We Need Help: Our Big Fundraiser To Build A Better Autostraddle

We need a website for our website.

We skipped that step. Most web-based start-ups would consider “hiring professionals to build a website” to be “Step One.” But our start-up budget was $539, and besides, we had Tess, who — like the rest of us — was learning the ropes as she went along, and working on coding whenever she could catch a minute, which was tough because she’s also a small business owner who works full-time and then some. We had Alex, too, the site co-founder, an enormously talented designer willing to work for free, like Tess was, because she believed in you and in the project and its potential.

Alex finished designing our present theme in June 2010, when we had about 23,000 views a day, and it took six months to code it and get it up and running. This incarnation went live in January 2011, when we were getting about 35,000 views/day. Now we have over 75,000 average views a day, and we’ve expanded to include much more than just blog posts — the social networking element you all requested, for example, has been a monumental endeavor.

In June of 2011, Tess officially declared that what the website needed at this point was above and beyond her skill set or what she had time to learn. We’ve spent a year investing in cheap or free labor and quick fixes. The site frequently crashes, over the last month we’ve had to strip off about 20 plug-ins to get it to load at all, we can’t grow, we can’t even accept new advertising with our current down time. Before removing some of the 30 plug-ins we were running (for a site this size, 0-4 is the recommended amount), our page load time was over a minute long (most websites load within 3-4 seconds).

Imagine a tiny house with six people inside. Imagine that 64 more people move in, but instead of making a bigger house, we just tack on a bunch of free-standing cardboard boxes and ask everyone to please squeeze. All the lamps are broken, only one power outlet still functions, using the microwave blows a fuse on the entire house and you have to exit through the back door ’cause the front door gets stuck. That’s our website.

this is the way that we live: exhibit a

We lack basic search engine optimization and always have. We’ve had to reimburse advertisers for lost impressions and repeatedly apologize to people wondering why the article we wrote about them or the article they wrote isn’t loading for their Mom to read.

The landscape is changing, everything is going mobile, and we are not keeping up. We’ve wasted endless hours and days with tech shit and mitigating disasters. A few weeks ago we tried to launch a page that begins the next step in our campaign with o.b. tampons and our entire website crashed!

But even more than wanting to fix those things, we want a platform secure enough for us to grow, have a viable presence in the marketplace, and attract more readers. Riese already works 80+ hours a week with the other editors and writers not far behind and we need a website that works as hard as we do.

We can’t avoid it any longer: it’s time to turn this shed into an actual building, or risk losing everything we’ve worked on thus far.

But building a website like ours —  original design, hand-coding from scratch, millions of monthly page views, customized social networking, a content management system, special features galore, the ability to update and change frequently — at the cheapest, we’re looking at $75K, possibly up to $250K or more. That might sound crazy to you, but most sites with traffic and features like ours start up with a solid chunk of venture capital or angel investments, usually garnered from networks enabled by things like “being a man,” investments which enable companies to hire people, pay them, and build the infrastructure of the site.

For example (all this information comes from Crunchbase), the I Can Haz Cheezburger Network pulled in $2 million for its seed investment ($32 million total from all subsequent funding rounds), Huffington Post launched with $2 million ($37 million total from all subsequent funding rounds) and eventually sold to AOL. OKCupid launched with $6 million and eventually sold to Match.com, BlogHer launched with $3.5 million ($13.5 million total from all subsequent funding rounds). Wowowow.com launched with $3.1 million, Refinery 29 with $500,000. Babble Media acquired $6.25 million in investments from 2009 – 2011 before selling to Disney. GayTravel.com raised $1.1 million in Venture Funding in 2008 to support their redesign.

You guys, Twitter has garnered $1.16 billion in investments and they haven’t even figured out how to make money yet! (We have!) (I know we’re not even in the same industry as Twitter, but you get the idea.)

this is the way that we live: exhibit b

Thanks to your donations, merch purchases and camp tuition, as well as to our advertisers and affiliate sales, we’ve pulled this company out of the red via heart and scrappiness, without any corporate support or big investors. We now operate on approximately a $10,000/month budget (usually less), which enables us to pay two people full-time wages slightly above the poverty line and four additional people stipends or commission, cover all author expenses, cover all our monthly bills (including $900 for web hosting) and every month offer a limb and a newborn baby to the IRS. Any potential profit is invested back into the company, and right now our priority is to be able to pay ALL of our writers for the work they do at Autostraddle, as well as to re-invest in new ventures, like The Autostraddle Print Annual and AS Classifieds, and hire support when needed in areas like accounting and PR.

