Georgia man: I'm the 'Gay Girl in Damascus' 

A new entry to a blog purportedly written by a Syrian-American lesbian living in Damascus asserted Sunday that the four-month saga was a hoax, supposedly written by a man.
The post, purportedly by a woman named Rania Ismail, said Arraf was last seen the previous day being bundled into a car by three men in civilian clothes as she was on her way to meet someone at the activist Local Coordination Committees. Ismail said a friend accompanying her was nearby and saw what happened.
News organizations, including , covered the apparent disappearance.

'Shame on you'
In the Sunday post, MacMaster said he hopes "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."
But gay activists in the Middle East reacted angrily to the news of the hoax, saying it instead will have the opposite effect, causing more trouble for them.

"To Mr. MacMaster, I say shame on you!!!" a poster writing under the name Sami Hamwi wrote Sunday on, which says it is a grassroots site for news on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

"There are bloggers in Syria who are trying as hard as they can to report news and stories from the country," Hamwi wrote. "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."

In the same post, a writer under the name of Daniel Nassar said the posts on the "Gay Girl" blog forced "a lot of the real activists in the LGBT community" into the spotlight and therefore into the crosshairs of Syrian authorities.

"You took away my voice, Mr. MacMaster, and the voices of many people who I know. To bring attention to yourself and blog; you managed to bring the LGBT movement in the Middle East years back," Nassar wrote. "You single-handedly managed to bring unwanted attention from authorities to our cause and you will be responsible for any LGBT activist who might be yet another fallen angel during these critical time(s)."

'It just kept getting bigger'
The "Gay Girl" blog seemed convincing enough that a reporter for The Associated Press, who maintained a monthlong email correspondence with someone claiming to be Arraf, found the writer seemed very much like a woman in the midst of the violent change gripping Syria. The writer spoke about friends in Damascus, and outlined worries about her father and hopes for the future of her country.

In the emails, the person acknowledged fudging some details of escaping from Syrian security officials to protect herself and her family, and painted a harrowing picture of fleeing her home.

But the story about her kidnapping unraveled quickly, and there were no traces of the woman or her family in the United States.

"I sort of by accident… created something that had a lot more interest than I had ever possibly expected and then when I tried to shut it down it just kept getting bigger,"