Editor of US lesbian news site revealed to be a man

14th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The unmasking of the author of the blog "Gay Girl in Damascus" as a middle-aged American man has led to the discovery that the editor of a popular US lesbian news site, Lez Get Real, is also a man.

The revelation that the editor of Lez Get Real, which was founded in 2008, was Bill Graber, a 58-year-old construction worker living in Ohio, and not a lesbian woman called "Paula Brooks" was made by The Washington Post.

The Post said it had repeatedly attempted to get in touch with "Paula Brooks" while researching the authorship of Gay Girl in Damascus.

The blog purportedly that of Syrian-American lesbian "Amina Abdallah Arraf" turned out to be the creation of Tom MacMaster, a bearded 40-year-old Edinburgh University masters student and Middle East activist.

The Post said it began trying to contact "Paula Brooks" amid suspicions that the editor of Lez Get Real may have been behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog.

"Paula Brooks," however, told reporters at the newspaper that she could only speak on the telephone through her father because she was deaf, the Post said.

The man who identified himself as her father finally admitted after numerous telephone conversations that his name was Graber and he had been masquerading as "Paula Brooks," the newspaper said.

Graber told the Post he had started the site "with the best of intentions" to write about gay issues after seeing the mistreatment of close friends who were a lesbian couple.

"I didn't start this with my name because... I thought people wouldn't take it seriously, me being a straight man," Graber said. He said he adopted his wife's identity to launch the site and she was unaware of the deception.

© 2011 AFP

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