Lesbians Betrayed by Rash of Reporter Imposters 



TOM MCMASTER X390 | ADVOCATE.COMGraber’s fraud also affected real female journalists like Melanie Nathan, who resigned as Lez Get Real’s
political editor days before the site founder’s identity was revealed.
The human rights activist says Graber had deceived her for almost three
years, and that when she expressed concern that Arraf’s identity may be
fraudulent, her relationship with “Paula” began to sour.

“Once I
started asking questions, Paula Brooks, whom I previously had a close
and friendly relationship with, turned viciously against me — almost
like a change of personality, being rude and unprofessional,” Nathan
says. “I was called an anti-Arab bigot when I raised my concerns. I knew
something was not right.”

Not surprisingly, the revelations have had a ripple effect. Two other Lez Get Real contributors
— the very real transgender lesbian Bridgette LaVictoire (who told
reporters she had fallen in love with Brooks) and her mother, Linda
Carbonell — who have now taken over the blog’s operations have seen
suspicions raised about their own identities.

Michael Triplett,
vice president for print and new media at the National Lesbian and Gay
Journalists Association, says that as more people rely on blogs for
news, the incidents may ultimately cause readers to be leery about
trusting unverified sources.

“While I don't think there is an
ethical problem with anonymous blogging, I do think it's unethical to
blog from a persona or point of view that you don't represent or share,”
Triplett says. “Men, especially straight men, blogging as lesbians
clearly falls into that category. Even as we try to navigate the ethical
codes of social media, I do think there is fairly broad consensus that
this isn't right."

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