Autostraddle’s Future Is Your Future, So Let’s Make Plans?

I admit I’ve been involved in more semi-serious apocalypse discussions than usual. This is not my regular beat. I’ve been likened to a garden hermit before and, aside from my interest in building fires, my best skills are not useful for survival. When zombies are coming for you, will you be concerned about whether or not your narrative is carrying a consistent thematic through-line? During nuclear fall-out are you going to be seeking out analysis like, “the flavor in this gin is a touch too herbaceous for a dirty martini”? Probably not.

My point is that planning for impending doom is just not my forte. I make plans for the utmost beauty and enjoyment, for pleasure and laughter, for sharing stories and connections, regardless of whatever else is happening. Those are the plans I’m inviting you to make with me on Autostraddle now. They will take some investment and commitment to bring to life. Autostraddle has grown into a media outlet with 50+ queer humans bringing you a diverse set of content, experiences, and viewpoints. We aren’t going to give up on the writers and team members in whom we’ve invested to pursue our vision of queer media, for you, our community. Because I think right now is actually a supremely excellent time to NOT abandon the things you believe in, but to double down on the seeds you hope to grow, no matter what the future holds. So, if you have the means, I’m asking for the investment of your love in the form of any amount of cash, or a commitment to joining A+, because you want to be here with us, filling the various voids ahead with beautiful, vibrant, achingly resonant queer life!

The Upcoming Gay Agenda

S L I C K

In case you missed the fanfare of sizzle that was the S L I C K launch, please be aware that we’re now bring you erotica on a weekly basis, exclusively for our A+ members. Because we think sex once a week is a very reasonable ask for this relationship — and while we hope there will be more unexpected encounters that happen along the way, you can at least bank on your Thursday tryst. I’m doing my best to bring in a variety of erotica writing, because there are an infinite number of ways to explore and stoke desire, and if now isn’t the time to wonder, in a sexual way, then I don’t know when the hell is.

Asian & Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

As a person who is two Asians, I am thrilled to be leading Autostraddle’s first-ever APIA month this May, and I could not have a better co-curator than Xoai Pham, who, if you haven’t met her, is our fly as fuck trans editor. It’s no exaggeration to say that the billions of people in Asia, the Pacific Islands and the diaspora are incredibly diverse. So it’s our goal to bring you a collection of work that emphasizes the various Pacific Islander experiences in our community, that highlights incredible trans artists, and that asks everyone not to just celebrate, but also interrogate and explore how they’ve made a space for their own identities in our cultures.

So get ready for the multimedia explosion of poetry, essays, film, cooking videos, comics and other forms of art that will grace these glowing web pages. If you’re not a part of the Asian Pacific Islander American community, you might not know how fraught and involved it can be for us to reconcile our own histories of violence and colonialism, and define ourselves both within and outside of our community. We’re inviting queers in a range of diasporas to discuss the deep, urgent, personal question of how we evolve and carry our cultures forward into a new world. Are you intrigued? Are you salivating? Of course you are, where else will you find this new frontier of queer Asian art & writing?!

Fire In The Belly

Our next theme issue is also launching in May! This is the perfect outlet for the rollercoaster of rona-related emotions that you’re surely riding on a daily basis. Each of these pieces was born out of a very strong feeling that struck these queer writers — in some cases it was paralyzing arousal and in other cases it was a surprise whirlwind of grief and fury. As I’ve been shaping these stories with the writers I’m editing, I’ve found it comforting and humbling to witness the power of feeling in these stories, and to recall that I too can be moved and changed, just from reading on my couch.

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More Virtual Experiences

As virtual community continues to be a pillar of our queer lives, we hope to create more dazzling, informative, and entertaining ways to share queer time and space together on Autostraddle. You may have noticed that our new stretch goal of $50K is going to unlock a show, and we’re really excited to blast your screen with a multi-hour marathon featuring seriously special talent from music to comedy — the kind that merits maybe washing your face and changing into a fresh pair of sweats? Up to you, really.

These are just a few of the invites we’re throwing your way. Please consider putting a tip in our jar or just becoming part of the A+ club. COVID-19 is real, and there are plenty of places to be committing and investing the resources that you have available. But if you’re as compelled, as I am, by the endless possibilities of queer art and life, of creating community in a time when isolation, fear and anxiety are at all-time-highs, of building our own proposal of what queer media can and should look like, then please hit us with your support and tell us what plans we can make together to improve your future.

Kamala Puligandla lives in LA and is the writer of various autobiographical fictions. She is the distinguished recipient of her parents' leftovers and hair compliments from strangers on the street. Her first novel is forthcoming from Not A Cult. Find her work at kamalapuligandla.com.

Kamala has written 45 articles for us.

14 Comments

  1. I’m not finding the words atm but I’ve done it before rambled on about how art and creation are an intrinsic, unerasable part of humanity, nothing not even death camps can stamp it out of us.
    And how much more useful people are than they think in an apocalypse scenario, an appreciation for social connectivity and beauty doesn’t make one less suited to survive at all.
    It makes one more likely to survive and live.

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