Were we ever so young? Six years ago, we launched a new campaign for keeping Autostraddle alive in a sustainable way: our Autostraddle Plus membership program. It was a different world! We were all able to safely travel to California to work together in a rented house up to the launch; I was married??; none of us had even heard “I love this journey for you,” let alone said it to each other. It was a different world for A+, too; subscription models and direct support of media outlets weren’t the norm at the time, and it wasn’t an intuitive idea for all of our readers right away.
Six years later, virtually every magazine, newspaper or media platform you might read has a paid subscription program, from indie feminist blogs to Slate to the NYT. It’s far from a radical or confusing idea, and we all understand so much more about how directly supporting the media you get the most out of ensures it stays around. Part of why we understand that so clearly now is that tragically, we’ve lost so many media outlets we relied on this year, especially LGBT platforms. It’s been heartbreaking to lose INTO, and to watch layoffs and shutterings across mainstream outlets, from Vice’s layoffs to the Outline’s recent closing. There’s no question that our A+ members’ support is the reason we’ve made it this far when so many others haven’t, and we’re immensely grateful every day for that.
We hear from A+ members all the time that their primary reason for their membership is getting to invest in queer media and make sure Autostraddle stays around, which is incredible and motivates us all the time to be the publication you know we can be. We’ve also been working hard to make A+ something special and really worthwhile for you, and to make it a means for transparency and direct involvement with our mission. Also, we’re working on making it even more fun and hot, duh. After our last fundraiser, we were able to hire Nicole as a full-time A+ & fundraising director; she’s been going 60 mph creating a regular A+ E-News update for members so they know exactly what’s going on and where their money is going at all times, running focus groups of A+ members to find out more about what you’d like to see from us, project managing A+ rebrands, new member offers and opportunities, and working to get y’all the option for gift memberships, shopping discounts at queer-owned businesses, and special offers and sales. Also idk if you’ve noticed but Kamala organized the hottest, queerest (illustrated!) erotica series in the land with SLICK, and it’s only going to get better from here. We’re working to bring some of your most-requested content and opportunities for y’all to connect more with each other. We wake up every day knowing that our A+ members are the reason we’re here, and your vision for and faith in us is the reason for everything we do. We want to be everything you hope for us, and also give you the dope shit you deserve.
Thank you, to all the A+ members who have believed in us! If you’ve been considering A+, today is a great day to join! Happy anniversary, babes; we wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else.