On The Internet, Nobody Knows You’re Not A Lesbian

Two stories that happened to break at the same time:

One of the owners of a lesbian website who posted comments from a hoax blogger pretending to be a gay woman in Syria has himself been outed as a straight man from the US.

Bill Graber, 58, a US Air Force veteran, admitted he was one of the editors of the LezGetReal lesbian blog.

He posted comments from “Amina Arraf”, supposedly a lesbian Syrian blogger, but actually student Tom MacMaster, 40.

When “Amina” was reported detained, activists campaigned for her release.

Mr Graber, who wrote under the name Paula Brooks, is no longer associated with LezGetReal.

In an apology to its readers, one of the other owners, Linda Carbonell, wrote: “The past three days have been devastating for all of us on LezGetReal. ‘Paula Brooks’ has been a part of our lives for three years now.”

Apparently, not enough a part of your lives.


FILED UNDER: Humor, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    To tell the truth I didn’t think this story was particularly funny, Doug. Not your story, the masquerading story.

    Why did they pick the personas they did? I think it was to give themselves greater authenticity. And that’s a terrible perversion of the very thing that they’re trying to latch on to: what they believe is the greater authenticity of the people they’re pretending to be, in the case of “Gay Girl in Damascus” a young woman who, beyond her control, finds herself in a despised minority in terrible, even dangerous circumstances. I think it’s despicable.

  2. John Burgess says:

    It would have been better if they’d just signed up for World of Warcraft. Most of the female characters there are, apparently, male. While I’ve heard of a few marriages resulting from in-game character interactions, that’s not the norm. Gender-bending, however, seems to be.