What Is Autostraddle?


L to R: Rachel Kincaid, Sarah Sarwar, Kamala Puligandla, Riese Bernard, Laneia Jones, Carmen Phillips

Founded in March 2009 by Riese Bernard and Alexandra Vega and still run by a dedicated team of passionate weirdos, Autostraddle is an intelligent, hilarious & provocative voice and a progressively feminist online community for multiple generations of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies (and their friends).

Autostraddle is a serious labor of love that started out as a group of friends wanting to start a revolution and is now the world’s most popular lesbian website, with over 2.5 million views per month. But popularity doesn’t lead to ad dollars for lesbian-owned queer women’s media, which’s why we still rely on the financial support of our readers to stay standing. Autostraddle has six full-time staff members (working from home all over the country), three part-timers and a whole bunch of independent contractors who contribute regularly to the site. Our business model involves multiple revenue streams: primarily, A-Camp, our A+ Membership Program and merchandise sales. Secondarily; advertising and affiliate commissions.

We are also extremely proud to be the winners of the 26th Annual GLAAD Award for “Outstanding Blog,” the 2012 Bloggies’ Weblog of the Year Award and to have been a nominee for “Outstanding Blog” in the 24th, 25th and 28th Annual GLAAD Awards.

Autostraddle has thrown parties, arranged worldwide meet-ups and launched a very successful line of t-shirts, stickers, bags, tank tops, crop tops, hoodies, boyshorts and ‘zines.

In April 2012, we took the website to the next level with our very first A-Camp event, which involved 200 queers on a mountain for a weekend chock-full of panels, activities, performances, feelings and love love love. It was a transformative and life-changing experience for all involved, and we’ve since held ten more 300-to-400 person A-Camps, providing community and fun for thousands of queers with guest talent including Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman, Hannah Hart, Jasika Nicole, Cameron Esposito, Julia Nunes, Jenny Owen Youngs, Julie Goldman, Rhea Butcher, Nia & Ness, Lauren Morelli, Mary Lambert, Mara Wilson, Gaby Dunn, Be Steadwell, Brittani Nichols and Jen Richards.

If you’re new here, you can get acquainted by checking out some of our very best articles.

Wanna get your brand noticed by this untapped demographic? Advertise with us.

We like the macro and the micro, the international and the close-to-home. We take a queer sensibility to everything — ’cause something doesn’t have to be GAY to be, you know – gay. You won’t find any right-wing conservative viewpoints here, but we do try to feature a variety of perspectives, including the very radical and the very mainstream.

We owe everything to our incredible team.

We are a trans-friendly website and aim to make Autostraddle an accepting and supportive environment for lesbian, bisexual and queer trans women. Although Autostraddle is a website initially created for LGBTQ women, our community has evolved over the years and we are now inclusive of non-binary people as well.

Our Mission

Autostraddle’s girl-on-girl culture is rooted in basic social values and ideals — we want women to feel good about themselves, we want equality and visibility for all marginalized groups and ultimately, we’d like to change the world.

We seek to be a fresh, energizing voice for lesbian, bisexual and queer women, one that takes the reader seriously and encourages intelligent discourse, one that entertains with funny, uncensored and brutally honest conversation and content and one that also provides photos of hot girls.

We endorse an “it takes a village” approach to the LGBTQ webiverse. We encourage community and support amongst women on the web and do not encourage competition between websites or other media outlets. We believe change is best accomplished when we are working together as activists, artists and thinkers.

We’re here to listen, to change and we do not ask what our users can do for us, but what we can do for our users!

Autostraddle’s Values

Honesty: ‘Cause at this point anything but sincerity just makes us all look like clowns. Honesty is progress, trust is essential and transparency is elemental, especially for our core audience. By living openly and visibly, promoting and endorsing genuinely and speaking frankly; we endear our community to do the same. We do not censor, obscure or compromise.

Community: We build community by eradicating shame and showing open doors towards pride. A strong community of self-confident and self-aware women who feel comfortable with each other and with themselves? That’s what we call revolution.

Furthermore, We’re aware that many of you live in areas where talking as openly as all this simply isn’t an option. We hope to encourage compelling discourse on women’s rights, racism, feminism, homophobia and transphobia, media visibility, gender flexibility and Shenny. Although we do our absolute best to make this a safe space, we cannot ever promise anybody that this will be a ‘comfortable’ space. You won’t agree with every idea published here and that’s fine — neither do we!

Courage & Integrity: We stand up for what we believe in, no matter what the odds. Accurate and positive representation of our lives in the media is a crucial tool to shatter stereotypes, gain social capital and show universal connections of common human emotion and experiences.

Laughter & Fun, Fun, Fun! Because life is fundamentally kind of ridiculous … and we’re really f*cking funny. Our number one value is LOL.

Art: Art is necessary. Our creative team represents designers, musicians, writers, visual artists, actors, dancers and other creative innovators. We want raw, uncompromised perspectives. The internet isn’t the end of an era, it’s the beginning of a new phase in creative development.

Inclusiveness: We are lesbian-owned and the majority of our senior staff team identify as lesbians, but this community, like the communities we belong to in real life, is not divided into groups by sexual orientation. This website is for all LGBTQ women, and our content reflects that diversity.

We don’t wanna be your guilty pleasure: At the risk of sounding like a diet snack food, we want to be a place where quality rules over quantity and where we can make an active attempt to even out the seemingly arbitrary relationship between Fame & Success and Actual Talent & Goodness. We wanna hear about and talk about the raddest things going on out there, big or small, radical or fringe. High-brow and low-brow are tired categories; almost anything can be talked about with intelligence. [See, that’s what one learns from years of L Word recapping. One would hope.]

Have a story for us? Check out our writer’s guidelines.

Meet Our Team.

You will see the following rules applied to all our content and discourse:

  1. Never criticize or make fun of a woman’s physical appearance.
  2. Always source, unless the source is like a Neo-Nazi website or Westboro.
  3. Everything must have a point.
  4. Quality over quantity.
  5. Aim to be as diverse and inclusive as possible in imagery and written content.

Doing Our Best With What We Have: Ultimately, we’re a very big thing running on a very small budget, without the backing of a corporation or advertising conglomerate or anything other sites of this size or complexity have. We do everything ourselves, even the accounting! Between 2013 and 2015, huge amounts of venture capital have been infused into the websites we compete with for eyeballs and for talent. We’re still getting by on pennies, and your support is always appreciated.