In the past few days, the founder of LezGetReal and the writer behind Gay Girl in Damascus have been exposed as straight men, claiming to be lesbian women.
Now for nearly the entire history of the internet, people have pretended to be someone else.
Pretty much every single person on the internet has had a random hot girl start flirting with them, claiming that the recipient is just what they are looking for.
Sometimes the impersonation is for self protection, many pre-expression lgbtqia people first “come out” as themselves online. It might seem surprising but many women who play online games adopt a male persona. They do this to avoid the vile and sexist abuse that women suffer while playing multiplayer games on the internet.
However, when you have someone pretending to be something they are not for personal gain and self adulation, it not only betrays people who support them, but also damages the communities which they have lied their way into.
There is a place for a straight man to comment on gay rights as an ally, but to lie about being a lesbian woman, and then go so far as flirt with other lesbian women…. is just utterly wrong. The community has formed around LezGetReal, will be damaged but hopefully the real women there can continue on with the work despite this revelation.
I feel that the betrayal of the “Gay Girl in Damascas” blog was far worse, because it exploited not only our hopes for LGBTQIA issues in the middle east, but also our anger at the supposed mistreatment of “Amina Abdallah”. My reaction to the supposed story of her kidnapping had me thinking about how we could help LGBTQIA people arrested in the middle east as part of the Arab Spring, but it was all a fake.
So as part of my reaction to this controversy, I’m going to make it clear who I am, and make it relatively certain that I am who I say I am.
I’m calling on my sisters, brothers, and siblings out there to do something similar, I’m considering doing a quick video message to make it even more certain.
From other contributors on the site:
I can’t really say much beyond this video will make you smile,
I was not aware that the ADL also focused on LGBTQIA bullying issues but I think its awesome that they do and they recognize that tolerance is a universal value. The only thing to be intolerant of is intolerance.
Found via Lezgetreal
I found this on Pride in Utah a few days ago, and while i didn’t post it immediately, i felt it was so important to show.
This is a story of both joy and pain, the desire to be “normal” was drummed into this girl, by society and so she tried to “Be Straight”. However having realized that you can’t pray the gay away, and recognized there was nothing wrong with loving women. Most young LGBTQA youth feel that they have the right to come out, but should stay under the radar.
Kayla chose to stand up and tell her school who she was. She is an inspiration to us all, and hopefully those coming after her will see her example and feel more able to come out led by her example and the examples of others like her.
Thank you Kayla for your bravery and courage.
I’m not a Christian. I’m not especially a massive supporter of religion in general either, though firmly of the belief that everybody needs to have a little faith sometimes – it just doesn’t have to necessarily be in a God. As such, I pass little judgement on Christianity itself, but I’m just as capable as the next person of observing the things done and the sentiments expressed by people in its name, and to compare those with the Christian teachings that, lets face it, most of us in the western world have encountered whether we’re Christian or not.
In 2003, the Episcopalian Church was the first large Christian denomination in the world to elect an openly gay Bishop, and did so in spite of a smear campaign that pandered to all the usual dirty tactics – including hugely overinflated accusations of sexual assault, which were investigated and disproved… and he was elected by a significant majority, demonstrating the majority of the denomination’s commitment to people – human beings – and no sexualities.
On New Years day this year, 2011, comes another commendable first from this same denomination – the wedding of two high-level priests, who incidentally happen to be lesbian, is thought to be a first for the US.
Meanwhile, in what must surely be a bitter pill to swallow for many viewers of the conservative current affairs channel Fox News, the US State Department has announced that Consular Report of Birth Abroad documents, and significantly, passport applications, will no longer ask for the entry of “mother” and “father”, but of the gender neutral fields “parent 1″ and “parent 2″. This move allows for the recognition of both family situations arising from such things as IVF treatment, and of course, families with same sex parents. The new passport applications will be rolled out in February.
