I don’t know what evidence could ever be adduced either way, Christopher, but it’s my experience that other SF subscribers see me and respond to me sensitively and where necessarily robustly, very much as a real person.
My perception of other forum users is that you are sensate, flesh-and-blood and uniquely made-up men and women of depth, character, complexity, wisdom and empathy. I can easily imagine opening my front door to the surprise arrival of any of you en passant chez nous and how pleasing and exciting that encounter would be for me. Like a child on Christmas morning!
It hasn’t happened yet, but I hope to live to tell the tale. The nearest I’ve got to it was an amazing few days in Wozza Joiner’s vacant apartment thanks to his and his partner’s generosity. It filled us with unforgettable joy and affection for them both. Such shared intimacy is a rare gift, but undeniably expresses what SF stands for.