Gay Website Queerty Closes, Now Queerty Can’t Write Snarky Headline About Queerty Closing

Queerty.com, the gay website with the cleverest tag-line of all time (“Free of an Agenda. Except That Gay One”), is donezo:

A message from Queerty

After more than five years of serving the LGBT community with news and entertainment, Queerty has come to a close. The decision to shutter the site was not an easy one to make, and it is with great pain that we say goodbye to our loyal readership. From all of Queerty’s writers and contributors, from our first unto our last day, thank you for spending some time with us.

—Queerty and 353Media

I’ve always been a fan of Queerty (though less so, lately — more on that in a minute) and when we started Autostraddle.com we described ourselves as “Girlier than Queerty and Gayer Than Jezebel.” I appreciated its humor and gutsiness and their super-long snarky headlines (which I admit informed our own). It was a website for dudes, obviously, as reinforced by their two “just a photo of a half-naked man” posts a day (which always got the most hits).

But they were on top of their shit, like a gay Gawker, and after we launched we gained new kinds of love for Queerty when it started often filling its lesbian news quota with info from and links to this very website — even frequently telling their readers about the glory of Julie & Brandy In Your Box Office (something no major lesbian website has done).

I used to visit Queerty up to ten times a day, but I realize writing this that I don’t visit it nearly that often these days.  Maybe it was their attitude — increasingly relentless, biting, scathing, aggressively taking on targets from The HRC to GLAAD to, obvs, Obama — which made me feel angry and sad. Commenters got bitchy, the “question headlines” were played out, etc.

Lots of other gay bloggers hated Queerty though, like The Sword (which features naked pictures of dudes shooting jiz in the air on its main page, so maybe don’t click around at work) says:

…there are plenty of other awful websites just like it, losing even one like Queerty, which has repeatedly fostered the wrong kinds of conversations, gloated over teen suicide, suggested fining people who acquire HIV, misled readers, gotten its facts laughably wrong, and provided a forum for some of the stupidest, most shrill commenters on the internet is still a great, great thing. Goodbye forever, Queerty!”

Queerty was on top of breaking news, did some of its own reporting and had an opinion, which was nice. There’s a lot of tension these days as blogs owned by corporations seem to be the only ones surviving and as Lez Get Real points out:

Not long ago, the folks at Bilerico and even Pam Spaulding over at Pam’s House Blend. voiced concerns about being able to continue to push forward with their sites, and it was expected that, since Queerty was funded through the corporations, that it would continue.

Unfortunately, corporations tend to be more interested in silly things like ratings and site hits than they are about getting a message out. Even we here at LezGetReal have to change a bit and have taken on a more straight out Progressive direction in the presentation of our site.

On the upside, those seeking their daily dose of gay man-meat can still turn to Towleroad and Joe.My.God and Blabbeando.

So anyhow, what the fuck happened?

Apparently Queerty had “partnered” with “the folks at 353 Media” to “handle its operations” while David pursued “other projects.” So there were conflicts and 353 Media dropped Queerty and David Hauslaib decided that he was over it:

The beat most controversially covered by Queerty, however, seems ironic now: the death of gay media, and in particular the various maladies of Regent Media (the LGBT media conglomerate that owns The Advocate, Out, SheWired, Here! TV, PlanetOut, Gay.com, etc).

In February Queerty was all over it when Regent Owner Steven P. Jarchow and a number of Regent companies including Here Networks, LLC and Regent Releasing LLC, were named as defendants in a $90 million dollar lawsuit from Merrill Lynch/Bank of America. The banks are suing Jarchow for fraud and breach of contract, among other illegal activities.

Regent then turned around and sued Queerty’s David Haslaib and associate Sean Carney (a former Regent employee) for “unfair competition, intentional interference with contractual relations, and intentional interference with prospective advantage,” but dropped the lawsuit three weeks later. (Lots of LGBT sites — including us — have stayed away from it b/c we don’t wanna be mean to SW, but Gawker has been covering Regent’s issues with not paying its writers for some time). Regent’s sites soldier on, however, and OUT still looks super fancy and Steven bought himself a really fancy house recently, so.

Let’s discuss: this is weird, right? Like the timing of all this? This makes us feel even more blessed that we have a project we’re still passionate about, that two of us do this full-time (more or less) and that when we told you that we were fucked, you volunteered to un-fuck us. And you are.

Design Director Alex and I were talking about Queerty’s shutdown earlier and she remarked, “Their message is weird and succinct. I could never imagine leaving with no notice and just those 3 sentences.”

Exactly.

Did you read Queerty? Are you sad to see it go? Did you know Pam is considering shutting down Pam’s House Blend? Isn’t that depressing?

Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1779 articles for us.

