We Need Help: Autostraddle Is Raising Money!

If you’ve been reading Autostraddle for long enough, you know what a miracle our continued existence sometimes seems like. We recently celebrated our tenth birthday, a milestone we didn’t necessarily expect to reach. We’ve always been just barely getting by; we’ve always been a labor of love, the beneficiary of many hands holding many digital dollar bills. We’ve asked you for help so many times in so many ways over the years. And you have helped! Whether it was contributing to an Indiegogo, joining A+, buying merch, donating a few dollars when you can, or sharing our content and our community with others, you have helped us survive more times and in more ways than we can count. We are endlessly grateful.

But there’s no other way to put this: We cannot ever do more than just that — surviving — the way we’ve been going. 

We’re launching a major fundraising drive that’s the key to Autostraddle’s future.

It’s been a harrowing time for digital media in general — we’ve recently witnessed the shuttering of Rookie, The Toast, The Awl, Design Sponge, The Establishment, Lenny Letter, Nerve, Racked, Everyone is Gay and The Hairpin. Websites like Everyday Feminism and Feministing still exist, but haven’t published new content in months. Even venture-funded mega-sites like Vox, Buzzfeed, Vice Gawker Media and Mic have had to make major layoffs or sell to bigger companies. Then there was AfterEllen — well… we… all know what happened to AfterEllen.

How have we outlived them all?

Simple. In the grand tradition of women and other marginalized people since time immemorial, we have settled for salaries and pay rates that are outrageously lower than what we could make elsewhere. We don’t have an office or a support staff, keeping overhead costs as minimal as possible. For many years, we ran basically as a collective of friends (providing a VERY limited selection of voices to our readers), which comes with its own complications and challenges.

Last year 92% of our revenue came from readers in some form — through A+, donations, camp or merchandise.

Yet at a time when publishers and digital media are shuttering women’s and LGBT websites all over, Autostraddle is still here, still queer, and still independently-owned. It would be easy to decide our prospects are more dire than ever — and certainly there are days we feel that way! But more and more, we’re acutely aware that the reason we’re still here when so many are not is exactly because we’ve been able to rely on you — you, our community, and also you, personally. Our future as a magazine and a community space has never depended upon the rise and fall of a digital media economy; we’ve always depended on each other. And more than ever, we know that we can rely on each other to not just survive, but thrive. We can make it through this challenging time, and more than that, we can grow.

We haven’t shut down, despite the odds. We haven’t laid off our employees; we’ve actually managed to raise our rates every year. Where we used to get cold shouldered by advertisers at every turn, this year we’ve finally started getting traction with campaigns we’re proud of. We haven’t gambled your trust or your financial support on digital media fads — instead of launching with generous rates and then shutting down a year later with unpaid debts, we’ve never promised anybody money we didn’t already have in the bank. We’ve been financially conservative, kept overhead low and worked extra hours instead of hiring help. We never pivoted to video, or partnered with Facebook. The only risk we’ve ever taken is starting this damn thing to begin with.

When we’ve had wins — when you’ve supported us, when we’ve had sponsors for theme issues and when advertisers have given us a shot, we’ve always turned around and put it right back into our community – increasing writer rates, hiring more queer staff, and expanding what we can offer you. The money you give us has always gone back into the pockets of queer and trans people — even our accountant is a lesbian! We’re more confident than ever that with a big push for more solid financial ground to stand on, we can take control of our future in a real way.

With your support, we can enter a new era that’s about growth, not just scraping by.

We can hire essential new part-time staff members, like a dedicated program manager for A+ and new tech professionals; increase our editorial budget to hire more writers of color and trans writers and pay them what they’re worth; fund exciting new podcast projects; and finally take care of those pesky administrative needs that will allow us to run a more efficient, better Autostraddle for us all.

We have a few options for you to support us during this campaign: if you wanna just give us money you can totally just give us money with no strings attached. If you want a perk of some kind we’ve got those too! There’s special limited-edition merchandise: a To L and Back sticker, an Autostraddle nail file (AHEM), a lil Bag for Your Bag, and other perks, like us actually answering your advice question in a timely manner, a live Bitches Brew in New York with Heather Hogan this very August, us writing whatever you want us to, Rachel sending you an affirming voice mail, a little thank you message from Carol, custom L Word fanfic by Riese and other things to come in the coming weeks!

