Fright Dyke Has a Message for the Final Gays

Hello, it’s me, Fright Dyke, your intrepid, insidious horror host here to tell you a very scary tale. Are you sitting down? Are you comfortable? Are the lights on? I don’t mean to frighten you. Or, I guess, actually I do. It’s in my name, after all.

Are you scared of the dark? We are, too. And it’s getting harder and harder to keep the lights on here at Autostraddle, because we live in a world inhospitable to indie queer, trans, and feminist media. There’s a masked monster on the loose, and it’s like Michael Myers, always coming for us, difficult to eradicate entirely. Every time it looks like we’ve beat it, it comes back in the sequel.

But it isn’t just one monster, not really. There are so many obstacles to keeping Autostraddle alive and majority free for our readers. The ongoing pandemic. The rise of homophobia and transphobia, especially on the legislative level. Monsters taking off their masks, anyone taking off their masks. Confusing internet algorithms that reward robotic, SEO-grabby, zombified content over deep, thoughtful work on LGBTQ pop culture, literature, news, and more. More and more layoffs and closures across the online media and news industry. All these challenges work together to drain us of our blood. There are fewer and fewer places where queer and trans writers can get their first bylines and actually be edited by an all-queer team.

Like some of the best but also silliest horror movies, I’m going to mix a lot of metaphors here. You’ve been warned.

We’ve got the tenacity and fire of a Final Girl, but we aren’t one, not really. Final Girls operate alone. Sure, Sidney had Gale and she had Dewey. But in the end, it was always just her, squaring off against the killer. Laurie Strode always ends up alone, too. The weight of the fight entirely on her shoulders.

Not us though. We may be the Final Girl in energy and spirit, but we are not foolish enough to fight our battles alone. We have you, scrumptious reader. Autostraddle remains here for all because of those who can subsidize the magazine for those who might not be able to afford financial support. We can’t defeat the monsters without you. You, too, are our slayers, our ghosthunters, our demonologists, our Final Gays.

Go to Our Fundraiser!

And the fight’s never over, I’m afraid. No really, I’m afraid. I’m terrified of what a world without Autostraddle looks like. And that’s coming from me, Fright Dyke, who isn’t scared of much at all. This scares me, but it helps to know we’re not in it alone.

*EXTREMELY 1980s MOVIE TRAILER VOICE* Imagine a world…where Autostraddle doesn’t exist. No, scratch that. Imagine a world where indie queer media is thriving, where our work is valued and celebrated by the mainstream and not always on the precipice of falling off a cliff. Can you picture it? I can.

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe we’re the Michael Myers, the thing that refuses to die no matter what people throw at us. Maybe we’re the demons, the monsters, and freaks. Doesn’t that sound nice? All I know is, I don’t want us to be ghosts — ever. I want us to live.

We’re running a fundraiser right now, and don’t worry, that shouldn’t scare you in and of itself. They’re part of our business model, after all. But if you want to help us survive this horror movie, this is how. By giving to the fundraiser or by making a consistent contribution to the fight by becoming an A+ member. As an A+ member, you’ll unlock all sorts of spooOooOOoooKy gay content, like the Things I’ve Never Asked series and Interview With My Significant Other. Or, you can reach out a hand to someone else by donating to the A+ Membership Pool, which lets other people sign up for free.

Perhaps you’ve heard of a little thing called Horror Is So Gay, the very scary package I introduced earlier this month in all my Fright Dyke flourish. Horror Is So Gay absolutely, positively, empirically and vampirically could not have happened without reader support. When our blood is drained, you can step in and be our life force.

Let’s keep being monsters together.

SO HOW CAN YOU HELP REPLENISH OUR BLOOD?

Be a monster with us! (And get perks!)

Help us out!

You can join A+! And if you’re already an A+ member, you can get discounted perks!

Join A+!

You can contribute to the member pool! (Or avail yourself of the pool if it will make your life better and you qualify for it!)

Check out the member pool!


Before you go! It costs money to make indie queer media, and frankly, we need more members to survive 2023As thanks for LITERALLY keeping us alive, A+ members get access to bonus content, extra Saturday puzzles, and more! Will you join? Cancel anytime.

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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 Miami. 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 458 articles for us.

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