Following the revelation that she is actually an American man
called Tom MacMaster, fellow writers have been quick to condemn his
Staff at American website LezGetReal - who have been supporting
the blog since its launch in February - issued a statement today
which said: "And you have the unmitigated arrogance to think you
can issue an apology to YOUR readers and not to us. You have put us
through a week of hell - calling in favors to rescue someone who
doesn't exist and losing us the support of people who were working
with us for American rights.
"You have damaged your own cause, with people all over the world
fighting over which fanatics you represent. What you did was
stupid, irresponsible and unworthy of the people you claim to care
The move comes after MacMaster, a University of Edinburgh student,
defended his actions by saying: "The events [in the Middle East]
are being shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have
only tried to illuminate them for a western audience.
"While the narrative voice may have been fictional, the facts on
this blog are true and not misleading as to the situation on the
In response, two separate bloggers for website GayMiddleEast.com
echoed the views expressed by LezGetReal.
One person, Sami Hamwi, said: "To Mr MacMaster, I say shame on
you!!! There are bloggers in Syria who are trying as hard as they
can to report news and stories from the country. We have to deal
with too many difficulties than you can imagine. What you have done
has harmed many, put us all in danger, and made us worry about our
LGBT activism. Add to that, that it might have caused doubts about
the authenticity of our blogs, stories, and us.
"Your apology is not accepted, since I have myself started to
investigate Amina's arrest. I could have put myself in a grave
danger inquiring about a fictitious figure. Really … Shame on
Another, Daniel Nassar, added: "I'm so outraged I can't even
type well. Mr. Tom MacMaster, with due respect, has the audacity to
say on the blog he created over the last two years that he did not
harm anyone with his fictional writing; I beg to differ.
"Because of you, Mr. MacMaster, a lot of the real activists in
the LGBT community became under the spotlight of the authorities in
Syria. These activists, among them myself, had to change so much in
their attitude and their lives to protect themselves from the
positional harm your little stunt created. You have, sir, put a lot
of lives, mine and some friends included, in harm's way so you can
play your little game of fictional writing.
"This attention you brought forced me back to the closet on all
the social media websites I use; cause my family to go into a
frenzy trying to force me back into the closet and my friends to
ask me for phone numbers of loved ones and family members so they
can call them in case I disappeared myself. Many people who are
connected to me spent nights worrying about me and many fights I
had with my family were because you wanted to play your silly game
of the media."