We Can Do This: Donate to Autostraddle

We need your help to keep surviving!

Get Perks for Helping Autostraddle

An image showing all of the Autostraddle 2023 fundraiser perks mocked up together. There are 4 stickers, one that says "But I'm a Queerleader" in varsity letters, a vintage You Do You sticker, a Straddle This sticker that looks like boxer briefs with straddle this on the butt, and the Gay Agenda holographic sticker. There is a koozie that is black and has the word "gay." with a period on it in lowercase white letters, a carabiner that is black and says "you do you," 3 chapsticks, a coloring book page of a queer rock band, a puzzle of the same queer rock band print by Liberaljane in color, two art prints, one by ggggrimes and one by liberaljane. The art print by ggggrimes is richly and vividly colored in with jewel like warm tones. It depicts two POC queers sitting on a bench. A full figured femme in a dress and beanie with flowing purple hair sits on the back of the bench facing forward. A smaller masc person sits on the bottom of the bench, legs spread apart, wearing pants, with short hair and a red flowy shirt, purple tiny bag and necklace. The background features a rich display of cacti and tropical plants with an amorphour warm toned rainbow gradient just peeking out from behind the foliage. At the bottom of the image read the words "You Do You." The liberaljane print depicts a three person queer rock band. A femme front singer is shown holding a microphone to their mouth, with a cord wound around her leg. She is wearing a skirt, crop top and blazer and has pink hair. A guitar player has their foot on an amp. They are Black with locs and are wearing a blazer as well as shorts, white sneakers and a black shirt. Behind everyone is the drummer, who is slight and white with short hair who is holding the drumsticks aloft. The lyrics that the front person is singing appear in an expressive script above them, reading "It's a great day to be gay." Finally, there is an image of a candle with a lavender menace label.
A tracker showing $197,363 of $175,000 raised. That's 112%. The tracker has MS paint style drawings of animals on it - one is a drawing of carol the dog in a hoodie, another a cat with bread around its face, another cat leaning on the tracker, and a cat wearing sunglasses. money rains down in the background. Text asks how far can we go?
The tracker returns!


In case any of you all were curious, I want you to know that, yes, THIS WAS FAST. This fundraiser has gone at the speed of a train carrying toxic chemicals through Ohio that are probably now in my water. In other words, far faster than we could have ever anticipated.You all have never, ever raised money for Autostraddle this quickly.

Thank you. Thank you for reading our posts about our business model explaining why we run this site the way we do. Thank you for asking questions in the comments and reading our answers. Thank you for responding, yourselves, and bringing your perspective to the conversation. Thank you forsupporting Autostraddle financially, for getting it.

We put ourselves out there and hope that you all will support the effort because we keep our site majority free-to-read, but it isn’t free to make. If you’ve given, thank you for recognizing that. And if you can’t give at this time, that’s ok! We know our queer community isn’t always flush with cash — neither are we. We want you all to think of this as a sliding scale service; free for those who need it for free, supported by the people who have more resources and can afford to pay for it.

Here’s what we outlined over the years when we’ve asked for your help:

  • Autostraddle is, unlike a business that has inventory that then sells those goods, much more like a service. The majority of our money goes toward paying people who write for us and who make the website run, and in turn, we create media for all of us, for readers like you and me!
  • However, we recognize that not everyone in our community can afford to pay for our service (like if we put our writing behind a paywall) and that it is far more ethical and important to us to offer this website for free — and to ask people to voluntarily contribute instead.
  • Autostraddle, like almost every media company alive today, will always require reader support as well as outside revenue streams to survive, but we’ll never paywall all of our content or require a subscription to read it.

Here’s the thing: This requires a huge level of trust. We have to do our work day in and day out trusting that if you can support us, that you will. You’ve validated that trust: this year, last year, and the years before.

And here’s what we’ve outlined this time:

We needed support and urgently because:

  • A lot of brands are hunkering down for a recession and that makes us anxious about ad sales in the near future.
  • Advertising and building relationships and fixing our ad placements on the website takes time and it takes money — we believe in Anya, our Director of Brand Partnerships, and the work she’s doing to help us get more support in the advertising arena.
  • We run an incredibly lean business. Mostly, we pay our people to do work, and that’s where our money goes. When we pay people out of the money we have, like the funds raised last October, eventually, we run out.

Your getting us to $175,000 has meant that we can survive for the next few months as we take some more time to radically rethink how we run things and what our future should look like, undoubtedly one of our most radical re-framings in our company’s history. We’ve partially relied on SBA grants and loans for the past three years and we need a more sustainable plan going forward now that we won’t have that money but will have to be paying it back. But we’ll figure it out, because Autostraddle has figured it out time and again. We’ve held out for fourteen years both because we never say die and because we’ve been nimbly adjusting whenever the time calls for it.

So where are we now?

We’re safe. Enough. For now.

We don’t currently have enough regular support to pay all our bills. We have enough regular reader support to pay fully HALF of our expenses for the year, while the rest will rely on other streams of income, such as advertising.