Ultimately: asking for money is hard; writing posts like this is REALLY hard for us. We’ve been talking about doing this for AN ENTIRE YEAR, and we want to hire people who can help us get to a place where that’s not our timeline anymore. When it comes to A+, we have a lot of ideas and you had a lot of suggestions on our Big Queer Money Survey and I think this could get really cool. We might even get some sleep, or take care of our own bodies and social lives. We’ve spent years — our whole lives, sometimes, it seems like — talking about what our community could look like if we weren’t spending all our time and energy on just staying alive, a feeling that queer and trans people know all too well. With your help, we’re excited to find out what thriving looks like.

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+!

The Editors

The has written 146 articles for us.


  1. Donated! Autostraddle was there for me when I needed help, it’s only fair to return the favor.
    Love you!

  2. proud to contribute and hope that this fundraiser gives you what you need to THRIVE. xoxo

  3. Hello, is this a safe space where we can discuss the complete emotional dismantling perpetrated by Heather Hogan’s letter accompanying the fundraiser

    • honestly though, i’m in bed with the flu and was NOT PREPARED for that level of feelings first thing in the morning.

    • Devastating. Halfway through I was already reaching for my credit card going “here, have whatever you want. Have everything for all I care”

      • Thanks Heather. I hope to be able to click on that link when my limbs have stopped shaking, approximately next February.

    • I love this website so much, I have checked it almost every single day since about 2010. There were times when I felt so isolated from a queer community, Autostraddle was the only connection to being queer that I had. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for everything. I’m going to give you even more money when I start working again next week!

    • This podcast is everything I ever wanted, especially in college when my friends and I were binging it all the time.

      This makes my 4 hour drive to visit my parents go by so fast. I will continue to donate for it to continue. Thank y’all for all your hard work!

  4. So grateful for this site and the community! Increased from a cobalt to bronze membership. Hopefully when I’m done with grad school, I can go up to silver. XD

    • Ah, Zoey, that is kind as all heck! Thank you! Wishing you so much luck in grad school!

  5. i signed up today and joined a+ after years of lurking, partly to temper my guilt about using an ad blocker, but more importantly because i respect and appreciate the work y’all do!

  6. That “you’re the reason” A+ email earlier in the week made me cry, so I LOVE YOU, TAKE MY MONEY. Autostraddle forever and ever and ever.

    • Thank you, Chess! That email made me cry too! Rachel sure is good with words and soul stuff!

  7. I’m beyond broke at this point, but if the fundraiser is still running when I get payed I’ll for sure donate what I can.
    I became an a+ member this month but I’ve been lurking here for years and I’m very appreciative of all of you guys

    • Mariana, we cannot thank you enough for joining A+! That’s the reason we’re here!

  8. Just upgraded my membership. Autostraddle has been there throughout my tender queer gender queer journey of queerness. Imma be there for Autostraddle.
    I also want to say I now that it can be hard in general to ask for money and support, and particularly for folks who are socialized as women and/or gender infinite/trans/non binary and/or any identity beyond cis hetero dudes (and even then it can be hard). I am so glad you are asking, Autostraddle and the writers deserve the support, and please keep letting us know what you need to operate this wicked effing radtastic community. xo xo

  9. If I upgrade my A+ membership, will that money be counted toward the fundraising drive? Just trying to figure out the best way to throw my money at you!

  10. So, I’d love to donate, but I’m not currently in the financial position to do so. You are definitely on the list for the future!
    Is there anything else this unemployed European can do for Autostraddle? Besides profess my love?

    Maybe I can submit some creative work in the future – I’m a terrible writer but I have other gifts.

    Does anyone want a pattern for rainbow crochet potholders? (I made a pair a few weeks ago. I can create more LGBTQ+ patterns.) Any other patterns to create for AS?

    (Link to my project if you’re curious: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/Ikat/the-best-crocheted-potholder)

    • Yasmin, yes! Just commenting here with your support is a help, and so is sharing stuff on social media! We’re grateful you’re here!

    • Amanda, never apologize for that! Thank you for being here and thank you for your generosity!

