March 1999

Hey there Oasis readers;

This is my first column, so, before I delve into something that has particularly been on my mind lately, I will tell you a little about me. I am 16 years old, male, and I am a High School Junior in a particularly conservative, small Texas town known as Levelland. (The name even sounds boring, doesn't it?) There, I think that is enough for now. OK, now for my thoughts:

Limp wrists. A straight man's fantasy. Swaying hips. Close cropped hair. Seems like these seem to be what defines us, doesn't it? That makes me sick. I know that there are those stereotypes because someone, somewhere fits them, they didn't pop up from nowhere, and although I have met people that fall into a couple of those categories, no one has ever fit them and that was all. There was always a little bit left outside the mold. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that people shouldn't have any of those characteristics as a gay person, but I don't think that others should force them on homosexual people as a whole.

I hate stereotypes, and the sad part is, I have grown up with them. Let's take a rundown, shall we?? (this is also a chance for you to know a little more about me.) I live in Texas (as I mentioned earlier.) No, I don't have a cowboy hat, ride a horse, and I DEFINITELY don't spit. I don't even have a bad southern accent. I'm tall. No, I don't play basketball. nor would I even know what to do if I wanted to. I am fond of swimming and volleyball though, and have lately been completely engrossed in Ping-Pong.

I'm a white person from the south. No, I'm not racist. I don't think that black people should be repressed, and the word nigger makes me physically ill. I'm male, and for that matter, a teenager. No, I'm not horny all the time, I don't think about sex constantly, and I try to keep from using any slang word for a genital. As a teenager, I don't do drugs, smoke, or drink. I'm not out to destroy property. Am I making sense here??

All I am saying is people shouldn't think that everyone is a certain way because they belong in one certain group. Also, we, as gay people, should heed that advice also, because even I am guilty of stereotyping straight people, or the majority of them, as homophobes. We are so guilty of being engrossed in hate that it is almost as sad as the real homophobic people out there. I do realize that, in some sense, we do have a right to hate, or at least fear, because I'll be honest with you: the only reason I am not out to my school and everyone there is because I am terrified of getting my ass kicked. Or worse.

I guess that is just the way things are, and it doesn't make me happy, but it is just the way things have to be (or maybe not, but that is the way it seems for now.) That doesn't mean that there aren't people out there who would support gay people, and maybe a lot of you are in an environment that it is completely ok, but, aside from a few friends of mine, two of which know I'm not straight, there is virtually no one here who doesn't mind it.

That doesn't make me hate people that don't like homosexuality, because a lot of times we hate what we fear. And I don't buy into the theory that all homophobic people are afraid of their own homosexual urges, although I do realize it is like that for some people. I think a big part of their hate is that they feel threatened on some psychological level. People are people, and you can't hate someone for who they are. No matter if they are the biggest jerks on the face of the planet.

We just can't become a 'gay club' and exclude heterosexual people and hate them, and then wonder what THEIR problem is. No one is oppressed unless they want to be, and even minorities can cause oppression on the majority. That is what I believe, anyway; a friend of mine and I got into a long argument (though we like to call them calm debates) over it once.

I'm sorry if I just wrote about a tired issue, but it has been playing on my mind for a while (I am fine with things playing on my mind as long as they don't get too rowdy.) It was either write about that or my lack of love. I have actually planned on writing a column for Oasis for a while, I just didn't have anything to talk about, and lately I have been bombarded with ideas. Well, until next time. My e-mail address is willum@animail.net. I love getting mail, so, feel free to unleash your ramblings and random thoughts on me. I'll listen, I promise.


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