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A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile 

Wednesday, Jul 22 2015
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Sophie Deraspe's fascinating, frequently infuriating documentary A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile is a prime example of Why We Can't Have Nice Things. The world loves a scrappy underdog, and few were more scrappy and lovable than Amina Arraf, an openly queer woman in Syria who entered into a steamy long-distance relationship with a Montreal woman named Sandra. Amina's blog A Gay Girl in Damascus was already a cause célèbre before she was kidnapped during the Arab Spring in 2011, which is where things got hazy, because nobody could find proof that she actually existed. That's because she did not: Amina was the invention of a white American named Tom. As they so often will, he initially mansplained that he hadn't harmed anyone, and that he'd shed light on an important issue — obviously, we should be thanking him for his selfless acts! — but that important issue ended up getting less media attention because of the new focus on his hoax. Ugh. (On the plus side, at least we know for sure Malala Yousafzai is a real, flesh-and-blood person.) A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile would make a good companion piece with this week's Twinsters, which explores similar themes about identity and the internet without making you despair for humanity.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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