We were feeling pretty hopeless until we found Cee. Cee is one of the best WordPress developers in the country with lots of helpful friends in high places. Cee has been helping us out (for free!) for a few months now, helped us get onto a better server and has kept us running during these trying times. Cee typically makes between $150 and $300 an hour doing what she does, which we clearly can’t afford.

this is the way that we live, exhibit c

But here’s the thing: you guys are really awesome and really gay, and Cee is also really awesome and really gay. This community is incredibly inspiring and motivating, and y’all have a way of making people who work here really feel valued and important.

There’s more to say about this, but for the sake of expediating the process of you giving us your money, let’s cut to the chase:

+

We’re trying to raise at least $40,000 on Indiegogo!

What that’ll pay for:

* Web Developer: That would be Cee, who has also built websites for AMC and Bergdorf Goodman and has 13 years of experience in web development & design.

* Website Design: We’ve snagged this really great designer named Alex Vega, cut-rate — and we wanna keep her! You guys, if she goes and gets a full-time job again, what will we do?!

* Expertise: Cee is gonna dig into her network of esteemed specialists and get geniuses who can construct things like “a social network.”

* Tech Support and Ongoing Maintenance

* Custom Server Configuration

If we exceed our goal, all the extra money will go back into the business — site upgrades, equipment upgrades (legal copy of Final Cut, point-and-shoot camera, etc.) and paying people. If we get a million dollars then we’ll build an office and you can all come over for tea!

Now, listen up!

Our recent Reader Survey has revealed a troubling — but also promising — statistic. Only 13% of you have ever donated to Autostraddle! Only 18% have ever bought merch! When you consider that and think about how much money we’ve managed to raise from that 13%, just imagine if the rest of you pitched in!

So, what’s in it for you, besides the fact that we will still exist in September? Well, we’ve assembled some pretty rad perks for our donators, if you’re into that, such as:

+ Advertising: We’re building a prominent Redesign-Supporter-Only Ad Spot (125 x 125 pixels) into our new website layout. You get to place an advertisement in there for one week. Want to promote your business, blog, service, or maybe ask your girlfriend to marry you on our website? This is a pretty damn good way to do it.

+ Redesign ‘Zine: Get our first and only 32-page Redesign Supporter-Only Newsletter we made just for this campaign, featuring completely original and never-released writing and content from Riese and the other editors, as well as behind-the-scenes photos and all sorts of special stuff that will only exist in this newsletter. PLUS: Lifesaver Package

+ Lifesaver Package: We’re custom-making a special package just for this campaign: a 2″x6″ Read a Fucking Book bookmark, Autostraddle tattoo, 2″x2.5″ Whiskey Kitten sticker and a mini “You Do You” sticker!

+ Design Tutorial: 1 hour Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign tutorial from our Design Director Alex via Skype or in person if living in or willing to travel to Los Angeles.

+ Hangout: 30 minute Therapy/Advice/Brunch or hang-out Skype session with Riese, Rachel & Laneia or any two (2) Autostraddle team members of your choice.

+ Writing Tutorial: A short story or essay critique/workshop/tutorial from Rachel & Riese.

+ Priority A-Camp Registration: Snag a guaranteed spot at the next A-Camp of your choice!

+ Limited EditionYou Do You” T-Shirt: Super Special/Awesome Limited Edition Autostraddle “You Do You” t-shirt. We’re only printing 300 exclusively for this campaign. This is the only way you can get one!

+ Be an A-Camp VIP: Come to A-Camp… as a team member! Work as little or as much as you want, but you’ll stay with us, come to pre-camp training, participate in planning activities, whatever your little heart desires! Plus, you’ll be guaranteed a regular spot at all future A-Camps… FOR LIFE. (Lifesaver package included, obvs)

+ Dinner or Meet-Up: Two or more of your local Autostraddlers will either throw you a meet-up in the format and at the time, place and format of your choice OR take you out to dinner! (You must live in or be able to get to NY, LA, SF, DC, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Portland, Chicago, Sydney or Ann Arbor/Detroit).++

This is the part where we take a deep breath and pray! Oh and — for those of you who appreciate our endearing kitten photographs begging for your money, we have plenty and will post them as soon as we clear the $10,000 mark! I hope that motivates you.

Also thank you to Intern Geneva for the infographic and Intern Sarah K for help on the video!

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375 Comments

  1. Thumb up 14

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    I was almost like “can I request gluten free cookies” and then I was like “I can bake my own cookies but some of these other things are super cool.”

    I GET PAID IN A WEEK. HOLLA. I love you. I’ll be donating.

  2. Thumb up 23

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    You get some of my money when I get paid on Friday! I’m not even joking when I say that Autostraddle was what helped me realize that liking girls didn’t have to mean being angry and/or miserable all the time. That was like a year ago this month, AND WHAT A YEAR IT’S BEEN. If Autostraddle stopped existing I would be so sad. So yeah, money c-c-comin’ your way.