      • Thank you for all of the work! It’s made such a difference in my and so many lives.

  11. Thank you all for working so hard to create this space for us. Autostraddle has given me more than I could ever repay, but I’ll try :)

  12. I goofed up and commented on someone else’s post, cuz I’m bad at the internet, so I’m just commenting again because this website means SO MUCH to me, and I hope I can keep checking it compulsively every day for at least ten more years, thank you for everything you guys.

      • Mostly only good at the internet cuz I want to read that sweet sweet queer writing! I’ve been reading your work since you were on after-you-know-who, Heather, and I remember being so so happy when you joined Autostraddle! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh all the feelings. Sometimes I’m too shy to comment, but I’m going to keep reading and supporting forever.

  13. Donated! Also if anyone is wondering about getting A+ I can tell you the extra content is totally worth it :-)

  14. Donated AND upgraded my monthly membership. Thank you all for everything you do. You helped me come out and continue to make my life better in many ways, so it’s the least I can do. Proud of you all!!

  15. Donated! Some questions:
    Are you planning to show numbers or at least progress bars on the “what we’re spending it on” page? I see it on the “tracker” page but it wasn’t immediately apparent to me.
    Is 90k the goal? The graphic is a little unclear to me?
    What is the push going to look like over the next week? I got the email this morning and I see this post, and presumably other social media. Are there going to be more posts?
    Why the option to just donate to the podcast? Does it have such a broader viewership? Autostraddle as a site means so so so much to me and I would be devastated to see only To L and Back be funded.

    • Hi Lavendula! I’m so happy to answer some of these questions!

      First, Thank you SO MUCH for donating!! Seeing the overwhelming response today has meant so much to us as a team. I’m so thankful to be in community with you!

      Now, these questions!

      1. YES! We will have a tracker that’s going to exist right here on this very website! It should be updated by the end of today. You can also follow our progress on our fundraising website, as you noticed. On that page you will also be able to see which of our financial goals we met as we meet them! This page (and the tracker on our autostraddle homepage) will be updated at least once a day: https://www.autostraddle.biz/tracker

      2. You’re correct; we’re trying to raise at least $90K to make our minimum goals.

      3. Over the next two weeks you can expect more special emails like the kind you received from Heather this morning, along with other special themed posts and definitely social media messaging! We have them all planned out and staggered throughout the next two weeks.

      4. The option to donate to just the podcast is because all the other money is earmarked to help the website! Our podcast listeners do not necessarily overlap with our website readership (though obviously many do!) so we wanted to give those listeners an option to support the podcast’s specifically.

      Don’t worry – our focus is to help make Autostraddle.com its best, most efficient, and sustainable self. We aren’t losing track of that! It’s our heart and soul. But also part a healthy website is going to be a healthy podcast. One hand washes the other, you know?

      Hope that answers your questions! Let me know if you have any more!

      • Off topic, but I love the saying “one hand washes the other” 😁 I’ve never heard that before!

    • Donated! Some questions:

      Are you planning to show numbers or at least progress bars on the “what we’re spending it on” page? I see it on the “tracker” page but it wasn’t immediately apparent to me.
      we are! sarah will be updating it every day — today she’ll be updating it as soon as she can (she’s on an airplane right now), i believe!

      Is 90k the goal? The graphic is a little unclear to me?

      What is the push going to look like over the next week? I got the email this morning and I see this post, and presumably other social media. Are there going to be more posts?
      there are, yes!

      Why the option to just donate to the podcast? Does it have such a broader viewership? Autostraddle as a site means so so so much to me and I would be devastated to see only To L and Back be funded.
      It does not have a broader audience than Autostraddle, it’s actually much smaller, so i think our approach to that is actually the opposite of what you’re worried about.
      BUT there are a lot of podcast fans who aren’t Autostraddle readers, so we wanted to give them a chance to fund it specifically. “To L and Back” is part of Autostraddle the company though, and part of our website and the work we do, it’s just a specific kind of content that because of how it is distributed (not directly by us, but by various podcast hosting platforms).

