Staff Reporter 13 Jun The mysterious identity of a young Arab lesbian blogger who was apparently kidnapped last week in Syria has been revealed conclusively to be a hoax. The blogs were written by not by a gay girl in Damascus, but a middle-aged American man based in Scotland.
The mysterious identity of a young Arab lesbian blogger who was apparently kidnapped last week in Syria has been revealed conclusively to be a hoax. The blogs were written not by a gay girl in Damascus, but a middle-aged American man based in Scotland. Tom MacMaster, a year-old Middle East activist studying for a masters at Edinburgh University, posted an update declaring that, rather than a year-old feminist and lesbian called Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari, he was "the sole author of all posts on this blog".
This article is from the archive of our partner. As of this writing, the site appears to be down. Garber and MacMaster have offered similar explanations for their actions.
A second supposedly leading lesbian blogger was exposed as a man masquerading as a gay woman, a day after the Gay Girl in Damascus blog was revealed to be the fictional creation of a married male student from Edinburgh. The LezGetReal blogger's identity began to come into question last week as doubts over the Gay Girl in Damascus blog intensified, voiced, among others, by the feminist blogger Liz Henry, who writes at BlogHer. Graber, masquerading as Brooks, had supplied information to a number of news outlets, including the Guardian, which pointed towards an Edinburgh IP address for the Amina blog.
However, this hoax had another, even weirder, twist. Because it turns out that the lesbians we care the most about in the world are dudes! McMaster and Graber are not the first to have created fictional identities on the Internet.
Update, June 12, Hoax revealed. More here. She had gone to meet a person involved with the Local Coordinating Committee and was accompanied by a friend.
The half-American lesbian journalist whose blog has made her an unlikely hero of the Syrian uprising has reportedly been arrested. According to new posts that appeared today on "A Gay Girl In Damascus," the current whereabouts of regular author Amina Abdullah are unknown. A writer identifying themselves as Rania O.
In a city like Damascus, with its beautiful culture, amazing people, lovely food, and unmatchable history, one feels like they could be anything — anything but gay, that is. When Tom MacMaster, an American master's degree student living in Scotland, revealed himself to be the writer behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog, it shattered the trust between the Middle Eastern blogosphere and the foreign media, and endangered the lives of queer people across the region who stepped out of the closet to answer questions about "Amina," MacMaster's fictional creation. I remember sitting on a balcony overlooking rainy Damascus this April with my best friend in the city, who happens to be a lesbian, chatting about the queer community here. She once asked me to pretend to be a fictional man interested in marrying her girlfriend to assuage the suspicions of the girlfriend's family that she was gay.
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During the Syrian uprisinga posting on the blog purportedly by "Amina's" cousin claimed that Amina was abducted on 6 June This sparked a strong backlash from the LGBT community and was covered widely in mainstream media. In the wake of the reports, questions arose regarding the possibility that Arraf al Omari was an elaborate hoax.