  3. Thumb up 19

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    I wouldn’t say this about most websites (even the ones I read on a daily basis), but this is content I will happily pay for. Because there isn’t another site like you guys, and aside from the brilliant things you give me to read every day, you guys have carved out this wonderful corner of the internet that I just love to hang out in. So, please, take my money, and know that I wish I could give you guys so much more!

  4. Thumb up 9

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    I can’t donate or buy anything from this website because I don’t have a credit card and my Dad wouldn’t dream of letting me use his because he’s an anti-gay fuck.

    Instead, at some point I’m going to make a fricking youtube channel, announce I”m queer as hell, make something of it and ask people to go to Autostraddle and help!!! PLease!!!

    Hopefully I’ll get the chance sometime next week or the week after. I’m sorry I can’t buy anything :’( I love this website! <3

    • Thumb up 41

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      Yes. I will almost be sad when AS no longer needs rescuing from situations of distress.

      I demand the team continues to suffer great physical and psychological hardships in order to feed my saviour complex.

  5. Thumb up 43

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    I have this random amount of money sitting in an Ally Bank account from when my ex-roommate moved out and didn’t get all of her security back, and I REALLY disliked her, and she made me life hell AND was monumentally stupid AND weirdly Republican.

    So since AS is the direct opposite of all that, imma give that money to you.

    • Thumb up 5

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      We’ll get in touch with you about your perks when the campaign is over, and we will be absolutely delighted to talk to you about what size you need then! Thank you so much for your help, we appreciate it so much!

  6. Thumb up 20

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    Everytime I watch this video the “This is [ ]“/”We need help” montages honestly make me emotional. Look at you guys! Look at this place! It just makes me burst.

  7. Thumb up 11

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    I have had some money put aside for this since you announced it. I actually do not know how I would survive at work if I didn’t have things riese loves to read and hilarious comments to entertain me. And if A Camp ends before I can get to it I will be heartbroken, so just take my money already!

  8. Thumb up 30

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    I had to quit my job a couple of weeks ago. They told me they would rehire me, but since they’ve been pretty thoroughly avoiding my calls and I just got my P45 in the post today, I guess that’s not happening. That means I’ve got my final paycheck and whatever my parents can loan me to last me until my student loan comes through in September and I move away to Uni. I probably shouldn’t be doing it, but, fuck it, I’m going to give you guys what I can.
    When I came out a couple of years ago, I was the only out girl in my entire school. When I left a few months ago, I still was. I don’t know any other queer girls, I don’t know anyone else who calls themself a feminist. What I’m saying is, it’s been lonely. Unbearably so, at times.
    But, thank your chosen deities, I came across Autostraddle, and I knew that there were awesome people out there, and they had feelings about the patriarchy and girls in tank tops and pictures of kittens. And I wasn’t quite so lonely. So thank you, Autostraddle.
    I want to make sure this site is there for other lonely queer girls in the future. Maybe it can be even better for them. And, hey, if that means I can’t afford to leave the house for the next month, it’s still worth it.


    Okay, soppiness over, who’s got cat GIFs?

  9. Thumb up 1

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    I may be stupid/crazy or don’t know how to use a computer, but on the donation page it doesn’t give an option for Canadian addresses. Correct me if I’m wrong…

  10. Thumb up 61

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    ahem:

    From my father, via facebook: “I made a $100 donation today in response to the well written solicitation. I hope it helps get something done wrt the website.”

    MY DAD LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

    • Thumb up 7

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      I feel like garnering responses like this from our own fathers is the aim that so many of us have when we keep supporting, spreading the word of and reading AS.
      Especially as a younger reader seeing the supportive families that so many contributors/writers/commenters have is something I love here. It gives me so much hope. And I’m sure I am not the only one.
      So, please, all of you keep telling us this cute stuff!

  11. Thumb up 21

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    I think I’m going to keep donating $100 over and over until my wardrobe can be exclusively You Do You shirts.

    I hope you’re ready for some extra zeros on the end of your goal because we’re going to band together and donate the fuck out of this shit. I will rob a bank if I have to.

    • Thumb up 6

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      I am so ready for extra zeros and also bank robbery, wasteunit, and also i am monumentally impressed that a situation has arisen by which you can give us money on the actual online internet! it’s a brand new day!

    • Thumb up 1

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      I have never gotten over when she made those V-neck t’s a long time ago and they sold out in a nanosecond I mean that has been awhile but I never forgot that I didn’t get one. Now I get as many as I want and get to give money this is perfection, there is also a wee whiskey kitten sticker I believe.

  12. Thumb up 24

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    Can I get the cookies someplace that’s not where I’m actually living, and can stuff be shipped internationally? Because I’m moving to Russia in about a week and want stickers for myself, but my best friend is doing teach for america down in phoenix and just told me that a good day is one where she only cries once and I just really think she needs some cookies.