      I hope that clarifies things! thank you so much for donating!! <3 <3

  16. Donated!! I say it all the time & I’ll say it again, Autostraddle is the best place on the internet.

  17. One more question/comment: there are some links on the site that go to weird places when you click them (aka nowhere/a page with graphics). This is confusing. Can you address? Thank you love you!

    • Yes! We’re sorry for the confusion! There was an old dead link floating around that somehow we missed, even though we pre-tested everything a million times before it went live!

      I think it always happens like that, no matter how much you pre-plan there’s bound to be something that got a little lost through the cracks. Luckily we’ve had a few readers point it out right away and were able to fix it quickly. Everything should be moving smoothly now! Let us know if you run across any other bumps in the road.

    • CLAIRE!!!! Thank you so much! We’re really hopeful that this ends up being successful for all of us! ❤️

  18. Our finances are tighter than usual right now so I donated a little less than I would like to, but I’ll make up the difference when I can <3 <3 <3

    • Literally every teeeeeny tiny bit means the entire world to us! Don’t even worry about it. We’re thankful to be all in this together <3

      THANK YOU for making room for us, especially when things are tight. From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate it and are grateful.

  19. donated! wish I had an extra $300 laying around – I love beer and I love Astoria, but sadly, I am also a broke ass bitch ):

  20. I must say it was pretty cool to check my email this morning and do a double take when there was one from Heather Hogan in there. 😲

    Donated and moved to silver.

    I don’t know how I found you all a few years ago, but I’m so glad I did. 🙂

    • I totally squealed when I saw Heather Hogan’s name in my inbox!! It’s an incredible treat, isn’t it? Something very special.

      Thank you for the donation AND for moving up your membership. WOW. It means so much to all us. ❤️

  21. Love the Resources tab on the fundraiser website! These readings will help me explain to more ppl why donating and supporting AS is so important, beyond “AUTOSTRADDLE FRICKIN RULES and is truly the best place on the Internet!!!” 🌈🌟💖

    • aww thank you! and thank you for donating and being around for so many years!! i didn’t think anybody would be interested in that page but the great news is i have EVEN MORE THINGS TO ADD TO IT SOON.

    • Right!?!? it’s my favorite part of the fundraiser site as well. Love being able to point to the cold, hard facts when needed. (And there’s a lot of interesting reading in there, too)

  22. This place means the world to me, and it’s hard to fully convey how grateful I am for everything y’all do here. Autostraddle helped me find recognition, connection, and joy during the times in my life when I needed them the most. My life is fuller and brighter because of the inclusive community here and the many wonderful friends I’ve made through camp. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

    I like the direction outlined so far in all the fundraising materials. To help out, I’m upgrading my Bronze (annual) membership to a Silver (monthly) one! I hope the more frequent payments are helpful above and beyond the extra income, too.

    Wishing you lots of success with this fundraiser, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Autostraddle grows and (hopefully) flourishes in the months and years to come 🥰

    • Autostraddle has meant the world to me, too. And for the exact reasons you have outline here! It helped me not only come out, but come in to myself when it mattered most. It’s made my life fuller and brighter and literally all the things you said! I’m so glad that we have it.

      Thank you for the membership upgrade!!! I can’t wait to see how we keep growing and flourishing, together.

      • “It helped me not only come out, but come in to myself”

        This this this this this. Gorgeous. <3

    • thank you anna for your generosity! and thank you for being such a consistently vibrant part of autostraddle and of a-camp (specifically being our ace meet-up superstar!!!) SO MUCH LOVE TO YOU

  23. I literally just joined A+ this week because I’ve realised the value I get from this site, from the support and information to just general entertainment, especially from To L And Back. I’ve now donated an extra amount (small, because I’m not rich) and I hope this is a success. We need this inclusive space more than ever and those who provide it need to be well-paid. They deserve it! Thank you for being there when I needed you, Autostraddle.

    • Replying to myself because I left this out : it’s really important to me that Autostraddle is independent. It’s what allows you to be so inclusive of all kinds of members of our LGBTQIA+ family. We don’t need no corporations coming here and censoring content, cutting those out that society finds less palatable and treating your readers as advertising fodder.

    • Thank you so much Pam! It means so much to us to have your support, both through an A+ membership and now with an additional donation. That’s incredible and we don’t take your trust in us lightly.

