I don’t have much to say about this bizarre story, but if you missed the news, not only was the Gay Girl in Damascus blog, purportedly written by a Syrian lesbian at the forefront of the uprisings in that nation, and who contributed to the Lez Get Real blog, a hoax, but the erstwhile editor, “Paula Brooks,” is also a man who created an elaborate online identity as a lesbian:
Bill Graber, 58, a US Air Force veteran, admitted he was one of the editors of the LezGetReal lesbian blog.
He posted comments from “Amina Arraf”, supposedly a lesbian Syrian blogger, but actually student Tom MacMaster, 40.
When “Amina” was reported detained, activists campaigned for her release.
Mr Graber, who wrote under the name Paula Brooks, is no longer associated with LezGetReal.
In an apology to its readers, one of the other owners, Linda Carbonell, wrote: “The past three days have been devastating for all of us on LezGetReal. ‘Paula Brooks’ has been a part of our lives for three years now.”
Again, how bizarre. I never really used Lez Get Real as a source [maybe once or twice long ago, I think?], so this is not particularly personal for me, but I suppose it’s a good lesson for everyone in just how weird the internet is and how a grain of salt is often called for when vetting sources on the internet. The strangest thing, to me, is Graber’s suggestion that he wouldn’t have had a voice on the issues at hand, because he’s a straight guy, as if you somehow have to be gay to credibly advocate for equality. Makes absolutely no sense.