‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ blog author outed as Tom MacMaster

By Kase Wickman
Sunday, June 12, 2011 17:09 EDT
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A blogspot-powered blog called “A Gay Girl in Damascus” that has called attention to the Syrian government’s harsh actions against its own people has been confirmed to be a hoax. A man named Tom MacMaster confessed on the blog to writing all the entries on the blog, which has more than 2,000 followers via Google and has been updated under the pseudonym “Amina A.” since February 2011.

“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,” MacMaster wrote in post titled ‘Apology to readers’. “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.”

MacMaster signed the post as being written from Istanbul, Turkey, though The Electronic Intifada, prior to MacMaster’s confession, had pointed at MacMaster as the person behind the blog, with an IP address in Edinburgh, as well as other evidence.

MacMaster contacted Electronic Intifada and said that he would be conducting an interview with the journalist of his choice within the next 12 to 24 hours.

The narrative arc MacMaster created for Amina included a post last week saying that the fictional blogger had been captured by thugs from Assad’s regime, and that her family did not know her whereabouts.

Daniel Nassar, a gay blogger in Syria, responded to news of the hoax on gaymiddleeast.com.

“I’m outraged, and if I lived in a country where I can sue you, I would,” he wrote.

In a recent burst of violence in Syria on Saturday, at least 25 protesters were killed.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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