If you’ve been following my site, you know that our first big stories covered the racism and bullying of Leigh Alexander. She told me personally that she put us on the map, and to be frank, I cannot argue with that. Others know it as well, and that’s why they come to me with information about her. That’s how I got some of the stories that followed the original exposés. It’s also what’s given me the story you’re about to read. In this piece, we’re gonna take a look back at Ms. Alexander’s life, with some of the people who knew her best: her AOL running buddies and fellow Final Fantasy VII role-players (Leigh herself wrote an article about this. You can read it at the archive link HERE).
THROWBACK: I took @enricobianco's advice. Appreciate it, @leighalexander. #GamerGate pic.twitter.com/MAu6ieW51W
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) October 14, 2014
Before I begin, I need to thank the man who goes by the moniker of Unprofessional Madman. He’s helped me with the interviews, and has provided one himself. He’s known Leigh since 1998, and is an excellent witness to her character. I’ll let him address you in his own words, before we get to the examination:
As far as the recent situation goes, I got sucked into this because I was witness to her behavior for years before shit blew up into what it is. I was witness to it from 1998 all the way into post-2005 on Facebook and our random AIM chat get-togethers. I didn’t know anything about GamerGate or what it meant or how it began. All I know is how she reacted to it and what came to light as a result of the backlash. And I couldn’t abide by it.
I’m disappointed, mostly. And I feel like many of us who remember her feel the same way. But at the same time, there’s nothing malicious there. It’s like… living in an orphanage with a bunch of kids, right? You eventually grow up, move on, but then you hear about one of those kids you used to share a room with one day goes batshit insane and starts saying the most vitriolic, unprofessional shit despite professing herself a journalist.
There’s a lot of material here. Today, I wanted to focus on what Leigh’s friends thought of her during her formative years. Leigh exhausted many hours obsessing with these FF7 role-play groups on AOL. A lot of times, the members would spend more time with each other, than with family. So, I think the upcoming quotes provide excellent insight into her character. All these people will be quoted with initials, as they don’t feel comfortable getting into the muck with Leigh. I can’t say that I blame them, even though it doesn’t bother me personally.
I’ll start off with SI:
She generally came off as a very insecure, desperate-to-fit-in person hiding behind a facade of disdain and superiority. She was not a terribly good writer. She found a handful of phrases and descriptive elements, and endlessly reworked them into everything she posted…I felt her public fixation on sexual issues was off-putting.
I’ve been surprised to see her become quasi-famous, or in the industry she’s in.Her overwrought attempts at adding a dramatic flair to her writing is ill-suited for journalism, and what I’ve read of hers has shown a lack of fact-checking or research. She has a very blatant agenda with anything she writes, and will be loose with the facts to support that.
I won’t go into the critique of her writing, because that’s not the issue I have with her. But I will say that his take on her persona and character is interesting. He thinks most of her life is spent being a phony, and he’ll tell you so himself:
I’d have to say she’s true to the person that I knew…and the person that I knew was already something of a attention-starved phony.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but he wasn’t the only one who described Ms. Alexander in this manner. RA also had something similar to say:
She’s a fraud through and through. That hasn’t changed.
When RA was asked if he had anything he wanted to say to Leigh today, he offered this:
You’re a bigot that doesn’t deserve her job, and your lack of integrity and inclusiveness is evidence of that.
It’s impossible for me to disagree. But, perhaps some of her other friends will defend her. What about when I ask H the same question? What would this person say to her?
Girl, time to leave the games writing business.
Hmmm. There has to be someone! What about you, S?
I mostly remember her for being kind of an elitist girl. She would lash out if things didn’t go her way.
Ok, that wasn’t it. I think I’ve finally found something positive, though:
Leigh was, for lack of a better term, insufferable. She was hard to swallow even when we were all very practiced in dealing with overpowering personalities. She was loud, demanding, unfair, and worst of all a fairly talented writer. Nowadays she plays the victim just as well as she ever did. She sings and dances around criticism and directs it deftly into herself as a personal attack that she can just shrug off and discredit because when it’s abouther, it’s not about her opinions, her words, her attitude, or her personality. She wears the mummer’s motley well, but I think that’s actually just who she is, so who am I to call her a phony? She’s self-serving, manipulative, and abusive. She was when we were kids.
She might be the most true to herself person I know.
Finally, we found one! AM complimented her writing, and also gave her a backhanded compliment for being true to herself. This is Leigh Alexander we’re talking about, so I guess we’ll have to take what we can get. Maybe in the next piece we can dig out one or two more. I guess maybe you shouldn’t have been such a mean and fake person, Leigh.