For nearly two decades, Oregon-based songwriter Logan Lynn has quietly produced indie music to critical accolades.
With nine studio albums under his belt, he developed a niche following. He also worked on TV, hosting the weekly music video countdown cable television show NewNowNext Music on Logo.
But now Lynn, 39, is getting more attention than he ever imagined — and he tells PEOPLE that it is destroying his reputation.
In 2018, he partnered with his friend, Jerry Maguire actor Jay Mohr, on a multimedia project titled My Movie Star, a short film accompanied by a double album that includes collaborations with the Dandy Warhols and Tiffany. The video included full frontal nudity of Mohr, who had never appeared naked on film before.
The eye-grabbing video received notice from critics and fans — but soon garnered some unwanted attention, as well. Shortly after the release of My Movie Star, the online bullying started — especially on a particular Reddit subgroup, where fans of the shock jocks Opie and Anthony began weighing in.
Anonymous users began making wild accusations that Lynn says have no basis in truth. They alleged that he had molested children, was a serial rapist and other unprintable allegations. They photoshopped his face onto pornographic images, created memes with racist sayings that they falsely attributed to Lynn, and even alleged that he was a member of a prominent pro-pedophilia organization.
As the bullying intensified and the unfounded allegations grew more sinister, Lynn worried that his reputation would suffer. He spent hours blocking and reporting abusive posts, to no avail. Confused how so many people could bully him with seemingly no repercussions, Lynn reached out to Reddit — who he says declined to take action. (Reddit did not return PEOPLE’s messages for comment.)
“I usually try to lampoon this type of bigotry,” Lynn, who is openly gay, tells PEOPLE, “and I’ve been doing that here as much as I can. But it’s hard to find a punchline in what most of these people are saying and doing. It’s really sick and I’m shocked that Reddit would allow such a large group of people to organize homophobic bullying on their site.”
Mohr, 48, soon entered into the fray, denouncing the bullying on Twitter.
“Wow.@OpieRadio took a twitter bat to the ribs by a card carrying gay guy @loganlynn. Maybe his homophobic, angry and fearful fan base will desert him for getting reverse cyber fag bashed. #speakoutagainstthemOpie,” wrote Mohr.
Reps for Opie and Anthony did not return PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
Lynn says that the online bullying has had some real-life effects. One of the bands that was planning to tour with Lynn this year has dropped out, telling him that they don’t want to be tied to the allegations, even peripherally.
As a mental health advocate, Lynn knew that the overwhelming world of online bullying was unhealthy. He stopped Googling himself and often steps away from his computer screen.
But Lynn wants to make one thing clear: he’s not afraid of the trolls.
“It’s been my experience that nothing triggers this type of toxic masculinity culture more than a gay man who isn’t afraid,” Lynn says, “and I can’t think of anything I am less afraid of than a bunch of fragile dudes who can’t deal with my existence.”