This is just weird.
A blog called “A Gay Girl in Damascus” supposedly was written by a half-American, half-Syrian lesbian, who said she was protesting the President Assad‘s rule in Syria. Last week, her cousin blogged that the gay girl had been arrested by Syrian authorities and was missing. Since the blog had a huge following, a lot of people were upset and wanted the U.S. State Department to find out what happened.
Then this weekend, this happened:
And Sunday, the truth spilled out: The gay girl in Damascus confessed to being a 40-year-old American man from Georgia.
The persona Tom MacMaster built and cultivated for years — a lesbian who was half Syrian and half American — was a tantalizing Internet-era fiction, one that he used to bring attention to the human rights record of a country where media restrictions make traditional reporting almost impossible.
Let’s ignore the fact that some fat white guy in Georgia pretended to be a young attractive Syrian lesbian. Here’s a BBC story on the photo he posted, pretending to be the girl, that turned out to be taken from the Facebook page of a woman in London who had nothing to do with this (so check your Facebook privacy settings):
He said he was doing it to focus attention on the brutal rule of Assad in Syria. As if people who are living under the brutal rule weren’t able to do it themselves. Not only is it condescending to the people of Syria, but it also put people’s lives in danger.
There were people in Damascus who were actually trying to find out what happened to “the girl.” They are in a place where the police arrest, torture and murder children. They were risking their lives, and this douche in Georgia is … I don’t know … pigging out at a TGI Friday’s, creating some new fantasy that really could have ended up with more people getting killed. Click this link to get his mealy mouthed explanation.
But that’s not all.
He originally started posting on a site called Lez Get Real, a blog run by a self proclaimed lesbian named Paula Brooks. In the course of the posting on that site, the Damascus gay girl and Brooks occasionally flirted with each other, though the point of Lez Get Real was to highlight the difficulties faced by gay people in America. So what happened:
Just one day after the author behind a popular Syrian lesbian blog admitted to being a married, American man named Tom MacMaster, the editor of the lesbian news site Lez Get Real, with the tagline “A Gay Girl’s View on the World,” acknowledged that he is also a man.
“Paula Brooks,” editor of Lez Get Real since its founding in 2008, is actually Bill Graber, 58, a retired Ohio military man and construction worker who said he had adopted his wife’s identity online. Graber said she was unaware he had been using her name on his site.
Brooks’s identity came under suspicion after news broke that a woman called Amina Arraf on the blog “A Gay Girl in Damascus” might not really be a Syrian lesbian.
We all know that the stuff you read on the Internet has to be approached very cautiously. You can’t take anything at face value, and when you do see something, you have to really check it out.
But even with that, what the hell is going on when two middle-age white guys in the Midwest pretend to be lesbians and start flirting with each other? It’s like a bad “Saturday Night Live” skit.
- How Andy Carvin debunked the “Gay Girl in Damascus” hoax (npr.org)
- To Our Readers – (lezgetreal.com)
- ‘Gay Girl In Damascus’ Apologizes, Admits She Is An American Man (npr.org)
- “A Gay Girl in Damascus” turns out to be an American dude (crooksandliars.com)
- First, Do No Harm (passthedoucheys.com)