June 14, 2011

IconProminent ‘lesbian’ netizens are actually straight men

The supposedly Syrian blogger responsible for “A Gay Girl in Damascus” was unveiled as a man over the weekend. Last night it emerged that the founder and editor of lesbian news site “Lez Get Real” is also a man.

A Gay Girl in Damascus claimed to portray the life of Amina Abdullah Araf al Omari, a gay woman living in the Syrian capital. The blog grew in popularity after it began to chronicle the ongoing Syrian revolution.

Concerns about the origin of the blog were raised after a post detailed the apparent abduction of Abdullah. It turned out that photos of the blogger used by media bodies covering the story actually depicted Jelena Lecic, a college administrator living in London.

A resulting investigation by bloggers and journalists revealed that “Abdullah” was actually Tom MacMaster, a middle-aged white American PhD student living in Edinburgh. MacMaster has posted two apologies on the blog, but disabled comments following a furious backlash from readers.

Just a day later it emerged that Lez Get Real editor “Paula Brooks” was in fact Bill Graber, a retired construction worker.

MacMaster wrote several articles for Lez Get Real before launching his own blog. A number of individuals investigating the original hoax began to suspect that “Brooks” might also be hiding behind a false identity.

“Brooks” claimed to be deaf, speaking on the phone only through her father. This figure was in fact Graber, who eventually admitted to reporters from the Washington Post that Brooks was his alter-ego.

“I didn’t start this with my name because [...] I thought people wouldn’t take it seriously, me being a straight man,” he said.

A number of Lez Get Real writers have voiced their feelings of betrayal. “I have a question – what the hell is it with straight men and lesbian fantasies?” wrote managing editor Linda Carbonell.

It appears that neither MacMaster nor Graber actually realised that the other was in fact a man. “Personally, the idea that Tom and Bill were flirting with each other in their personas as lesbians is too funny,” Carbonell remarked sardonically.

Lez Get Real will now be run by Bridgette LaVictoire and Linda Carbonell, both long-standing contributors.

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Ruth Pearce


ASL Gotye “Somebody I Used to Know” (HiDef)

This video is an ASL interpretation of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know.” An expression of ASL music composed by a team of Deaf and CODA (Child of Deaf Adult) members, including the crew and cast members.

July 28, 2012