We’re extending this fundraiser, but not with a stretch goal, just, until the time we had planned to stop the fundraiser. Our goal is a minimum of what we needed to make it through the next few months, still operating at a threadbare level.But anything more means a few more weeks of life, means lessening the chance of a second fundraiser, means a little less panic if ads don’t pick up right away, means hopefully making some progress on the loan that is looming like a dark cloud over us.In other words: anything extra isn’t gravy money, it’s still survival money. As I said, we got to a place where we could survive, butwhat if we got to a place where we could survive…more?

Will you help?

[Autostraddle / The Excitant Group, LLC is NOT a non-profit. Your gift is NOT tax-deductible. What we are, however, is an independent and queer-owned media company. Thank you for your support! To learn more about how our finances work, check out our fundraiser announcement post and Yes, Fundraising is Part of Our Business Model!]

Perks FAQ

How will you know if I’m an A+ member?

Use the same email as the one associated with your A+ account and Nico will cross-reference.

In the past, I got to choose which perks I got. Why is it different?

Having a storefront-style situation presented a lot of issues for us actually. It’s way easier to have standardized packages than it is to put together custom orders. We’re hoping this will make perks fulfillment go much faster so that you can have perks in your gay hands sooner, and you can enjoy them!

When will I get my perks?

Nico, our fundraising director, will start shipping perks out after the close of the fundraiser, starting with folks who donated first and going in chronological order. This can take a number of weeks, but trust us, it will happen! Your patience is greatly appreciated as we’re a small team and the person sending the perks still has a full-time job on top of perks fulfillment. We’ll email you about any unexpected delays (which we have to say because we’ve all been through a pandemic and have certainly dealt with our fair share of delays). Perks will start shipping mid-April, though!

Will I receive a tracking number for my perks?

If you’re receiving stickers or magnets, likely, no, outside of certain international shipping situations. If you are receiving any of the larger items (bag, puzzle), then, yes! You’ll get an email when your perks are sent out with tracking info.

Will I get my perks in time for the holigays?

The sooner you give, the higher up on the list you are, but there are no guarantees that you’ll get these in time for the Holigays! Sorry, we just ship them as fast as we can, and we go down the list in chronological order from the first person to give, to the last person.

I’m outside of the US! Is there anything I should know?

If you are in the UK or Europe, your perks will ship out of the UK. All other places will receive perks shipped out from the US. You’ll be responsible for any VAT / Customs fees upon receipt.

Why do you need my phone number?

If you’re in the US, we don’t, really, but we’re asking for it in case our shipping carrier requires it (sometimes they do and for international shipping, it’s always necessary).


Autostraddle has been working hard to be a safe and inclusive community for you. We aim to be a compassionate and equitable employer who wields the power of our platform responsibly. Below are just some of the steps we’ve taken since the pandemic spread to the United States.

Covid-19 Response

We hope, as always but also more than ever, that you’re safe and well, and we want to be as much of a support and solace to you and to our team as we can right now. Here are some ways we are responding to Covid-19 and the pandemic:

For Our Team

We’re not able to offer the highest rates or salaries, but we do everything within our power to make our workplace as comfortable as possible for our workers and to be, above all, dependable and flexible.

What Autostraddle Does For Its Employees:

Full-time employees already have health, dental and vision insurance, 401(k)s, unlimited vacation time and sick days and flexible hours

During the Pandemic:

  • Freedom to work less/different hours as needed to deal with friends/family and the mental health impact of the pandemic
  • Ongoing dedication to paid sick days or medical leave needed if sick with COVID-19, in quarantine, or helping a friend or family member who is sick. Several of our team members have utilized this policy.

What Autostraddle Is Doing For Its Team Of 45+ Writers/Illustrators Who Are Part Of Our Office On Slack:

Our Team of Writers/Illustrators Already Have flexible hours — free to work at their own pace and on their own time (we don’t give assignments, we accept pitches) and a guarantee that they will be paid for their work within a week of submitting an invoice for payment.

After the fundraiser in August 2020, we were able to raise rates for our team and in January of 2021, we were able to offer new opportunities internally. In 2021, we brought on two new subject editors, Shelli Nicole as Culture Editor and Ro White as Sex & Dating Editor. Learn more on our The Receipts page.

During the Pandemic:

  • Offering paid sick leave to our team (if sick or helping sick family members, will be paid the default rate for the number of posts they would’ve written that month.)
  • We are still offering support to our team through our Writers Relief Fund, for any writers who’ve lost other work or are otherwise in need during the pandemic, they are able to request a payment from the fund and receive it immediately, no questions asked or strings attached.
  • Providing as much extra work as possible to writers/illustrators who want it
  • We raised our rates (which generally range from $50 – $200) by $30-50/post for March and April.
  • We raised our rates permanently in August 2020.

In 13 (THIRTEEN) years, Autostraddle has never lowered per-post rates, enacted pay cuts, laid anybody off for financial reasons, delayed a payment for financial reasons or halted a hiring process for financial reasons. And with your help, we hope to keep it that way! Whenever our fortunes improve, we give raises and raise rates. We’re still not where we want to be, but we’re getting there.

