by Cynthia Rodriguez
Do you dream of being a Lesbian? Does it keep you up at night? So, what's holding you back? Oh, that's right! You're a MAN! Sucks for you. Epic FAIL. ACCESS DENIED. Thank you for playing. Please try again.
Okay, so this post may be about a couple weeks late since the scandal broke out, but I know I really needed to chime in with my 2 cent worth of ranting.
These days it looks like it's hip to be Lesbian. Yes, I said hip. I guess it's easy to be a virtual dyke, when you are really some middle-aged white guy whose married with children. You don't have to deal with the everyday real-life bullshit we do. None of the ignorance or harassment like the "Oh can I watch?" or "Can I join you?" You get to hide behind your cushy IKEA chair, and IPAD in your "man cave" while you're wife is cooking lemon garlic tilapia for dinner, completely unaware that all the while you are typing away, ranting about the complexities of issues like, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and why Lesbians love Lindsey Lohan.
To know what I'm talking about please refer to the article written by our Chief Lesbiatopian Renee Gannon called "The Straight Man Who Claimed To Be Lesbian". Basically about some 58 year old dude named Bill Graber pretending to be a Lesbian (on-line)a.k.a "Paula Brooks" for about three years, and was one of the biggest "Lesbian" bloggers on the web. He was recently, finally OUTED, as a result of that caused a huge ruckus in the Lesbian community, and now as far as I know, is in hiding, where he belongs.
Luckily, I did not have much direct contact with this individual, or else it may have turned me off to write for Lesbiatopia, or ANY Lesbian blogs. I woulda been like, "Hell with this. Too much dyke-o-drama for me." I came in at the tail end of the whole fiasco back at the end of 2008, which is when I began blogging for the site. I did notice a lot of snarky little comments left behind on several posts by you know who and I thought to myself, "WTF? Who lit the fuse on her tampon?" I remember asking our chief Renee about it, like "What is up with that one?" Now realizing the "she", was really a HE, explains A LOT.
Now pretending to be something you're not on the internet is not an entirely new concept. It's quite common. Being able to hide behind the safety of a P.C goes way back. For the good, the bad, and the ugly, it goes with the territory.
I have a confession to make. I have had my OWN experience in this area. Back in my early to mid-twenties when I first discovered the crazy, and faceless world of chat rooms, I was hooked on phonics with that for a while. I found them fascinating. I was relatively new in my Lesbianism, and was looking for different ways to connect with people. This one particular one I resided in I found the people really great and easy to talk to. The only issue was that it wasn't necessarily a GAY chat room. What was funny is maybe because of the way I spoke but people automatically assumed I was a MALE, and as a result of that, I just let it go, and played up the part. It lasted maybe a few months or so, before I finally 'fessed up, because I started developing some real friendships on there which fortunetly lasted even after I revealed my identity. I even ended up afterwards, hooking up with one of the women I met on there. I was lucky I had pretty much a happy ending. No harm, no foul. I may even write a short play about it. Not to make excuses or justify any of it. Sure, I know it was wrong. I was young, and stupid. It was brief. I admitted it, AND I wasn't mean or cruel to anyone, or write them insulting, and harassing e-mails, and comments, etc, i.e "Paula Brooks". "She" was just a bitch. So, yeah, I would say there is a difference.
I suggest for any Lesbian sites a rigorous screening procedure that would make the TSA look soft. Extreme times call for extreme measures. First of all I'd keep the contributing writers on a close, "she's a friend of a friend" kind of basis, and not put it out on Craig's List or MySpace (if that still exists), that you need a book reviewer. Second, I don't think applications (asking for references), and questionnaires should be counted out. I'm thinking people that are for real, sincere, serious, and have nothing to hide (which I would like to assume if they are a blogger), wouldn't mind a little screen test. Sure blogging is fun, and may be just a hobby to some, but it's also like a job, a committment. I believe if these simple precautions are taken, much of this can be avoided.
Note to any Lesbian imposters in the future (which I'd bet there are plenty out there), if you're gonna do that, the least you can do is not be an asshole about it, then maybe you won't get BUSTED.