  13. Thumb up 10

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    I think we need to get Croce to carry a board with the url of the AS indie go-go campaign written on it the next time she photo bombs on the real l word.
    The eyes of all the lesbians that are watching will widen when they see her and BAM: donations a go-go.

  14. Thumb up 4

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    Done. You now have some of my scant few English pounds. I’m more grateful for – and emotionally invested in – AS’s ongoing existence than my (alas) tiny contribution would suggest.

    As I said over on the campaign page, you’ve already earned every cent you get many, many times over.

  15. Thumb up 3

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    I have a quick suggestion/question/inquiry/whatever…

    For those people who do not have credit cards and so forth and want to donate by other means, has AS thought about setting up a P.O. Box/General Delivery for monetary donations? You could essentially by a money order at the post office for $1.15 ($500.00 and below) or $1.55 ($500.01 and up) and put whatever you want toward AS via money order.

      • Thumb up 1

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        Yeah, I am sure it is. I don’t really have that issue, but I was more so thinking about AS’s younger readers who do not necessairly have those options, or just options in general w/r/t payment, but still want to contribute, as any little bit will help.

        • Thumb up 1

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          we do accept donations by check — a lot of people pay for camp and donate via check! i don’t know how that works with the indiegogo interface though, that doesn’t seem to be an option. but yeah, we’ve always taken checks, i need to get a new PO box ’cause right now they go to my house, which is why i don’t announce the address, i just give it individually to anybody who asks me about mailing a check.

  16. Thumb up 13

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    Saw this, ran to my pants to get my wallet. I’ll be donating more when I get paid later this month, and any spare money I get is going to you guys.

    Autostraddle helped me realize my gayness, and held my hand through the process. I’m just trying to repay a little bit of that.

  17. Thumb up 13

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    I read AS all the time and never comment, but now feelings are coming out. I am SO excited for this site redesign! Wish I could dip my funds in glitter first and just fling them at you with a slingshot or tshirt cannon- subdued paypal donation will have to suffice.

      • Thumb up 1

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        Thank goodness! I’m in NZ but have been coveting an AS tee shirt since the last funding round. Also, I’m really hoping that the new incarnation of AS will once again allow me to view my groups and stuff (I asked around at the NZ AS brunch. I’m not the only one with this problem). This is not to say that I’m annoyed or anything but that I’m looking forward to AS being able to operate as its creators intended.

  18. Thumb up 8

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    As a tech support lady, I can’t even begin to imagine how amazing this website is and to think of the just over $500 budget you started with. I actually discovered this website very late in my opinion, but it is amazingly awesome and all the writers are great. I will gladly donate to the cause.

    One question…need any new tech support people?? :)

    • Thumb up 4

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      Clever ideas:

      Donate to Autostraddle and a queer angel gets its wings and a body mod.

      Donate to Autostraddle so I can get kitten pictures.

      Donate to Autostraddle so we can see Liz as a pin-up.

      Donate to Autostraddle so I explode into rainbows and fly away on the wings of the wind.

    • Thumb up 11

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      Well fuck that idea, I’ve never been one for impulse control and based on how quickly the donations are pouring in I was filled with terror by the thought that the “You Do You” t-shirts might be sold out by the time she wakes up in the morning (it’s 3:30 am here in Germany).

      Consequences shmonsequences, they’re already pissed that I’m a lesbo anyways, how much worse can it get if I pay them back when I get back to Canada?

  19. Thumb up 12

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    I’ve been reading this website for 4 years! Thats before I was even out to myself really. I read “Empress of the World” had ALL THE FEELS about it, and I found autostraddle in a search for more lesbian YA fiction.

    The rest is history! I’ve been reading religiously ever since. Now I’m a grown up and have: a sense of pride and belonging in this community, a knowledge of LGBT history, theory and current events, but MOST IMPORTANTLY a credit card.

    Consider yourself supported.

  20. Thumb up 1

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    Where did the sex flowchart posters go from the store? I donated and then I was like oh merch! and then they were not there and I was sad because I wanted a flowchart and to support autostraddle.

  21. Thumb up 15

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    remember that time i loved autostraddle so much i accidentally mixed my meds and then emailed riese a fan video saying thank you, promising that the next time i had dollars they’d be all yours? that time has come. thank you for what you do. i promise not to make another video about it.

  22. Thumb up 4

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    I have never, ever donated to a website before because as much as I might love them, I always feel that I’m too broke or I need the money for all this college crap or blah blah blah blah. But. Autostraddle means so, so much to me. I can’t give you guys much. But what I can, I’m donating. Don’t ever stop being awesome <3

  23. Thumb up 3

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    Oh, my new tattoo can definitely wait for this.
    One question, will there eventually be a-camps that are in maybe the midwest? I kinda wanna do that one, but I can’t foresee having the $$ for camp AND getting to cali.

