This winter, gay hockey fans and high school athletes followed a teen hockey player from a Minneapolis suburb who blogged about being in the closet and playing hockey in high school. wrote about “Mikey” back in December. As has discovered, “Mikey” is not a closeted high school hockey player. He’s a 40-something, possibly married man living in Plymouth, and its not the first time Minnesota’s LGBT community has been fooled by a fake blogger with a compelling story.

While he didn’t do anything illegal, he upset a lot of younger athletes who identified with his story. An 18-year old fan from Canada had this to say (via

Some have expressed the suggestion that this person’s actions are defensible because they resulted in the creation of a positive environment for young gay teens. However, the actions of this person are not defensible. The ends do not justify the means. Mikey’s story was filled with lies and deception. This deception went beyond his blog posts, as he communicated directly with several of his readers on a regular basis. Defending this individual in any way is damaging for the following two reasons:

The first is that this sends a horrible message to gay youth who often struggle to find positive role models. Many of Mikey’s young followers put a lot of trust into the truth of Mikey’s existence. When the reality of Mikey’s identity was revealed, this showed that the one reason for these young people to believe in themselves was a falsehood. Though one would hope that they will take the best from this experience, they will probably have a hard time putting trust in others again.

The second reason is that it will most certainly be more difficult for a real gay teenager to make a difference through an Internet following like Mikey did, as one of the reasons why the blog became so popular was the exposure that it received from reputable sources. With this experience, it is unlikely that these sources will consider promoting a blog of this sort, despite the tremendous potential that these kinds of online communities have.

Between 2001 and 2004, a lesbian named Plain Layne became very popular among Twin Cities blogger. It turned out, Layne was a straight man all along.

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.