It was a compelling story. A young Syrian-American lesbian blogging about life and love in the darkness of a police state, only to be kidnapped.
Arraf wrote a blog called "A Gay Girl in Damascus," a mixture of erotic prose and updates about Syria's violent uprising, including her participation in anti-regime protests. She was detained after weeks on the run in the Syrian capital, family members said Tuesday.
Except that Amina wasn't wasn't Amina. She wasn't kidnapped. And the Gay Girl in Damascus was written by a guy.
I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative voıce may have been fictional, the facts on thıs blog are true and not mısleading 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.
But some LGBT bloggers in Syria are outraged.
Because of you, Mr. MacMaster, a lot of the real activists in the LGBT community became under the spotlight of the authorities in Syria. These activists, among them myself, had to change so much in their attitude and their lives to protect themselves from the positional harm your little stunt created. You have, sir, put a lot of lives, mine and some friends included, in harm's way so you can play your little game of fictional writing.
As for me I don't know what to think. The fact is that blog focused a lot of international attention on the fascist Syrian regime, and the oppression of LGBT people. Which is great eh? Unless you live there, and the international community won't do anything to save you.
And then there's this:
But at least these things are true.
All kind of people are being oppressed and murdered in Syria, including a lot of real gay girls in Damascus. While the world looks on helplessly.
The truth may or may not be stranger than fiction. But only it will set us free.
And of course, and we all know this one don't we?
The internet is the internet....