Letter from the Editor -- November 1999

Wow, I totally blanked last month and made no reference to either National Coming Out Day or October being Gay History Month. Of course, I've run out of people to come out to, so the day doesn't hold much for me.

Yesterday, I went to the unveiling of the Project Names AIDS Quilt, and it always affects me. Guys near my age, younger, older... but you can see their dreams, hopes, love, strength conveyed in the panels created by the people they left behind. And it's scary because I still think there's a second wave of AIDS on the way, mainly within the age group reading this magazine.

But this time, we are consciously killing ourselves. We know the risks, how to avoid them, etc. Many people the first time around were long infected when prevention was an option. You're not.

We're all guilty of the same things. Oral sex without condoms being chief among them. Mike Walker talks about that in his column this month, check it out.

Last month, I went to a sex club to get tested for HIV (first time I had been in there, btw). It's close to my house and I walked by on the day the tests were happening, so it wasn't just another thing for me to forget about. When I was there, the tone seemed strange. I told them my sexual history, which I won't repeat here because no one needs to know that little about me, and they almost seemed to be encouraging me to have unprotected oral sex.

I told them I had flavored condoms if I needed them, and they gave me statistics whereby only 1 in 20,000 people can get infected by sucking some guy off. I can see them using stats like this to reassure someone who has had a lot of unprotected oral sex. But I already told him about my (boring) history and condoms?!

It just seemed odd.

I guess I'm just concerned about people telling me about going down on people they barely know who "looked safe," whatever that means. I am not discouraging people from doing whatever they want sexually, just think before you suck. And do what makes you comfortable, not what you think you should do to not break the mood with some guy.

Not much else happening. Seeing the Pet Shop Boys and Indigo Girls this week (two separate shows, not an oddly-forced double bill), so I'm excited about that. And I have my Bette Midler tickets for December, so I'm doing my proper gay concert activity.

Still no takers on any volunteers who want to do some PhotoShopping for Oasis. Mainly it's just to get a backlog of author photos on the site. Nothing exciting. I haven't drawn T-shirts on head shots cropped from former naked body shots in quite a while for Oasis. So, don't expect anything as, umm, revealing or exciting.

Next month marks Oasis' fourth anniversary, which is spooky. Can't believe it's been four years. We're hoping to have a redesign either next month or January, so send in anything you want changed and we'll see if it's something we want to pursue.




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