Also.Also.Also: Is “Noted TERF Cesspool” AfterEllen Actually Gone or Is It Just a Tech Error?

Well! I AM EXHAUSTED!! How about you?

Queer as in F*ck You

Ding Dong! The Witch (Might Be) Dead! Is Noted TERF Cesspool AfterEllen Finally Gone?

Ok so, I’m Internet old enough to remember when AfterEllen was a home to many who wanted to find community around being gay and loving pop culture and wanting to see yourself — I was one of them! Back when I was tip-toeing out of the closet, around the same time I found my home at this very website you are reading right now. They were a lifesaver for me, from The L Word Facebook recaps, to #BooRadleyVanCullen and Pretty Little Liars, and #gaysharks and Glee. Some of my very favorite writers came from that site (many of whom you can now read here like our beloved Heather Hogan and Valerie Anne “Punky Starshine” Liston).

But you know what? After firing its entire original staff and spending the last four and a half years becoming an absolute, yes, cesspool, I make no apologies for my joy the last two days. Transphobia and anti-trans violence has ZERO FUCKING PLACE in our queer community, so may we all be lucky enough to dance on its grave.

Also, I personally think it’s absolutely hilarious that AE has apparently been down since November and its become so irrelevant that none of us noticed for days??? And it only came to our attention after Elliot Page came out and we wanted to laugh at them. That’s what we call a queer pop culture chef’s kiss!

I should note that Autostraddle’s Tech Director Tracy Levesque did a little tech research (y’all please don’t ask me to explain it) and it looks maybe (again I am not a tech official and I don’t want to be taken as an authority thank you) like the “origin error” might be because either the server could be turned off, as in perhaps their bills didn’t get paid, or it crashed, or — if we are really lucky in this hell year —it’s hopefully gone from the Internet forever. 🙏

And in other queer news…

GET READY FOR A HOT TAKE!!! I’m Tired of Waiting For the Queer Rom-Coms We Actually Deserve.

Speaking of which…

Here’s a beautiful advice letter from ¡Hola Papi! discussing “almost relationships” — you know, the relationships that didn’t happen but were gay enough to write anonymous letters about them anyway: How Do I Mourn My ‘Almost?’

Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham Talk to Janicza Bravo About “Black Futures.” Y’all, I am obsessed with this book.

This still isn’t getting enough attention: Last weekend, Laverne Cox Was Target of Transphobic Attack.

How a Year of Celibacy Prepared Me for Life in Quarantine

And in yesterday’s Pop Culture Fix, Heather already told you all about this absolutely stunning cover of model Aweng Ade-Chuol and her Wife Lexy for Elle but I am so far from over it!! So here it is again!

Saw This, Thought of You

The Future of Staying Home. What is lost when houses become fortresses against fires, floods, and disease?

‘I Bang Revolutionary Pots.’ Black women in North Carolina are continuing the legacy of nourishing bodies and spirits in crisis.

If you traveled for Thanksgiving, here’s (judgment free!) advice about the next steps you can take right now to keep the people around you safe.

Political Snacks

A New Day for Queer People in the South. (I would definitely make this one your read of the day!)

I WILL NOT STOP TALKING TO ALL OF YOU ABOUT THIS!! Losing Georgia’s Senate Election in January Is Not an Option

How a Brooklyn Sisterhood of Black Women Became National Power Brokers. Ten years ago, the Olori Sisterhood was a small-time “political sorority.” Now they’re ready for a seat at the table.

The New U.S. Citizenship Test Is Longer and More Difficult. Just one more awful thing for Trump and his cronies enact on the rest of us as he crawls out the door. The cruelty is — and has always been — the point. (Want to see if you’d pass the new test? Here’s some example questions.)

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 711 articles for us.


  1. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen the site. I mean, if literally the only place I’ve ever heard them being mentioned is here on Autostraddle, how culturally relevant could they be, really?

    I mean, I was never really involved with or paid attention to LGBTQIA+ cultures until something like 2014-2015, and maybe they were “the” big name or something before that. But if so, that only shows how far they’ve fallen even before they took a turn for the TERF.

    • They were! An important source back in the Dark Ages (late 90s? and early 2000s), when you could comfortably fit our meagre selection of WLW TV shows/recaps into a single static website. It was hard times, kids 😂 I don’t remember them being awful but sounds like a lot changed since then :(

  2. After Ellen has been on the brink of collapse for years, transparently so. If someone had owned up to the site’s struggles they probably could have mounted a successful crowdfunder of the kind that support so many other TERF projects, but everyone involved just maintained a ridiculous “Everything is fine. Nothing is wrong” front and now the site is dead. Good riddance to bad business and bad business sense

  3. I’m gonna miss having access to old AE stuff from before the 2016 takeover, and I’m always going to be grateful for what AE did for me as a teen, but I’m even more grateful that a space that declares itself representative of lesbians but instead is a space for saying awful things about bi and trans people as though that’s what lesbianism is all about is now gone.

  4. I’d forgotten all about AE, but they were my go-to for so long before I found AS and an in-person queer community. Heather even got me to watch most seasons of PLL just so I could finally understand her bananas recaps.

    I really hope they’re gone for good. And I’m grateful that Autostraddle (which also started as a small site pretty much by and for cis white lesbians) has taken such a different approach to valid criticisms about racism and inclusivity. It’s refreshing to watch an organization grow and improve instead of implode.

  5. I met my wife on AE 10+ years ago, so that website will always have a special place in my heart. But I am very glad they’re gone. Their TERF-yness was terrible, but also the design of their webpage was terrible! I guess you can’t just run a website solely on hatred for a group of people for a long time with much success.

  6. I remember the AE recaps, but that’s about all the interaction I had with them. Let’s hope it stays down.

    In the Schadenfreude department: did you see the article on the right wing Hungarian European Parliament member? Dude has helped make life for queer people in Hungary very bad, but he was arrested in Brussels in a lockdown-breaking orgy with a bunch of dudes and drugs.
    Quelle surprise.

  7. good riddance zombie AE, RIP to the AE I knew and loved once upon a time! So glad that I found Autostraddle when I went to read Heather’s PLL recaps on AE and someone else was writing them, and I tweeted and asked where she’d gone and she said HERE!

  8. sadly it looks like they’re just re-branding and re-launching…

    Coming Soon!
    We’re working hard to finish the development of Please visit our facebook page for more updates!

    They better re-brand their inclusion policy…

  9. So TERF was coined in 2008 and I literally had to Google WTF it meant. I hardly live under a rock either and have a SM presence. I guess IJDGAF who you are, if we have common interests, we’ll be friends, if not, see ya. I remember AE but like AS, I only visit/ed once in a blue moon. While I’m part of the LGBTQ+ community because of who I desire in my bed, I’m not involved in anything else. I love and desire who I love and desire and that’s where it ends. But kudos for giving me a reason to Google something and get away from work for five minutes.

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