There's an online group that I follow (for the handful of people who actually read my blog-- it's not the one you're thinking of), and it's experiencing a bit of a crisis. It turns out that two very popular members have been at best misrepresenting themselves and at worst may be completely fictional. And now a third, equally popular member has just announced he's going radio silent for a while. Not that that's not a perfectly legit thing to do. Shit happens, and real life always trumps internet life. But the timing is suspicious. (And now I've discovered there is a fourth member who is supposedly related to guy number three, so if Three is a fake, Four is most assuredly one, too.)
I can hear you all now. "How does any of this make you a bad person, Becky?" It makes me a bad person because I'm enjoying the whole thing way too much.
Look, here's the deal. These three people were all wildly popular. The darlings of the group, with lots of attention heaped upon them. Two of the three posted pictures that showed them to be incredibly good looking. (It was the pictures that started the whole thing-- they were found to be a professional photographer's copyrighted work.) All three claim to be young (18-19) and in incredibly mature, loving relationships. All three are extremely articulate, sounding much more wise and mature than the typical 18 or 19 year old. All three have families who are completely accepting of their homosexuality. Only good things happen to them. Any bad things happened in the past and are straight out of an after school special.
Do you see where I'm going with all this? We're talking about teenagers who have it all figured out. (And not in that annoying, you don't know anything yet kid, teenagerish way.) Kids who have perfect lives, perfect relationships, and nothing but sunshine and rainbows in their future. There's no way that it's real. And yet a whole bunch of otherwise intelligent adults have been taken in by it. Now everyone's scrambling around, some condemning them, in the politest language possible, for lying, while others are getting progressively more upset because they see it as a whole bunch of adults ganging up on a couple of kids who made a mistake.
But the thing is, I don't think these are kids. My pet theory, and I'm starting to doubt that there will ever be any clear truth to match it up with, is that this is a big prank. I think Dudes #1 and #2 (who are supposedly a couple) are actually one person creating a story, maybe for the fun of creating a story, maybe for attention or the fun of pulling one over on a bunch of people too willing to take a story at face value. Maybe just for the hell of it. I think Dude #3 is possibly a little more on the level. I think he really is a 19 year old. I think some of what he's said is true. I think his relationship is probably an invention, possibly because he saw all the attention that Dudes #1 and #2 were getting, possibly because he's a 19 year old who desperately wishes he had that perfect relationship. If that's the case, then Dude #4 is probably a sock puppet invented to prop up the stories of Dude #3.
Other than being kind of amused by the lengths some people will go to for a bit of attention, I don't really care that they've done this. It was so obviously not the truth, or at least not the whole truth, that I have nothing invested in these people or their stories. But there are other people who do, and who are really upset about all this. (See, bad person.) I'm just hoping that the bad feelings blow over soon, because this really is a good group, if a little too willing to believe whatever random internet bs they're fed.
In completely unrelated news, Dad has been running a low grade fever all day, and now I am, too. And the lip balm flavor of the day is peppermint. Yum!
Update: Dudes #1 and #2 have admitted that they grabbed a couple of pictures off the internet and claimed them as their own and apologized. They still claim to be two 18 and 19 year old gay guys, and while they also admit that may have glossed over some things, what they have said has been true. Their supporters immediately started praising them for their courage in coming clean and admitting their mistake. A few brave souls have said (politely) that they don't believe that these guys are really guys. (It's a m/m romance community, and apparently it's not just the authors who are often secretly women in groups like this.) The supporters are now getting outraged at the skeptics, claiming that they are so guys! And anyway, they don't care if they aren't. Lots of people wander in to quote "this too shall pass" at everyone and wander back out again. I think a more apt quote at this point would be "there are none so blind as those who will not see."
Dude #3 popped back up today to say that he had a panic attack and that's why he posted yesterday that he was taking a break, although his wonderful boyfriend helped him through it, and he's considering getting some counseling, because the panic attacks have happened before. Highly dubious, although I'm still inclined to believe that there is a real 19 year old gay kid behind this one, even if a lot of what he's said about his relationship is pure fiction.
And I'm still a bad person, because I'm still sitting back with my popcorn, enjoying the whole thing.