Update 6/19: About a week ago it was uncovered that the Gay Girl in Damascus was actually a straight American living in Scotland. With his wife. He maintains that he created the blog to bring more Western awareness to Syrian causes, advocate for lesbian/feminist issues and be taken seriously for it, and to improve his fiction writing.
I have mixed feelings, but in a way, I support his social experiment. He created a queer Syrian-American woman to tell the story of the Syrian uprising and repression, a very unique voice to use. There are of course, many gay girls in Damascus, something that may not have occurred to Westerners without this blog to help us along. Maybe it's okay that Tom McMaster took the readership for a ride, but it's not okay that he started an online relationship with Sandra, a French=Canadian woman who began to fall in love with Amina over emails...over 1,000 of them. Slate has an interesting take on the impersonations here.
My post before the hoax was uncovered:
A friend just forwarded me this New York Times post about a Syrian-American blogger. Amina Abdallah Arraf writes a blog called Gay Girl in Damascus and has now been detained by Syrian authorities. Her family and partner do not know her whereabouts.
I hadn't seen Amina's blog before being forwarded that NYT post, but she bringing a unique perspective to the table, writing about the Syrian uprising from Damascus, her Sunni Muslim faith, sexuality and other issues.
Amina's partner Sandra is trying to get the word out via social media to see if anyone knows her whereabouts.
Thinking of you Amina and hoping hoping hoping that the Syrian authorities do nothing more illegal than just arresting her.