Monday, June 13, 2011

Syria | Damascus | Gay Girl Blogger | Last Update

Very Last Update, later on 06/13/11: Now the NYT has weighted in with what will hopefully be the Last Word on this ultimately sordid tale. I did not realize that the blogger had been taken so seriously in various political circles. These people now feel duped and betrayed. Oddly enough, it was his defense of Sunni Muslim Beliefs that seemed most genuine . . . Wow! People are piling on now! See Screw You, Tom MacMaster.

Latest Update 06/13/11: Five days ago I wondered if the Gay Girl Blogger from Damascus could possibly be a guy. Now it turns out there is a “bizarre twist” to the story! The blogger is a guy! See Apology To Readers. Why did the thought cross my mind that the blogger might actually be a guy? Somehow the story seemed just a little too neat . . . Anyhow the author, Tom MacMaster, might be able to make a career out of writing soft-porn lesbian poetry . . . and Sunni manifestos!  And he was posting, so he claimed, from Istanbul, of all places! Could Tom MacMaster be the reincarnation of Pierre Loti? This would have been a mildly amusing literary hoax had it not been played out against the all-too-real political situation in Syria and the perpetrator had not stolen the photos/identities of actual people, including apparently that of Jelena Lecic. Also, some women apparently fell in love with “Amina Abdallah Arraf” on-line. The author deceived these people beyond the point of merely assuming a female pen name. A Cautionary Tale for the internet age.

Update 06/09/11: The Gay Girl Blogger Story keeps growing. It became the lead story on Al Jazeera Blogs (may be bumped down by the time you read this).  Now her identity has been called into question. See Londoner Says Missing Syrian Blogger Stole Her Identity and Does Kidnapped U.S. Lesbian Blogger in Syria Actually Exist? These sources say the person in the photo is actually a Croatian woman by the name of Jelena Lecic who now lives in England and she says the blog is not hers. So who wrote the posts, which remain quite interesting, on the Gay Girl’s Blog? Has she (could it possibly be a he?—that would be a bizarre twist) actually been detained by the Syrian authorities? All of which pertains to the intriguing question of identities on the internet . . . this story is probably not over.

Original Post: Interesting and informative post by the Gay Girl in Damascus. The blogger, a young woman named Amina Abdallah Arraf, is reportedly Being Held By The Authorities in Damascus and her current situation is unknown. See Poetry by Amina and Honey Trap. She has also written the Beginning of A Novel which appears to be based heavily on her own life. 
Amina Abdallah Arraf, or Jelena Lecic, or  . . . Tom MacMaster?  Apparently Jelena Lecic. 

7 comments:

  1. I don’t care what her name is. Her poetry is hot!

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  2. This whole thing sounds like a hoax. Maybe you are the “Gay Girl Blogger”?

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  3. Sorry, the Blogger says she is a Sunni. I am not a Sunni.

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  4. The dude needs to appologize to the woman whose photos he stole and the woman whose heart he broke ("Amina's" girlfriend in Montreal). I just can't get over how he could think that that is OK? That, somehow the political point he wanted to make trumped those of 2 completely innocent women?

    -a mes

    P.S. The word verification box is making me type the word "panti." That's pretty hilarious.

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  5. I am sorry. I should have pointed out that stealing the photos/identities of these other people was totally reprehensible. And I don’t see why it was necessary to do this. Under the circumstances the blogger would have been excused for not using a photo at all.
    As for the woman in Montreal, I hate to sound callous, but if you fail in love with a persona on the internet you are pretty much asking for trouble, not that this excuses the guy in this case.

    Note to other commenter: See, it wasn’t me!

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  6. I promised I would have nothing more to say about the notorious Syrian Gay Girl Blogger, now exposed as a man named Tom MacMaster, but I cannot help but add that this person was also in contact with one Paula Brooks, editor of the popular news site Lez Get Real: A Gay Girl’s View of the World. “Paula Brooks”, it has now been revealed, is actually Bill Graber, “a 58-year-old retired military man and construction worker who lives in Ohio”:

    “In the guise of Paula Brooks, Graber corresponded online with Tom MacMaster, thinking he was writing to Amina Arraf [the Gay Girl Blogger]. Amina often flirted with Brooks, neither of the men realizing the other was pretending to be a lesbian.”

    Since this situation has now become too weird for words I am going to bow out without making any further comment.

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