If you were following the saga of the “Gay Girl in Damascus,” then you might have heard about her recent unveiling (no pun intended). I only discovered the blog a couple of weeks ago, right before she disappeared, supposedly arrested by President Bashar al-Assad’s police force.
I had only read one post, but it portrayed the girl as open and courageous in a country where being gay is a crime. She’d been threatened with rape by village men who knew her kind of evil must be stopped, but her father managed to put them off. “Go away,” he warned her. “They will come back, and next time I won’t be here to stop them.” But she refused to go. I feared the worst for her…it haunted me.
And now it’s come to light that it was all a hoax. An American man, based in Scotland, wrote the whole thing. This is his statement, though he and his wife are currently hiding in Turkey, away from the mess they stirred up:
“I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative voice may have been fictional, the facts on this blog are true and not misleading 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.”
I disagree with you, Mr. MacMaster. What you done has destroyed the credibility of so many women and gay people who are TRULY suffering. If you wanted to bring attention to the situation you could’ve done so honestly. You could’ve used your writing skills to present us with real people and real lives. Instead, you have given people one more reason to doubt everything they read, one more excuse to ignore what goes on far away from us because we cannot see it with our own eyes. You should be ashamed of yourself. I am certainly ashamed to be from the same country as you.