Lesbian Blogger “A Gay Girl in Damascus” Amina Arraf Turns Out to be a Straight Man in Georgia
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Amina Arraf, the lesbian Syrian blogger and purported authoress of the blog ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’, has been unmasked and discovered to be a decidedly straight 40-year-old man named Tom MacMaster, who lives with his wife in Georgia.

MacMaster might still have gotten away with his masquerade, were it not for one thing: he decided to have his alter ego picked up by Syrian government security agents, and when Amina stopped posting, and a “cousin” wrote on her Gay Girl in Damascus blog that she had been arrested by the Syrian government, readers of the wildly popular blog became concerned for Amina’s safety, and started investigating. That is when the whole thing started unraveling, and MacMaster, who at first denied being the pen behind the blog, finally admitted to the fiction.


So, why did MacMaster do it? According to MacMaster, who considers himself a “Middle East peace activist”, he did it to shed light on the human rights situation in Syria, geared towards Western readers.

Wrote MacMaster, in his own voice, on the blog, “While the narrative voice may have been fictional, the facts on th?s blog are true and not m?sleading as to the situation on the ground. I do not believe that I have harmed anyone – I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.”

However, that was a week or so ago, and now it seems that MacMaster is having second thoughts and, indeed, has issued an apology to Amina’s (his) readers.

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“I am the sole author of this blog and have always been so. Any and all posts on the blog are by me,” he starts out.

“Before I say anything else, I want to apologize to anyone I may have hurt or harmed in any way. I never meant to hurt anyone. I am really truly sorry and I feel awful about this. Words alone do not suffice to express how badly I feel about all this. I betrayed the trust of a great many people, the friendship that was honestly and openly offered to me, and played with the emotions of others unfairly. I have distracted the world’s attention from important issues of real people in real places. I have potentially compromised the safety of real people. I have helped lend credence to the lies of the regimes. I am sorry.

I have hurt people with whom I share a side and a struggle. That matters. I have hurt causes I believe in sincerely. That is wrong.”

 

So how did this get so out of control?

In short, MacMaster never expected Amina’s detention to open the can of worms that it did. He explains that this was not the first incarnation of Amina and that when, in a previous blog, where she was a straight, married woman with two children whose Scottish husband was similarly detained, she got exactly one comment on the blog: “That kinda sucks”. And so it was that with this iteration of Amina, MacMaster did not expect that maelstrom that rapidly rose and swirled around her disappearance.

Explains MacMaster, “And, this time, when I decided to have her suffer new perils, I expected the same response. “That kinda sucks.” Maybe a bit louder … but … And I shut down my computer and planned to avoid the internet for a few days until I was ready for Amina to post that she’d been released and was on her way out of the country, into retirement. She’d thank the people who had said “that kinda sucks’, maybe there’d be as many as ten this time … I knew she was fictitious. I forgot that no one else did. I forgot how popular she had gotten.

A few days later, I logged on to Amina’s email: 6,000 unread messages waiting. I hadn’t read a newspaper or seen the internet so I was shocked when I saw a picture that I’d used on Amina’s facebook page (and put behind privacy settings) on al Jazeera with an article about the abducted blogger. My emails terrified me … I had expected to have “that sucks” and “you’d better get out of Syria now” type messages. maybe, just maybe from twenty people …”

You can read MacMaster’s full explanation and apology here on the A Gay Girl in Damascus blog.

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One thought on “Lesbian Blogger “A Gay Girl in Damascus” Amina Arraf Turns Out to be a Straight Man in Georgia
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  1. Hey Sometimes you just have to make something from nothing to get to the WHAT IFS . Yeah What If this was true about the fictional person of IF it were a real person, What the REAL FACTS of what happens to Gay people over there. I know its all bad and Funny that the President of IRAN said while at the U.N. that he just couldn’t understand this PHENOMINAL thing That in IRAN they had no gay people in his counrty, and felt that it was a very strange thing over here . People gay here but they had none in his country. What that boils down to,, Is that Gay People in IRAN, didn’t want to be executed or locked up away from all life by being exposed as being Gay. It wasn’t that their arn’t any Gay people in IRAN, Just just can’t let anyone know so they can still be among the living. Excuse some of my mis-spelling. Not that goud at do”n that

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