    Maybe this is just a reason to bump up my donation and get that You Do You t-shirt….

  24. Thumb up 4

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    This is so amazing that I cried at the video…sensitive lesbian feelings for the win. :) but I definitely donated/bought a t-shirt a couple weeks ago because this is the bestest website in the whole entire world and I just everyone on the AS team to run the world.

  25. Thumb up 11

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    WOW. It was at $12,900something and then I watched the video and then I refreshed the page and its now at $18,000 because some BADASSMOTHERFUCKER just donated $5,000!!

    I cannot donate $5,000 but I am sending my little donation your way asap.

  26. Thumb up 1

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    Question: Can I donate now and give you my address later? I’m moving next week and don’t know what my new address is but I’m afraid the stickers will be gone! Like 50 of them disappeared while I was out eating dinner!

    Otherwise I’m just going to donate and not select a perk because I love you guys that much.

  27. Thumb up 6

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    I’m very much a lurker here but while I do not post almost ever, I do read this wonderful website every single day. I love you guys and would miss you very, very much if you had to shut down. I just wanted to let you know I put in a small amount because as a typical struggling college student that’s all I could afford but I wish I could put in more! Good luck, thank you, I’m sure everything will be fine! <3

  28. Thumb up 5

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    nearly 20k, you guys. holy shit. that’s all i have to say.

    that, and i’ll be contribbing as soon as i get paid in… 6 hours?

    CONTRIBBING. IT’S A THING.

  29. Thumb up 2

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    I was planning to hold off on contributing until I was home, not on my phone at work, but then I started worrying the whole campaign would be over by then. I’m looking forward to the kitten pictures, and refreshing the indiegogo page to see the total change is my new favorite thing. I’m so proud to be a part of this community, and looking forward to seeing what else we can be.

  30. Thumb up 2

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    Got the t-shirt and just realized I want cookies, too. Fuuuuuuuck. I will be back on the morrow to see if they’re still around and then I might have to go for it.

    Seeing all of this love and support for what originated as someone’s blog I started reading years ago…..wow. So much love and hugs for everyone. Seriously. This is awesome.

  31. Thumb up 4

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    *Awkward emotional comment ahead.*

    Wow. $22,089. I wish I could hug every single autostraddler right now. I’m so, so moved by how generous everyone is. I’m all teary. It’s kind of strange but I just feel so loved/so much love right now. Everyone is coming together to save/improve something that means so much to me/all of us.

    You guys… I can’t even… <3

  32. Thumb up 5

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    I am refreshing the indiegogo page obsessively, $22,000!! Just goes to show what ladies and queers can do when we band together – we don’t need no corporate investors!

    Also quoting Empire Records on the indiegogo page may or may not have been a deciding factor in my donation.

  33. Thumb up 9

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    Call it karma or just pleasant coincidence, but I donated this morning and then got a call offering me work for next week (first time in almost two months).
    Impressed (but only a little surprised) by how fast this thing is rolling along. Good luck!

  34. Thumb up 5

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    I’m going to donate some cash the next time I get paid.
    You guys are the reason I’m out and proud and one of the reasons I’m still alive.

    Also, Alex is looking super hot in the video. ;]

  35. Thumb up 1

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    I AM SO SAD because i want that t-shirt SO badly and I want to donate to autostraddle but i just don’t have $100 to give :( :( Is there any chance that it or something similar might be available another way?

    • Thumb up 2

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      I was thinking the same thing. I only have $25 in my kitty (no pun intended, promise), which went straight to AS. Maybe DIY AS shirts could be a thing? Cheap T-shirt, puffy paint, glitter? Aww yeah! :D

  36. Thumb up 20

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    Guys. I just want everyone to know that I stopped recapping pretty little liars, eating string cheese and watching women’s soccer to read these comments and I cried. I cried while there was string cheese and soccer ladies within my reach. Thank you to everyone.

  37. Thumb up 8

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    “Who in this life hasn’t planted a seed just hoping that somehow something would grow. You may not remember all of the things that you’ve done, but everywhere around you seeds are growing and people are blooming. I know. I’m one of them.”
    -Hallmark

  38. Thumb up 3

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    Being able to give something back to everyone who’ve helped me so much is such a wonderful feeling. I’m glad this doesn’t end for awhile because even though I’m not Miss moneybags over here, I’m going to give at least $25 a week until it’s over.

