|The "Real" Paula Brooks|
It all started last week when a Syrian lesbian blogger Amina Arraf, who blogged at A Gay Girl in Damascus allegedly went missing. Arraf blogged about the dangers of being an out lesbian in a Muslim country and it was feared that she had been arrested. In trying to unravel the mystery of Arraf's "disappearance", bloggers and journalists uncovered another disturbing fact about Lez Get Real's Paula Brooks; she is also a straight man.
It's all so convoluted. The Washington Post reported Monday:
Just one day after the author behind a popular Syrian lesbian blog admitted to being a married, American man named Tom MacMaster, the editor of the lesbian news site Lez Get Real, with the tagline “A Gay Girl’s View on the World,” acknowledged that he is also a man.
“Paula Brooks,” editor of Lez Get Real since its founding in 2008, is actually Bill Graber, 58, a retired Ohio military man and construction worker who said he had adopted his wife’s identity online. Graber said she was unaware he had been using her name on his site.
Brooks’s identity came under suspicion after news broke that a woman called Amina Arraf on the blog “A Gay Girl in Damascus” might not really be a Syrian lesbian."Arraf" started out by posting on LGR, then started "her" own site. According to The Post, the two often exchanged e-mails and flirted with each other, not knowing that the other one was, in fact, a man.
The news has sent shock waves through the LGBT blogosphere as bloggers try to comprehend WTF is going on and how nobody, including Lez Get Real's contributing bloggers, knew anything about Brooks' true identity.
Blogger David Badash of the New Civil Rights Movement has stirred up a hornet's nest by speculating that LGR contributor Melanie Nathan isn't real either. Nathan posted the following on her FaceBook wall:
Apparently David Badash does not believe I am real. He does not believe that David Bahati and I have spoken . He is trashing me on a server. David you have some nerve you have never called me or tried to reach me. Where is your integrity. You have not heard the last of this. I want a public apology!!!!What a mess! When I tried to go to the Lez Get Real site last night, it wouldn't come up. I can only assume the site has been taken down.
I want to take a moment to assure my readers that I am a real, live, gay man who likes the manly parts very much and I can provide witnesses to testify just how big a 'mo I really am.