au revoir, and until next month. Love y'all!

"Paul, I'm happy that you're so cool and gay and out, but I'm glad you're not queer or a faggot like that guy on the Jenny Jones show with a lisp!"

-my friend Shaun


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