  39. Thumb up 6

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    I tried to write a comment explaining how much Autostraddle means to me, but that failed because I could not properly gather my thoughts and convey all the feelings in an eloquent and non-ramble-y way. But the gist of it was: feeeeeeelingsssssss/rainboooooows/I want to help in whatever way I can to keep the site going/I LOVE YOU AUTOSTRADDLE/TAKE MY MONIES

  40. Thumb up 18

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    I’m totes gonna use this to come out. The perks will come in, and my Dear Mommy will be like “Oh what’s that you got there?” and imma be like “Sowhathadhappenedwas…” and act like it’s no biggie.

  41. Thumb up 3

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    Is there a picture of the “you do you” shirts anywhere? Are they black with white writing like the stickers? Are they slim/’women’s’ cut? Are they v-neck? SO MANY QUESTIONS

  42. Thumb up 16

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    autostraddle made me realize that being gay was not synonymous with being miserable and in love with my straight best friend, and that being gay was a part of my life that could actually be really awesome.

    that’s worth at least $100 to me.

  43. Thumb up 4

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    If it’s any consolation, I can’t run my microwave and my toaster oven at the same time without tripping the circuit so… COOOKIES!!!!!!!

    And Riese, when you stop crying from all the love (seriously, this is some love around here), just please tell me you bought a desk since last time. ‘Cause that makes me sad if you didn’t.

  44. Thumb up 5

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    Autostraddle fairies, please tell me you’ve been filming your reactions to all that… Almost 33 000 and it’s not even been a day! I’d love to see your joy! :-D I’ll contribute in a few weeks, can’t do it now, unfortunately. :-S

  45. Thumb up 2

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    Hi there! I’m one of the little green sad-faced people that never donated. Last night I was mostly unconvinced about donating, in part because I couldn’t see the video on my phone…but now I have seen the video, I have seen the light, and if this means I’ll see things on my phone, I am off to donate immediately.

    Also I plan on winning the lottery on Friday, so I might donate again then! Keep up the good work and such…

  46. Thumb up 5

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    So many people are donating! Like, I love refreshing and watching the $ amount climb, but I love watching the number of donors climb even more. This community means so much to so many of us. Thank you for doing all that you do and for letting us be a part of it!

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      Also can I just say that seeing all the AS love is keeping my day, which would otherwise be themed around defriending some pro-Chick-fil-A jerks from my old church after not getting enough sleep because I spent too much of the night fuming over said jerks, heartwarming and wonderful rather than as crappy as that could have made it. I feel like that sentence is difficult to parse but in short AS = >> my old church.

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        Oof, HTML killed that. Autostraddle equals heart and my new church is three times better than my old church. But anyway Autostraddle is way cooler than my old church too, so! It works out. I’m gonna go now before I embarrass myself much more.

  47. Thumb up 4

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    I guess it’d be good to remind everyone that this 40 000 “goal” is just the beginning, no actual goal at all, as stated at the beginning of this article… They’re aiming at, et they need, much more than that!

    So even if it takes only a day to reach the 40 000 mark, we’ll have to keep going until the end, really… :-)

  48. Thumb up 3

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    THIS IS AMAZING. only $5750 more to 40k, and then world domination next?
    Will be contributing again when my bank account has more than 3 dollars.
    3.72 to be exact.

    GO AUTOSTRADDLE. you deserve every damned cent

  49. Thumb up 10

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    This is basically the only website where I don’t feel the need to curl up in a ball and moan every time I read a trans*-related article.

    Thanks for being awesome and putting so much work into making everyone feel safe here. And I’m getting a t-shirt, so my little queer trans self can be awesome too.

  50. Thumb up 3

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    I have so many feelings about this!!! As with the last time we rescued AS and I rambled incessantly to my girlfriend about how necessary it is for you all to exist here, I will be donating what tiny bit I can to this awesomeness. I wish I had so much more to give!!. I can’t believe how amazing all of you are, or how emotional I got during that video. This team is truly incredible and our community is so lucky to have you all here passionately working towards this vision. AS has helped me out through such an important stage in my life and has also helped me laugh everyday and stay entertained at work. I can’t say enough about how much I love you guys….also, I almost cried this morning when I saw the funds go above $30,000 in less than a day. You all deserve so much because you have given all of us so much. Thanks for existing Autostraddle!!!

    *all the hugs for Riese….and Marni’s dad!!!

  51. Thumb up 3

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    Might I suggest a Kickstarter campaign for the website revamp? They tend to be pretty solid (I’ve not yet seen one fail to meet its goal), and they’re easy to set up from what I gather.

    In any event, I’m glad to contribute in any fashion I can–AS is easily my favorite queer space on the interwebs, apart from being one of the few that doesn’t make me pull my hair out.

  52. Thumb up 8

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    You guys, your vision, the readership, the community have made so many feel less lonely, less alone. I know that I could hardly imagine life without it. Thinking about all the work that gets put in tirelessly, the labour of love; just fucking believing in something and making it happen, truly is inspirational.

