Exit Strategies

The "Gay Girl"

The fictional "Gay Girl in Damascus," who, it turns out, was actually a married White man in Scotland, is a capstone of sorts on what I've called the Narcissism Revolution—that is, the Left-liberal continuation of George W. Bush's "freedom agenda" by other means (or more specifically, by means of the gay crap Left-liberals are into: Twitter, Muslim feminists, and personal liberation, etc.) 

The "Gay Girl"'s novelistic blogging must have been like catnip to Andrew Sullivan: "Borders mean nothing...when you have wings."

Free Amina

A Facebook poster was one of many online campaigns triggered by reports that a Syrian blogger called Gay Girl in Damascus had been kidnapped.

19 February 2011

"Almost every time I speak or write to other LGBT people outside the Middle East, they always seem to wonder what it's like to be a lesbian here in Damascus. Well, I always find myself answering, it's not as easy as I'd like it to be but it's probably easier than you might think."

21 February

Why I am doing this. I live in Damascus, Syria. It's a repressive police state. Most LGBT people are still deep in the closet or staying as invisible as possible. But I have set up a blog announcing my sexuality, with my name and my photo. Am I crazy? Maybe.

22 March

Syrians moving beyond fear

The cry of "God, Syria, Freedom!" is on everyone's lips, Christians, Muslims, Druze, Alawis, Arabs, Kurds, everyone … and we are even hearing some people chanting for an end to the dictatorship".

10 April

My hijab, my choice

I consciously considered myself as a feminist and as someone who believes in human rights and the equality of all. But I'm also an Arab and a Muslim. And I covered. And no one made me do it; I chose it.

28 April

A Syrian Romance

It wasn't very long after I'd arrived here, that things got interesting. I met a woman (I'll call her 'Zina') who was a few years younger than me at a reception … We hit it off at once.

8 May

What do I want?

I want to travel and be with the one I love … I want to grow old together …

I want to be happy. I want to live in a free country and I don't want to have to move.

6 June

Dear friends of Amina,

I am Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari's cousin and have the following information to share. [While with a friend in a Damascus street] Amina was seized by three men in their early 20's. According to the witness (who does not want her identity known),the men were armed. Amina hit one of them and told the friend to go find her father.

6 June

Update on Amina

I have been on the telephone with both her parents and all that we can say right now is that she is missing. Her father is desperately trying to find out where she is and who has taken her.

Tom MacMaster, the "Gay Girl's author, said something interesting in his apology

I do not believe that I have harmed anyone—I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.

I only hope that people pay as much attention to the people of the Middle East and their struggles in thıs year of revolutions. The events there are beıng shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience.

This experience has sadly only confirmed my feelings regarding the often superficial coverage of the Middle East and the pervasiveness of new forms of liberal Orientalism. [emphasis added]

However, I have been deeply touched by the reactions of readers.


Tom MacMaster

The Gay Girl's gesture to the ubiquitous "post-colonial studies" term "Orientalism" is apt in more ways than he knows. When your average pro-American, Left-liberal blogger or policy-maker looks at the Muslim people he seeks to "liberate" and "democratize," he sees only a fantasy of himself.