Innocent: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Innocent" is a movie about a 17-year-old character named Eric who is surprised to learn early in the film that his family's vacation in Canada from their homeland of Hong Kong is permanent. They intend to stay.

Eric is dealing with his homosexuality, but is not the shy waif innocent we're used to seeing in movies, despite the film's title. He stars as his cousin's ass in the shower, sleeps with a middle-aged man who sees him buying a gay porn magazine, goes right in for the kiss with his schoolmate, and seems like there might be a spark with a worker hired at the family's restaurant. He may be awkwardly dealing with his sexuality, but he seems pretty clear about it.

The movie, by Simon Chung, seems to lack a central narrative that pulls you through the experience as a viewer. Eric has these dealing with his sexuality. His mother is trying to start a restaurant with the help of someone who seems romantically interested in her. The father is getting some extramarital action on his neighborhood jogs, and ends up returning to Hong Kong in the middle of the movie.

George Takei Interview

By Jeff Walsh

One of the breakout shows on television is Heroes, which tells the story of a group of people who discover they have special powers and a role in saving mankind.

One of the storylines involves Hiro Nakamura, played brilliantly by Masi Oka (who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance), a Tokyo programmer that can manipulate the time-space continuum. On the episode airing on NBC this week, the character's father will enter the series, played by Star Trek's Sulu, George Takei.

And he has personal experience as a hero. Takei came out as gay in 2005, in response to a gay marriage bill in California, revealing to the press that he was gay and has been in a relationship for what is now going on 20 years.

This weekend, I got the chance to chat with George from his home in southern California by phone. While I'm not the biggest Star Trek fan, I've certainly seen nearly every Star Trek episode and movie at this point. But, still, as soon as he answered the phone, his unique voice was unmistakable. We had a relaxed, fun chat with a lot of laughs that also touched on a lot of topics, such as his being held in an American interment camp as a Japanese American during World War II, his role on The Howard Stern Show with his signature "Oh my!" tagline, the fight for GLBT equality, and the correct pronunciation of his last name (after I screwed it up). But, our conversation started off discussing Heroes and his latest role.

Welcome to Brent Hartinger Week on Oasis!

We're going to pay special attention when people who specifically reach out to gay youth do interesting things on Oasis.

First up for this royal treatment is Brent Hartinger, whose first gay youth novel Geography Club, has spawned two sequels. The second sequel, Split Screen will be released tomorrow.

But to commemorate the publication of his book, it will be Brent Hartinger Week on Oasis. So, every day, we will have have Brent content. Today, you get my long, long, long interview with him (I almost split it across two days, but I always hate when sites do that, so I did it all as one big thing). Tomorrow, my review of Split Screen...

As for what will show up on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, you'll just have to come back and see.

Brent Hartinger Interview

By Jeff Walsh

This week, the second sequel to Brent Hartinger's "Geography Club" will be released. "Split Screen" is actually two books in one. One book, told from Russel's point of view, is entitled "Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies." The other covers the same timeframe, but is told from Min's point of view, and is entitled "Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies." This time, Hartinger's cast of characters are spending time as extras on a horror movie being shot in their hometown.

Brent and I had a long chat that went into all different areas, but covered a lot about his view on writing sequels, a lot about writing in general (a LOT), our shared belief that there is no writer's block, and why he thinks the younger generation that is supportive of the GLBTQ youth movement are going to be the people who change the world for the better.

Review: Daphne Rubin-Vega's Redemption Songs

By Jeff Walsh

When I first received Daphne Rubin-Vega's latest CD, Redemption Songs, I went into it thinking it'll be good to catch up on her latest project. But I quickly realized that wasn't the proper mindset.

While I had seen her perform in both Rent and the Rocky Horror Show, this CD was technically her project, reflecting her choices, tastes and personality, and not another situation where she was hired to perform and sing in a certain way.

And, apparently, left to her own devices, Rubin-Vega wants to rock.

New contest plans...

Just to make things easier for everyone, from this point on, all contests will begin on Fridays, and people can enter the contests until the following Friday.

It is a safe bet that things reviewed on the site during the week will likely end up as potential contest prizes, but you'll have check back on Friday for yourself to see...


Looking out...

A daily feature that wraps up news items found elsewhere on the web about LGBTQ youth (and some additional randomness):

My hometown writes about gay issues!

I grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and stayed there for 26 years. Oasis started when I still lived there. When I was coming out, there were gay bars and the very beginnings of social networking. PFLAG had just started around that time. And there was a group called REACH (Recreationally and Educationally Active Community Heroes, I believe), for which I had no hand in naming, started having events and support groups, as well.

I remember when another "activist" and myself at that time started a coming out support group under the REACH banner. Week after week, we would meet and about a dozen or so people would show up, only no one wanted to come out. It ended up being more of a "how to stay closeted and why that isn't such a bad thing" group, to the frustration of the more activist people. I stayed on primarily to talk to young people who showed up at the meeting, in what must have looked like pure pedophilic intention. I wanted them to know this meeting was a warning sign, not a resource. Don't follow this example.

Looking out...

A new daily feature that wraps up news items found elsewhere on the web about LGBTQ youth (and some additional randomness):

For all the budding writers on here...

Some open calls for you to consider (courtesy of QueerType):

  • The Queer Foundation, a Washington nonprofit corporation, will offer the three winners of its 2007 High School English Essay Contest College scholarships in the amount of $1,000 for studies in queer theory or a related field at a US college. Deadline is March 31, 2007. More details can be found at
  • Ashé Journal is seeking creative and inspirational pieces of short fiction, poetry, art, and photography for its Spring issue. Deadline is March 1, 2007. Submissions can be sent to
  • Ignavia Press Online is looking for dark and edgy work for their first issue scheduled for the summer of 2007. Email submissions to:

Looking out...

A new daily feature that wraps up news items found elsewhere on the web about LGBTQ youth:

Jackass Number Two Unrated: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Jackass Number Two: Unrated" features another onslaught of clips that dance between the dangerous/stupid and the homoerotic. It is pure devil-may-care bedlam for much of the movie. I'll leave it for other sites to walk you through the dangerous/stupid, we'll focus on the homoerotic.

Let's just say that for a bunch of supposedly straight guys, they certainly enjoy one another's nudity. At one point, they have the old "test of strength" carnival attraction, where someone has to bring down the sledgehammer to send the weight up to ring the bell. In the Jackass world, the bell is removed and Bam Margera sits on top of it, so if the person hits it hard enough, the weight will slam into his balls. But before they even try it, Bam questions why they don't attach a dildo to the weight, he'll pull his pants down, turn around the other way so that if it gets that high, it can penetrate him. So, that's what they do.

Looking out...

A new daily feature that wraps up news items found elsewhere on the web about LGBTQ youth:

This podcast is SO GAY!

I'm a big fan of podcasts. I listen to them as I walk around San Francisco, during gym workouts, you name it...

With the emphasis on relaunching Oasis, I started looking around for gay youth podcasts and didn't find all that much. To be honest, I don't like many gay podcasts in general, because they all tend to be a bunch of friends sitting around gossiping and being mean and, honestly, I don't have time for that negative energy.

So, I was really happy to find Jian's "That's So Gay" podcast the other day (it *just* launched, he's only done two episodes so far). He's just a soft-spoken, obviously intelligent guy and I just like the whole vibe he puts out on his podcast. It's sort of like an audio version of some of our writers on Oasis.

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