  24. Eeeerm you guys, I’ve been using Autostraddle for quite a few years now (ever since afterellen went to poop and everyone in the comments was like “fuck this, I’m moving to Autostraddle” … And then I had to Google what the fuck they were talking about but anyway) and this is the first time I’ve seen you ask for money. Because of that I guess I always assumed you hadfinances mostly sorted and didn’t really need me to sign up for a+ or whatever else. But like, if you need money to stay afloat, just ask more often, do a big annual thing, or hell, add a tab to the homepage to go and donate. I don’t have the financial stability to pay monthly or anything, but I was more than happy to donate just now and there are times when I’m more flush than usual and I’d be happy to pitch in then, too. Longstory short, you guys are talented and you create something wonderful everyday and you shouldn’t feel like you shouldn’t ask. You deserve to be paid and well funded for the beautiful little community service you provide. So stick a Donate tab on the homepage, we can all pitch in year round and we can all die happy.
    Lots o’ love,
    Me xx

    • Frankie! Good news! There is in fact a donate to Autostraddle link on the right hand side of the homepage, every single day! It has a blue heart behind it and says “Donate for a Better Autostraddle.” If you’re on mobile, you can find the same link if you scroll down a bit past the end of the comments.

      You’re right, it’s hard to ask for money, but so necessary. Not everyone has the kind of financial security available to purchase a monthly membership, but hopefully between our all the time button and special fundraisers like this one, we will get there.

      We really appreciate your support! I’m so glad you were able to find us! Hopefully we’ll be able to make lots of great memories together.

      • Holy shit, never noticed that tab before, but now you’ve pointed it out I promise I’ll use it 😉😉😅

        • I had just transferred some money out of my savings and back into my normal bank account, and then I got Heather’s sweet email and jumped right in to donate. I’m glad you asked and I’m glad to be in a position to be able to help.

          Autostraddle has not only been a main source of my connection to queer community but also of my connection to social justice and inclusive feminism, which I’m so grateful to be able to get from the same place, from you lovely people. Thanks <3

        • No problem Frankie! Happens to the best of us! Thanks for any help you can spread our way :)

  25. I just moved across the country, everything is chaos, my budget is a mess, *and* I am STILL going to donate a small amount because Autostraddle is just that important to me!!!

    I consider Autostraddle a core part of my life (checking AS is definitely part of my daily routine) and thus just as worthy of financial spending as therapy, food, rent, Netflix, etc.

    I spend most of my time alone in my apartment due to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and Autostraddle is one of my only connections to queer community. I really appreciate you all.

    Thank you all for everything and for giving us this opportunity to support you. You asking for our help is a gift to all of us, so we know what you need in order to stick around.

    • Mathilde!!!!!!!!!!

      This means so much to me and to all of us. Thank you so much for finding room for Autostraddle when even in the uncertainty and chaos. Thank you so much for being an important part of our community.

      Sending you love!

    • What you said about Autostraddle being just as worthy of spending as therapy, food, etc. is so spot on.

      I also relate to what you said about spending a lot of time at home alone due to health stuff (for me it’s fibromyalgia) and how Autostraddle is such a helpful connection to queer community. Thank you for articulating this!

  26. Do I need to cancel my existing A+ to upgrade it or just go through the joining page with the option I want?

    And good luck with reaching your goal! I had more money than I expected in my account so I’ve sent some your way. I can’t put into words how much Autostraddle’s helped me and meant to me over the last few years so I really hope you’re able to do the things you want to do.

    • Hey Emily!

      You can upgrade your membership doing the following walk through on a laptop/desktop that I just tested out myself:

      1. Be signed in as an A+ member (I think you’ve already covered that)
      2. On the upper right hand corner look for the “Members” link/tab
      3. Clicking on “Members” opens up a pop up menu, you want “My Account”
      4. After you click on “My Account” it should open up your A+ Membership information, look for a link that says “Change Plan” and click it. From there you should be able to upgrade or adjust as you see fit!

      Let me know if that works for you! Thank you again for supporting us. It means the world.

      • Thank you! I thought there was an option for that, I was just looking in the wrong place. All changed fine :)

    • BECK!!!!


