Many of you are also followers of another blog that kind of went up in flames today. I have a hard time even saying the name of the person who claimed to be a 17 year old high school hockey player, but in reality was a 40 something guy. I trusted that guy. In fact, reading his blog was how I got started exploring the world of blogs and started my own. It was so upsetting to find that the whole blog was lies.
This is where I have to say that I know more of the story than most others do. I started emailing Jimmy, who is the main victim in this deception, soon after I got started blogging. He had posted comments on two blogs that I follow, and I sent him an email. From there we started a friendship. As Jimmy said today, he and "that guy" started an online relationship. I knew about it, and at one point Jimmy asked me if he was crazy to consider a relationship with someone that he never met, who was 17 and then 18, who lived 1000 miles away. Being the romantic fool that I am, I said no, and at one point said something about the two of them being "cute." I am so angry for steering my friend into something that hurt him so badly. I hope that Jimmy can find a way to forgive me.
I am also embarrassed to say that I was able to figure out who "that guy" was pretending to be. He sent Jimmy photos of the real high school hockey player that he was pretending to be, and Jimmy sent one to me. I was able to see the team name and jersey number, and although part of me said not to do this, I did an google search and found out the hockey player's name. I didn't share it with anyone, but I'm ashamed to admit that I felt special that I knew who the mystery guy was.
Then earlier this week I got an email from Jimmy that he realized that "that guy" was a fake. I was shocked. I'm gonna admit something else that I'm embarrassed about. My first thought was "Are Jimmy and "that guy" faking being fake as a way to end the blog and not risk being found out?" What a totally shitty thing to think. My friend had his life turned upside down, his heart ripped out, and I was thinking that he was lying to me. In retrospect, my thoughts may have been a defense mechanism. I just didn't want to accept that "that guy" could be fake. I am really, really sorry that I doubted you, Jimmy.
Now my trusting nature has gotten me burned, and I'm suspicious of everyone. I wonder "Is anyone out there real? Maybe every blog I follow and everyone who reads my blog are fake too."
And I worry about the young gay athletes. One guy decided to come out to his conservative family and his football team because of this guy. Now he and his mother have a strained relationship. He called that guy his hero. How does he feel now? Can he trust people, especially older gay men. Great. Now young gay men think of older guys as liars. That's just what our community needs.
I hope that people do realize that despite the lies, there is a community that has started here. We can support each other through this. I'm here if anyone wants to email me directly, or you can post here.