30 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    The difference was just that their heart wasn’t in it anymore- a seemingly similar story to PHB, from the post you linked. That’s what separates you from them, and why you are going to be so successful with Autostraddle. It is so obvious from the formspring and the website that you LOVE this, and that makes us love you SO much, and we aren’t going to let you fail. Someone else will take the place of PHB, and it sounds like she will be happy to focus her activism in other areas for a while. It’s all good. It’s the circle of life on the internet.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      I think the big difference between Autostraddle and Queerty must be that Autostraddle is not just a news outlet or a blog; it’s a community.

  2. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I didn’t read Queerty as much as I used to, but I generally enjoyed it, and it’s the same with Pam’s House Blend. I usually get info from Pam on FB. Sad to see them go.

  3. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Aw. Thanks for the props. Although I rarely feature meaty man-meat features, I am now feeling the Autostraddle pressure to turn the blog into an all man-meat, all-the-time blog. Always have loved you, always will. El Blabbeador.

  4. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Not gonna lie, I quit reading Queerty after the third baseless attack on Rachel Maddow. Okay, well it’s not just Rachel Maddow but other gays, activists and allies. I’m often puzzled when gay media feels the need to be equal opportunity shit disturbers. It’s like they’re trying to say “Hey, just because we’re gay doesn’t mean we’re biased. Look we even attack our own with an equal amount of cattiness.” Umm, no, that’s cannibalism…and it pains me to read it.

    I’m all for constructive criticism when someone fucks up. Like Autostraddle’s response to Perez Hilton. That was actually helpful and without giving him a pass. So, it proves it can be done.

  5. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I went on Queerty once, was unimpressed, and came running back here. It did freak me out to see this headline, because with AS having issues and these guys shutting down I began to worry about what was happening to all my gay media even though my thinking that “everyone is shutting down” when I’ve only heard of two sites and one of those isn’t shutting down is a HUGE generalization; it’s about as huge as this sentence.

    so, yes, weird timing. I need to go to bed now, so I can stop writing incredibly long sentences to express simple things. (I’m aware of how ironic even that last sentence is at the moment.)

  6. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I never read queerty but based on what you all said, thank god I found Autostraddle first. I think I am really blessed to find a site like this.

  7. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I loved Queerty! It was such an active site: it was pretty common to post a comment and get a reply within minutes. And I found the snark attractive. Sometimes I want gay-oriented fluff, and sometimes I want news, but heavily editorialized: Queerty provided both. Ugh, I hope someone fills the edutainment void soon.

  8. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    While I feel bad about dying gay media generally, I can’t feel too sad about Queerty’s demise specifically as I found the comments to be an upsetting hive of transphobia on a couple of occasions. Never went back.

  9. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I just started reading it last week through my Twitter feed. lawlz I killed Queerty. Lousy timing, but I didn’t quite like the lay-out of the site – way too busy and…hmm…spammy? Like I didn’t know if a link would lead me to an article or to some hardcore gay-porn site.

  10. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I liked the idea of Queerty a lot more than I actually liked Queerty. Honestly, I’ve been avoiding it like the plague lately anyway because somewhere down the line, the snarky comments turned flat out mean and offensive, and that’s not cute or funny or necessary.

    I swear I’m not just kissing ass when I say I think Autostraddle covers the witty/snarky/informative LGBT website thing a lot more effectively than Queerty has lately. Words honestly cannot express how ecstatic I am that Autostraddle’s here to stay. I like knowing there’s a place that’s funny, clever, and original, but it also feels safe–I don’t have to put my Big Bad Internet Blinders up before I come here.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      Hear, hear. AS is the only news source where I actively read (and participate) in the comments because I don’t have to waste my time banging my head against brick walls because *nobody* here is a moron and trolls are virtually non-existent.

      I would like to say that Riese’s L Word recaps were the only reason I kept watching the show past Season 4. I would look forward to reading the hilarious recaps more than I would to watching the episodes. And then I just sucked into this wonderful vortex of rainbows and kittens and EVAN RACHEL WOOD BISEXUAL.

  11. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Queerty was just so wrong so much of the time. The editors there would commit egregious factual errors and only grudgingly concede they were wrong, changing them only after numerous comments about a story’s inaccuracy. I remember one post that claimed an entirely new branch of the Lutheran church had formed in 2008 over the issue of gay marriage. Having grown up next to one of those churches and knowing fully well that the branch had been around forever, I (and a ton of other people) commented that the entire premise of the story was incorrect. The editors fixed the error but LEFT THE STORY UP! EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NOT A STORY! It was at that point that I stopped reading it, because I knew I couldn’t trust anything about it. (The crappy design and weirdly hateful tone didn’t help, either.)

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.