Maybe I’m naive. Over the past few weeks, two blogs that I follow have had ‘moments of truth’ where they admitted that they weren’t the cast of characters that they had been portraying on their blogs for several years. One admitted that they really weren’t a 20 something genderfluid gay man with a librarian boyfriend and a disabled marine who had lost a limb and was a recovering alcoholic. In reality, they were a female M/M author who had apparently started her deception in 2010.
The other admitted in a post this morning that he had also fabricated his character, as well as his chef boyfriend and a friend that was just coming out after having a horrible childhood. It had to be exhausting to keep track of all the “stories” that were told over the years. All of the readers of the blogs came to care for these characters. For me, they were close in age to my own son and I saw things in their “personas” that made me think about things we had gone through when he was younger and hope I would never have to go through with him as an adult.
At this point, I am just trying to understand the need for the deception. Why pretend to be two boys in love and create this cast of character that readers of your blog came to care for? Why not just tell your own story? If you went through a horrible gay bashing years ago and are still getting counseling, why not blog about your road to recovery? Or the fact that you have been in a relationship for 25 years and are still healing? People would read your blog. They would still find encouragement from your experiences and maybe help you along the way. But you will never know that now because the people the readers came to know weren’t real.
When the first incident happened, several readers commented that it was like suddenly losing family members. And I get that. Readers of the blog came to care about these “people” and to learn that years of blogging weren’t real is just so hard to understand. Maybe these characters that were created were a part of who they were at different times of their lives, but it was still a deception, and it is still a loss. It makes a person not want to trust or believe anything they read online. I just don’t get the need for deception. Tell your story, you can be your age and blog about your life. You just don’t need to create a cast of characters to do it.
You will never truly heal if you have to pretend to be a bunch of different people.