For Your Consideration: Donating to Autostraddle

for your consideration

Welcome to For Your Consideration, a series about things we love and love to do — and we’d like to give you permission to embrace your authentic self and love them too.

As a writer here for nearly four years and as a reader for much longer, I can say without a doubt that Autostraddle has changed my life for the better. I could tell you all about how, at A-Camp, I met lifelong friends or about how an article I wrote actually led me to meet someone I’d go onto date or about how, last summer, Riese became one of the very important friends who was there for me while I went through an incredibly Bad Time. Those are all nice stories, and none of them would have been possible without Autostraddle dot com, that’s for sure. Autostraddle births friendships and families and community every day, and yes, that’s incredibly important. But fundraisers aren’t about friendship; they’re about money. So let’s talk about money!!!!!!!!!

For the past five-ish years, I have worked in the hellish, uncertain landscape known as the media industry. I have written for well over a dozen publications. None have made me feel more valued for my work than Autostraddle. Keeping an independent media company alive for a decade is an incredibly hard task. Keeping an independent media company whose audience and content is specifically queer alive for a decade is even harder. Autostraddle has managed to keep on doing it without punishing the people who create that content.

Any freelancer knows the horrors of trying to get paid on time (or, in some cases, at all). Never once has Autostraddle missed a check for me or sent me on some wild goose chase of email chains and invoice systems just to get my money. Every year since I started working here, pay rates have increased. My editors know I get paid more at other publications, and they continually work with me to make that gap as small as possible and to make sure they are supporting me in the ways I need. They check in. They have real conversations with me. Because they care. THIS IS A BIG DEAL!!!! There’s a reason so many newsrooms and media companies are finally organizing unions. This industry — like all others under capitalism — does not fairly value its workers.

I’m also more willing to take a pay cut here because I strongly believe in Autostraddle’s continued existence. Young queer women need Autostraddle. Young trans people need Autostraddle. Lesbians going through dramatic breakups need Autostraddle. The world of television and film criticism needs Autostraddle. The other reason I can accept a lower rate here is because of the strength of the writer-editor relationship. I trust the editors here with my work, and that’s another thing I can’t say about every publication I’ve written for! They also have genuinely made me a stronger writer. Because, again, they care!

Donating money to Autostraddle means directly investing in emerging queer voices. Not many publications value us. I have written for so many places where I was the token queer writer, the token woman of color. Expectations placed on me in these situations felt more like burdens. At Autostraddle, I’ve never been a token. I’ve never been used as a way to flaunt diversity. There isn’t another publication out there that would have taken a chance on me when I pitched an admittedly vague column idea called For Your Consideration, which has turned into a series about the fallout of an affair that fractured my life. Every time I receive a comment or a private message about what this series means to someone who has been through a similar experience, I’m reminded of how important Autostraddle’s reach is. Not only is the editor-writer relationship special here, but the reader-writer one is, too.

Donating money to Autostraddle means giving a platform to underrepresented narratives. It means giving other young writers a chance to find their voice the way I have here. It means continuing to close that pay rate gap so that we can hopefully, eventually get paid what we deserve.

Kayla's signature

for your consideration: our fundraiser

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+!

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 842 articles for us.


  1. Got to the end of the week with some money to spare, so autostraddle finally got a donation from me today!

    Pro tip: nothing makes you feel more like a responsible adult like donating monies. I’m now totally free to have candy for dinner without shame.

  2. Thanks Kayla!
    Question for the editors, is there a reason this fundraiser aims for less than the 2012 one did?

    PS- I donated a second time and I got one of my friends who is a straight rich tech guy to donate too!

    • actually the 2012 fundraiser aimed to raise $40k, we just… surpassed it! and started making new goals. which we’re gonna do this time too. thank you for your double donation!!! <3

  3. Thank you Kayla, and thank you, Autostraddle, for asking us for what you need!

    I have a question about the fundraising goal: is this an amount that would fund these things for 1 year (or some other particular amount of time), and then you’d do a similar fundraiser at the end of that time to fund the next period? Is this an amount that would create some kind of longer-term sustainability? Curious to understand more about that.

    • This fundraiser is intended to get us through the rest of 2019 and the plan from there is:

      + an A+ director will enable us to grow the A+ program, enabling sustainable and increased A+ revenue

      + we are hoping more staff support, more better-paid staff writers and, if we meet our stretch goals, better paid full-time employees will enable us to increase traffic, which actually matters now that we’ve found an ad partner who runs ads on our website sometimes

      + we’ve been making more money through advertising than we did last year and getting a lot more offers but again, we have limited time and resources to actually respond to these pitches and give them our full attention that we can increase that revenue stream significantly.

      + we will be a better website, more deserving of A+ members — especially as many have been hesitant to join b/c they don’t see themselves reflected here

      + if none of those things happen, then yes, there’s the chance of periodic fundraisers or A+ member push… both of which would be run through our new A+ director, therefore meaning we don’t have to choose between like, developing new merch or giving a great ad proposal or writing content vs. making a campaign!

  4. Every single one of these heartfelt requests from the staff has been impossible to resist!

  5. First Heather, now Kayla, appearing in my Inbox. Extremely intense feelings that I can’t really name. Payday can’t arrive fast enough.

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