Of course, religious right so-called “pro family groups” are proclaiming outrage and insanity at this move – nothing is unexpected about that! “Political Correctness gone mad” is the cry. They argue that this change somehow provides less information than the previous “mother” and “father” fields. This is a stance, however, that betrays the true hypocrisy of such groups. As the State Department explains, through deputy assistant Secretary of State Brenda Sprague;
These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families. … We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago.
In other words, this move from the State Department is a move that simply recognises families which already exist – what’s so wrong with that? Simply, the so-called “pro family groups” doing the complaining are very picky about which families they are in favour of. A family with LGBT parents is still a family, but religious right pro family groups would evidently prefer that it weren’t recognised as such. It’s obviously not their views on family that inform them in this, but their so-called “Christian” views on homosexuality. Such duplicity and misrepresentation doesn’t sound very Christian at all!
What can we learn from all this? What message can we take from it? What does it show? I propose that these recent events, considered together, say two important things. The first of these things is a confirmation of the old adage that “empty vessels make the loudest noise”. While these pro family groups ironically and duplicitously campaign against the recognition of those families they don’t like the idea of and practice bigotry and discrimination in the name of their religion, they claim their view to be the Christian way – it’s not. It’s simply the ideological view of the christian religious right, who in ignorance of the actual reality they face, do not espouse the view of Christianity as a whole. That much is demonstrated by the Episcopalian Church, whose most senior episcopal official of Massachusetts has spoken of the much kinder and more christian view that, “God always rejoices when two people who love each other make a lifelong commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other.”
Secondly, there is a message of hope, and a sign of increasing change. 25 years ago, in the middle of the 1980′s, gay people were blamed for the spread of AIDS, or the HIV virus as we now understand it. It was described as a “man made disease”, with gay people being the primary vectors through which it is spread. This of course is now recognised as nonsense, but going back 25 years ago, such ideas were exemplary of the widespread misunderstanding and vilification of gay people. Quite simply, it was not OK to be gay. These days, while LGBT people face significant inequality and outrageous discrimination in various areas, it is much more socially acceptable to be gay. We’re not quite there yet but we’re making progress, and the events and changes described in this article exemplify the positive direction in which things are moving – that the State Department would recognise same sex families in its passport applications would have been utterly unthinkable just 10 years ago.
There is hope. There is change. The generation that now finds itself all grown up has seen this change, and it’s something to celebrate. It’s not enough and there’s still work to be done, but it’s heading there. This generation of young LGBT people have every reason to hope and to believe that in continuing this work, as they grow up and live out their lives, there can be and will be full equality.
I keep hearing from the christian right that because I’m a girl who likes girls, i’m “sexually confused”. It hit me that this is in some ways the most offensive kind of comment, because its someone denying me my right to know what’s going on in my head and heart.
When I see a girl who i’m attracted to, my body and mind reacts as is normal in a girl who liks girls. When i’m going down on a girl there is no little voice in the back of my head saying “um like shouldn’t we be sucking dick this is wrong”. I love women, and I love every part of them, there is no confusion there.
The only people who are actually confused are those who think you can pray-the-gay-away, who believe they can be something they are not. If you love women, then accept it, if you love men, accept it, and if you love both, go enjoy yourself!
So if someone calls you sexually confused, or deluded, or in any way denigrates who you are, remember two important things, firstly they think they have the right to pigeonhole you as insane, and secondly nothing will upset them more, than you ignoring them and being true to yourself.
I realize that this story and opinion does not reflect the publicly stated view of the American Right, however I do not doubt that this reflects the opinion of many in the Religious and Social Right who imagine that all a lesbian needs is “a good man”.
The idea was postulated by Joe Rehyansky, that lesbians should be allowed to serve so that the men could “show them the light”. He’s not a serving judge, but the idea that someone could publicly advocate corrective rape, and then a prominent conservative blog could publish it, I find shocking.
In some ways I feel speechless, but then again I know that sentiment still exists in so many minds…We have so many hearts and minds to change…
Found via AlterNet