Have you heard? The Gay Girl in Damascus is a man, an American man. I have mixed feelings about this revelation. I was not a follower of that particular blog. But some folks have maintained an online correspondence with Gay Girl for five years. I would feel betrayed.
I think it’s human nature to trust other people. We do become hardened with experience, but still, the desire to connect is powerful. We want to believe that there is someone out there putting into words the emotions that we are feeling, recording experiences with which we can identify. Gay Girl did that. He created a character who was marginalized and threatened, and struck a chord with many readers. So on one hand, good job. Gay Girl gave readers a window into another culture, and voice they could identify with.
On the other hand, damn. He is a straight, married American man. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. His blog contained no disclaimer about lack of authenticity, no warning that artistic license had been applied. He was claiming to be Amina, a Muslim lesbian living in Syria.
Trusting people is hard enough in person. It’s even harder to earn trust when you have a complete lack of body language. Emoticons, ridiculous as they are, are needed to replace the modulating effects of a smile or a softened voice in correspondence. So, just to reassure you, here are the facts about me.
I am from the planet Skroop, in the Ju-pop system. I am married, but my partner is from Earth. I am 117 years old, young for my species. I hatched from an egg. I think this explains my fondness for Lady Gaga.
I have three arms. Full disclosure: I had an arm added in an effort to earn the title of High Priestess. Typically, the upper level clergy have three or four arms; I didn’t stand a chance with only two. (As it turns out, I didn’t stand a chance with three, either.) I do not have eye stalks, though I would gladly trade my third arm for eye stalks. So useful for a mother!
I enjoy singing in the shower, watching the grass grow from the comfort of my hammock and speaking to dogs. I believe that coffee is essential. I feel very fortunate that all this beauty has formed from chaos. I thank my lucky stars every single day.