    Eiurfeiuihhfhiehb I just started a new job this week after 3 months being painfully unemployed. Cannot think of anything better to spend my first paycheck on. I’ve enjoyed watching AS evolve while staying true to the ethos of the site as it was originally! Looking forward to seeing Austraddle 3.0!

    WE ARE ALL SPECIAL LITTLE SNOWFLAKES

  53. Thumb up 11

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    I don’t know how many times something has happened in this world and I have feelings/opinions about it and then I read and see a bunch of stuff in the media that totally misses the point and I wonder wtf is wrong with everyone DON’T YOU SEE WHAT’S REALLY THE IMPORTANT THING HERE?! and then wham I come here and someone (usually Riese) has written a thoughtful well researched article about it and it completely validates my opinion and makes me realize that there are a whack of people that get it….. which is why you get my money (and I get an awesome tshirt). Love this place!

  54. Thumb up 13

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    I have never felt more at home as a bisexual queer than here on AS. Being bisexual in real life is still something that makes me feel invisible/unwanted/stressed out as fuck most of the time, but at least I don’t feel like it’s my fault anymore. Also, the fact that a whole bunch of the Get Baked tips are vegan makes me so happy. I might feel like the only bisexual vegan in the village where I actually live, AS gave me a home away from home.

    My personal mantra for 2012 has been: Every dollar I spend is a vote for the ideologies behind the product/service I am purchasing. Please, AS. Take these 100 dollars and make life, the universe and everything even more beautiful. I will proudly wear the crap out of my tshirt.

  55. Thumb up 3

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    Donated. <3 And I picked the t-shirt, as part of a cunning plan to get on the extra good sides of all you super lovely (and cute!) staff members when I wear it to A Camp in a few years time. ;)

    But really though, this site really is like a home away from home. As a reader and sporadic commenter, I feel like I'm amoung people who 'get' and support me and who are also passionate about changing the world for women and queers and ultimately for the better of all. It's a killer combo and it makes my heart swell. This response has made my heart swell. <3 to all and I look forward to seeing these fucking amazing site developments guys! Whoo!

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      I would also like to say that I had been feeling rather listless/vulnerable/gross following this week’s general rather horrible headlines in LGBT news, and this campaign and its cute video and overwhelming community response (which is not over yet! Let’s blow this $40,000 target out of the fucking water y’all!) made me smile and feel hopeful and happy and like change and possibility and beauty were things again. So thanks for that. I love you all.

  56. Thumb up 1

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    When I woke up it was at 37 and by the time I got my debit card it was over 38! I wanted to be a part of the first 40,000 so I had to get off my ass and hurry up. Now I’m refreshing to see it break 40,000.
    I’m all sorts of full of warm fuzzys at seeing all of us queers support independent queer media. <3

  57. Thumb up 6

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    I discovered this website right before I went on study abroad and left my girlfriend of 2 years at home. At that point I was seeing her nearly everyday and the transition to not seeing her for 3 months was REALLY hard…made only more difficult by the fact that I was surrounded by shitty people who were very straight.

    Autostraddle really helped me get through that. I don’t know what I would’ve done without it. You also helped me connect with my identity as a gay person. I’ve never been part of a strong gay community in my city so this website has sort of stood in for that for me. You’ve helped me figure myself out…what I believe, how I identify, who I need to stand in solidarity with, and what I need to do to support what I believe. I have LEARNED so much from this website AND this community. It’s just awesome.

    Autostraddle and Partners in Health are the only places I ever donate to and I’ll be very happy to donate a good bit of money after August 8 when I get paid a lot of money. :)

    And also, thank you thank you thank you. So much. For what you do. And for sticking it out. And for asking for help. You people are awesome.

  58. Thumb up 1

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    Ahhh I just ran to get my credit card and donated so I could be part of the $40,000 in 24 hours mayhem! I know it been said a lot, but can’t really be said enough- thank you Autostraddle for being there right when I needed you and letting me know I’m not alone. You rock in all the right ways.

  59. Thumb up 3

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    Good morning! What a beautiful day it is! It’s gone over $10,000 higher then it was when I went to bed! Everyone is so incredibly awesome!

    I don’t know if I’ll end a sentence without an exclamation mark all day!

  60. Thumb up 4

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    $40,100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay don’t stop. Let’s keep this thing moving :D

    Which do I want more: a guaranteed spot at A Camp, or a second whiskey kitten sticker…?

  61. Thumb up 13

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    Refreshing the indiegogo page has made up about 50% of my day :)

    But srsly even reading from start of article -> end of comments made me feel all the emotions in the spectrum. I may/may not have shed tears 8 times.