For You

The Autostraddle team is also committed to doing our best to provide information, community, and togetherness during this time, as well as actionable ways to care for yourself and others.

The Receipts From Our Fundraisers

The July 2019 fundraiser truly changed everything for us. Working in queer media has often meant settling for so much less. But in 2019, after ten years of just getting by, we finally began building processes and structures to professionalize our little office in the sky. That was hard to do when working here felt more like a personal favor than a job. Your faith in us — your belief that the work we’re doing is necessary and important, and your willingness to invest in it — has inspired us to say yes to the things we need to thrive and evolve, knowing you’ll continue to have our back when we need it. We told you during the April 2020 fundraiser that we thought of what we were doing at the time as gathering the ingredients we needed to make bread. IT’S READY.

This fundraiser in August 2020 sustained Autostraddle as we pursued our vision and moved toward what’s next for Autostraddle with trackable goals, and more transparency and accountability than ever. The February 2021 fundraiser kept us going during one of our tightest times since the pandemic’s start. The October 2021 fundraiser allowed us to hire a Director of Brand Partnerships!!! We’re grateful for your trust.

We’ve been able to do what we’d never done before: address areas where we needed help or transformation with real solutions, rather than either ignoring them or finding the cheapest fix possible. We’ve been putting out fires for years without the resources to just fire-proof the damn house. Below, please find the work that we have been doing internally, in preparation for what comes next — which is what we know will be exciting writing, an electric editorial vision, quality journalism, and the community-building which has brought you here.

Ongoing Internal Work Since July 2019

  • Training and Healing: Our full-time staff engaged in extensive Team Dynamics / Leadership Coaching (we’re now all “Dare to Lead” certified!) and Racial Inclusion and Dismantling White Supremacy In the Workplace Training (with plans for further anti-racist workshops for the team), and Restorative Justice processes were conducted with relevant parties. The white members of Autostraddle’s senior leadership team have also established a regularly scheduled meeting and development group around dismantling white supremacy in the workplace, to continue internal cultural growth and unlearning that doesn’t rely on the labor of QTPOC staff members.
  • Company Culture Initiative: Using extensive feedback from writers and staff, we established firm company values, increased transparency around processes and metrics, outlined internal behavior guidelines, set expectations for work-life balance and mental health prioritization, created systems for tracking progress and presented conclusions and initiatives to our team

Hiring Since October 2021

  • Hired Anya Richkind as full-time Director of Brand Partnerships (ad sales and more!)
  • Hired Viv Le as full-time Art Director

Hiring + Support + Promotions (With Raises) Since February 2021

  • Promoted Dr. Carmen Phillips to Editor in Chief
  • Hired Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya as Managing Editor
  • Hired two part-time subject editors, Shelli Nicole as Culture Editor and Ro White as Sex & Dating Editor
  • Promoted Valerie to a more involved role in running our Twitter and Facebook accounts
  • Began planning and saving for a new full-time ad sales role

Hiring + Support + Promotions (With Raises) Since August 2020

  • Promoted Dr. Carmen Phillips to Interim Editor in Chief
  • Began internal hiring process for a new part-time Subject Editor
  • Raised rates for our entire team
  • Gave raises to our senior team
  • Since the pandemic began, we have paid out almost $12k in no-questions-asked no-work-expected relief funds to Autostraddle writers/artists in need of support

Hiring + Support + Promotions (With Raises) Since April 2020

  • Promoted Kamala Puligandia to Editor in Chief
  • Promoted Dr. Carmen Phillips to Deputy Editor
  • Welcomed Xoai Pham as Trans Subject Editor
  • Moved to a new server with the help of Cee and the Yikes team!
  • Engaged the Yikes team for part-time web support
  • Hired an SEO consultant on a contract basis to help fix whatever fresh hell the most recent Google update has wreaked upon our search traffic
  • FYI all of these people are gay

Improved Benefits + Pay Since July 2019

  • Added 401(k) for full-time employees who have worked full-time for 6+ months
  • Increased salaries of full-time employees by 40%
  • Doubled stipends for part-time subject editor and social media co-director
  • Increased per-post rates for writers and increased editorial budget
  • Upgraded pay + work for accountant, podcast editor and podcast guests
  • We got donuts one day
  • FYI you guessed it all of these people are gay

Miscellaneous Expenses

  • Hours for Yikes, Inc. to help us with back-end cleanup of the site and enhanced navigation
  • Replacing broken/dysfunctional laptops
  • Enhanced, re-activated or new services including Crowdcast, SurveyMonkey, CanvaPro, Getty Images, Parse.ly and Tableau
  • SEO Consulting
  • Welcomed Nico Hall as A+ and Fundraising Director in fall 2019
all of the autostraddle animals in an MS paint style against a blue background. we have carol the dog, heather's cats, lola the french bulldog, a cat sleeping on a comouter, and more! there is also illustrated money falling from the top

Hear About the Fundraiser from Our Team