The revelation that the Gay Girl In Damascus blog was actually written by a married American man has led to the discovery that a founding editor at the lesbian news website Lez Get Real is a guy in Ohio, not "Paula Brooks."
The Washington Post says that 58-year-old Bill Graber, "a retired Ohio military man and construction worker," admitted Monday that "I am Paula Brooks."
The Post tracked him down as it was reporting out the Gay Girl In Damascus story. The fictitious Gay Girl had written on Lez Get Real before creating "her" own blog and had been in contact with "Paula Brooks." While trying to get in touch with "Paula Brooks," the Post was told that Graber was her father. But over the course of several conversations, the Post reports, Graber admitted the truth and said he had disguised his identity because he thought it would make the site more believable.
"I didn't start this with my name because... I thought people wouldn't take it seriously, me being a straight man," Graber told the Post.
Linda Carbonell, managing editor at Lez Get Real, has posted a note to readers saying, in part, that "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. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this."
And, Carbonell says that for lesbians "the issues remain. ... That has not changed just because Paula Brooks turned out to be guy who let an on-line persona get away from him. Bill has been trying to ease out of the site for a couple of months now. He would have been 'retired' in late August."
She also wonders about "straight men and lesbian fantasies? Personally, the idea that Tom [MacMaster, the real 'Gay Girl In Damascus'] and Bill were flirting with each other in their personas as lesbians is too funny."