    I’ve decided that this 45 day period is going to be like my Gay Lent, in which I give up some things, and all the money I would have spent on [things] is going to be put in an AS jar to be donated soon. YAAAAY lent :)

  62. Thumb up 11

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    I’m a longtime reader and somtimes commenter and finally created an account yesterday when I saw the fundraising appeal because I wanted to show a commitment to the site beyond (and in addition to) money. In my response to the AS reader survey question about using one word to describe the site, I’d said “unique,” because I couldn’t think of quite the right word at the time. I’d like to change my answer to “vital.” I can’t think of any other site that works so hard to transfer online community into offline life – the efforts the AS team devotes to make it happen are seriously heroic, given what this place affords so many, me included. Right now I’m in the middle of relocating from one end of the country to the other for love, and the local brunch happenings are making the social transition easier already. It’s a daily dose of queer self-esteem. xo<3

  63. Thumb up 2

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    this rules. I’m totally down. please keep the campaign open for the next 45 days or whatever! I don’t want to miss my chance since i’m not getting paid for a while! you get all my money when i do.

  64. Thumb up 1

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    Count me in when I get paid on Tuesday! Autostraddle has made me realize how much I love lesbian culture and how fun and ridiculous and mindblowingly awesome it can be. Definitely y’all deserve some love back. :))))

  65. Thumb up 8

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    Also this is really odd but I found the video so funny because see I’m Irish so obvs in my mind all the writers have their own unique Irish accent that I’ve created for them, and then I heard you all speak and you’re like 90% American and it’s as if everything has been a lie. A LIE!!!

    Ok nap time, I think.

    Nap times are great because you wake up to a SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER AMOUNT GIVEN TO THE STRADDLE!!!

  66. Thumb up 4

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    So, so happy for you guys. I’ve been following the site since the beginning, and it y’all helped me along the way of coming out, dating, and falling in love with another gay lady. words and money are not enough to thank this team for the countless ways you’ve enriched my life! Autostraddle truly is a community, one where we can all feel that we have friends, and are loved and accepted. Only wish we could all do more to show our love and appreciation back at ya! All the best to Riese and the entire team, xoxo from Canada. :) <3

  67. Thumb up 6

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    I have zero money, but I remembered that I have ~$250 in foreign currency in an envelope under my bed. I’ve been saving it for a rainy day, and today is the day! I just want a YDY tee shirt so badly!

    Thanks for being you, AS!

  68. Thumb up 4

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    Ok so it might just be because I’m an emotional mess right now but I looked at the page and saw that it was like, way over 40,000 and it just made me so happy that i started crying but it was good tears :) its like, autostraddle is so beautiful. and now all this good stuff is happening and you know like, at the end of those really great movies about sports or horses or stuff, where at the end everyone starts hugging? well that’s what the internet feels like right now. ok love you all! happy happy <3

  69. Thumb up 3

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    Autostraddle is the only thing keeping me from feeling like Daffyd from little Britain (and if you dont know who that is, google him… please) so I’ve spread Autostraddle around as much as i possibly can, through Twitter, DeviantArt, Facebook, Youtube (although I haven’t got the chance to make a video yet).
    A very lovely person called Villon made a donation for me, and I cannot thank her enough, but when I do get around to making the video, her name will be mentioned more than once in thanks. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful and donate actual money, but I’m doing everything else I can think of because I love this website even more than chocolate, and THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING.

  70. Thumb up 1

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    I’m one of the 76% thus far but I consume Autostraddle content regularly and love love LOVE all of you who make this site possible. Jumping on over to IndieGoGo to donate now!
    I secretly hope you raise enough for an office so we can all come visit your headquarters.

  71. Thumb up 1

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    I literally whipped out my credit card the second I read “You Do You shirt” – I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment since I discovered AS/the phrase.

    I mean, supporting Autostraddle AND a You Do You shirt? Christmas in July tbh

  72. Thumb up 2

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    So the thing is, I was never in the closet. I was simply unaware of my gayness. But when I realized it, I drank a lot, and somewhere very early on I decided to delete my facebook while I coped and figured out where to go from there. Someone asked me why the deletes. I drunkenly hit “reply all” with a response of “because I’m gay and I don’t want to tell people yet”.

    So although that is a very funny coming out story, it was pretty devastating. Autostraddle, and all the folks who have helped build it and keep it going, including all my fellow homos who have donated, I very truly owe you my life. You have been my lifesaver. Thank you.

    Please accept these words in lieu of payment.

    j/k, donated. :D

  73. Thumb up 2

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    I donated probably more than I should because I haven’t even booked my flight for A Camp yet, but fuckit. I want my tshirt and stickers, and if I can waste money going to restaurants and buying clothes I don’t need, I can afford to help the people who’ve changed my life.

    (p.s. I really, really hope I actually get my stuff sent. I’ve had issues recently getting AS-swag shipped to me =\)

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