However, since this rant has been archived on the Internet, I have presented it below, as erasing these words does not change that I wrote them and harmed an actress' career. I believe it equally important to show what words I am apologizing for as to admit my wrongdoing and regret.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
-1 Corinthians 13:11
As many of you have known, for years I have guarded my personal details with a relentless zeal. Questions have surrounded my appearance. People would ask, "Are you a boy or a girl? Are you white or black? How old are you?" I would answer each question with vague, and sometimes conflicting answers.
It is with great reluctance that I make this confession.
My real name is Harsha Patel, and every rumor associating me with Tinsel Korey is true. All three identities -- Nangbaby, Tinsel Korey, and Harsha Patel -- refer to the same person. I have lied about my age, my birthplace, my familial status, my profession, my nationality, and above all, my ancestry. I am not First Nations, Aboriginal, or any other term synonymous with Native. I am of Indian descent of the other sort, from across the Pacific Ocean. I am not from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I am not a natural born citizen of the United States.
There is no point in starting from my birth, as the beginning of "Nangbaby" did not occur until I was a teenager. In 1997, I became enamored with the Internet, lagging behind my friends who were already into it. One of my best friends, woekitten had assumed the mantle of "Red Draco". We had known each other for years, even before we attended Charles H. Best Elementary School together. She had taken her writing talent to the Internet and in return, she had received near-universal praise, from Elfwood all the way to the depths of IRC channels. I admit I was a bit envious at how fluently she expressed herself and how easily she bonded with people she knew only from words. Of course, I wanted to join in on the fun, but I also wanted to reinvent myself.
Then I reached back to my infant nickname. "Nangbaby." I was worried that it might sound too Indian and be too easy to track. Since my family never used this name in front of outsiders, I believed I was safe as long as my brother kept quiet. I decided to fashion my identity around the popular animes of the time, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z (or Dragon Ball "Zed" as I had initially been introduced to it). This is where the identities "Serena Briefs" and "Rini" came from, and it is through these first screen names I interacted with Red Draco's corner of the Mega Man community. I never revealed my identity to her, yet we both became friends online as well.
Despite our offline friendship, our online friendship took a sour turn ever since in a moment of levity, I cracked a few jokes that she and others found offensive. At the time, I believed they were taking my words too seriously. Nevertheless, I apologized, but they never let me forget it. It is ironic how after this, I was labeled as being too serious and not able to loosen up. I knew then that I would have to reinvent myself if I were ever to have a successful career in acting, as I realized my best friends would actually become my worst enemies if given the motivation.
It is for this reason that I held a grudge against woekitten. This was not an Internet scuffle, but a genuine friendship that was torn apart by words on a screen. I felt betrayed and hurt that the girl I thought of as my friend would turn on me, even though I realize now I was the one doing the betraying through my lies. As mentioned before, there was -- and still is -- a bit of envy as well. Although I was able to make a name for myself in the Native community and had managed a few key roles in television and film, I knew I would never achieve widespread fame. Until I was considered for the part of Emily Young, I was far less known generally than woekitten as both "Nangbaby" and "Tinsel Korey." I paled in the image of my childhood friend; despite us being so close in age, she outshone me. The hate I accused her of holding I held in my heart. As I counseled the underprivileged children of the Native community, my words were hollow, and I exploited their plight for my personal gain.
To be fair, I expect there to be great skepticism surrounding what I have just written considering the date. I have in essence painted myself into a corner. By leaving no trace that I was Harsha Patel, it would be difficult to me out myself of the time came to do so, a time I hoped would never come to pass. I even went as far as to use the pictures and voices of others to hide the woman behind the mask. Now, though, it is too late for me confess without coercion.
I was my own worst enemy with regard to the secret of my identity. When I initially discovered woekitten's post, I flew into a rage and reported this to many places with the intent of discrediting her. However, I slipped in that I claimed that she had listed my name as "Harsha Patel." In truth, neither woekitten, nor any of the people who wrote in response to the her account gave anything but a family name, that of Patel. That is the reason why Rob Schmidt's initial blog entry did not contain my whole name, and why several people asked for my full name. Of course, once I had realized what I had done, I tried to go to the blog and have the words retracted, but my deception was so obvious that several people correctly surmised the truth -- that "Nangbaby" was "Tinsel Korey."
The "official" apology, one that has been screened by publicists and agents, will come later. But this is message, while publicly accessible, is not directed to those who know me as "Tinsel Korey." These words is directed to those who have known me as "Nangbaby," a paranoid, jealous, faceless entity. The actions I have performed to further my career are both inexcusable and unforgivable, but the lies I have told to those who saw me as friends on-line will stain my soul for many lives to come.
First and foremost, I apologize to my family. I have brought shame to my parents and the entire household. Words cannot convey my sorry at disowning you and other people from my past.
I apologize to Summit Entertainment, Chris Weitz, David Slade, my fellow cast members, the casting department, the crew (especially Joann and the entire makeup department -- applying the scar was a laborious process), and all those involved in the making of the film.
I also must apologize to Sam Bowers and Rob Schmidt. I have maligned both of these individuals specifically and publicly, when both were telling the complete and whole truth. I had no right to defame them in a childish manner, and I am sorry.
Finally, I apologize to woekitten as well as to her family. I remember how beautiful you looked on your wedding day, and I am still deeply hurt how much as "Harsha" I was welcomed, but as "Nangbaby" I was hated to the point where I was not invited. It was my fault, as I could not understand how the joke I tried to tell ten years ago to this day caused such a rift of confusion and distrust that was compounded by the teasing of others towards me. I suppose I never will understand this dissonance despite my layered deception. Or perhaps, I understand all too well. I deserve any ridicule that has come and is yet to come. From this day forth, "Nangbaby" is no more. My Twitter account will be closed to the world, if not deleted. As for every other service I use, consider this my farewell. I can only ask that you can forgive me for every rotten act I have committed -- as "Nangbaby," as "Tinsel Korey," and as most importantly as Harsha Patel.
For those of you who stuck by me through my side this long, thank you for being a friend...and goodbye.