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Men, Lesbians, Blogs, WTF?

Two men have admitted they posed as lesbian bloggers. WTF?

By Julie Gillis, 1:12PM, Tue. Jun. 14, 2011

Men, Lesbians, Blogs, WTF?

Recently, two well-read blogs (LezGetReal and A Gay Girl in Damascus) supposedly created and produced by lesbians have been discovered to have been created and produced by middle aged men.

WTF?

Just to get us started, here are the articles with the truth exposed. The article on LezGetReal is at the Washington Post, and the other at The Guardian.

My first reaction? Wow dudez. Way to set back a) blogging, b) LGBT rights in Syria, c) journalism. Jerks. Get a therapist for your issues of narcissism and straight privilege and stay of the Net.

My second reaction? Why so much work to make believe you are someone you are not when if you put that much work into creating life you love (or at the very least putting that much work into writing a work of fiction for publishing and which apparently Tom MacMaster was attempting to do with his character of Amina), then perhaps you'd have nearly as much success.

I mean… their wives may (or may not have known about the websites), they created intricate relationships and family histories, having characters in their lives get sick, kidnapped, creating real relationships (fake relationships) with real people who believed who they were talking to…. It's kind of incredible.

My third reaction was: How in the world did this happen? Could it happen to any of us?

Who are we when we are online? Are we all guilty, in our way, of creating variants of personae when we write here vs there? Do I put my best face forward in this space, vs. some other blog I might write on or at? I think that's possible.

I've long noticed that the Internet is a space where anything seems possible. From fan fiction, to flame wars, to political stalking, and to dating and mating online, we can be nearly anyone at anytime with hundreds of sock puppet email addys, chat names, and websites.

And sometimes those versions of ourselves can seem more real to us in virtual space than who we get to be in the "real world." I wonder about folks like MacMasters and Graber. Did they start with good intentions and get lost in the fantasy? Could any of us given the right blog, the right circumstances, the right illusion?

I don't know, but I'm surely fascinated by the tales of these two men, who've fooled hundreds and hundreds of people, spent years of time and energy and resources to create worlds that don't actually exist, instead of focusing on the world that does.

FYI? I, Julie Gillis am a real human being. At least I think I am. Unless someone else made me up on the internet and frankly, I'm happier not knowing that right now.

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