    • Feylamia!! Thank you so much for your membership! We hope to keep making you proud to be here. ❤️

      • I’ve been reading this site for years and never really had the means to support you beyond sharing your articles. This year, I could afford to donate to Sea Watch’s captain Carola Rackete _and_ finally get an a+ membership. This growing up thing is rad. 10/10, would recommend!

  27. Ahem. Still waiting for Alex’s Tinkerbell tattoo. 😉

    Can’t wait to get my You Do You bag! It’s gonna make a great fierce femme makeup bag.

    • The You Do You bag is going to be my new makeup bag, too! Heather Hogan is planning on using her for pens and pencils :)

      Thank you so much for your support, Erin!

  28. Even when the world feels like a complete trash fire, Autostraddle is a consistent source of joy. I am happy to kick in and hope the fund raiser is a huge success. Like Megan Rapinoe: YOU DESERVE THIS.

    • You said the magic words: RAPINOEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

      Thank you so much for kicking in whatever you could!

  29. I love AS and plan to donate but I was wondering if donations are tax deductible or not. Is AS a registered 501(c)(4) organization? No point giving more money to Donald if I can avoid it.

    • Autostraddle is not a non-profit, no. But as an independent and not-corporate owned media company, your gift helps keep us accountable to the only people we ever want to be held accountable to – and that’s you!

      Thank you for any gift you can give. We want to be around as a fierce, independent voice for years to come!

  30. I don’t want to imagine a world without Autostraddle – the work you all do is so vital and is seriously changing so many lives for the better.

    You’ve certainly made mine so much better.

    I hope you raise all the money, you deserve to thrive!

    • More than once I’ve tried to imagine a world without AS – and let me tell you, that shit was crazy. I hope to never ever live there. Thank you for all your support, so we can try and make sure it doesn’t happen!

  31. Thank you for all that you do, for so many people. My A+ Membership lapsed a little while back, but I have made a new one, and upgraded from the annual amount to the monthly amount to put a little more money in the pot :) Getting to support queer media and culture and community and people is an amazing gift. I go to church every Sunday, but I tithe at AS <3

    Also got me a sweet To L And Back sticker to rep my favourite podcast (tied with The West Wing Weekly and Pop Mom, literally the only two other podcasts I listen to lol). Getting to hear Riese's thoughts in her own voice in my ears every week is priceless ;)

    • Lol I was so swept up in the snappiness of my tithing line that I forgot to make it, like, at all accurate. I got to church more like two out of every three Sundays xD

    • “I go to church every Sunday, but I tithe at AS” left me LOLing so hard I just shared it with all the other editors! Even if it is two out of three Sundays ;)

      Thank you so much for all of your help! We’re so excited to have you here, and back with A+. Your support means everything! (And listening to Riese be a genius in real time is one of my favorite things about the podcast too)

  32. Goddammit I’ve just been reading all these comments and even though I’ve been reading for 9 years now this is the first time I’ve really considered what a world without Autostraddle might look like and I would be so bereft. Payday is next Thursday guys, I promise.

    • Oh my goodness!!! Thank you so much! We really appreciate it.

      Here’s to another nine years of you reading! And many, many more. ❤️

  33. My budget is a little tighter this year, but I need Autostraddle in my life, and a To L and Back sticker on my computer, so I am happy to contribute!

    • Thank you for finding room for us, I know how tight budgets can be. It means absolutely everything that you were willing to make the space to give.

      I promise we’ll do right by you! (And those stickers are so cute!)

      • Aw, I know you will! Loved your cameo on the podcast this week, can’t wait to get my sticker :)

  34. Autostraddle I love you and I regularly use you as my own queer google. I’ve been reading your stuff since forever and I O U all so much in helping me figure out myself and the world and humans and life and all that shit.
    I hope to one day put something into the world that’ll help others grow in the way you’ve helped me. But until then, I cancelled my audible subscription in order to sign up for A+ because I support y’all ( and honestly I only subscribed to Audible to listen to Kate McKinnon’s audio comedy and just forgot to cancel it…)

    • I LOVE YOU!!! Thank you for finding wiggle room to adjust your budget and be here with us! I promise you much Kate McKinnon content in the future to help make up the difference of your loss 💖

  35. Donated! Twice! Because I need my own Carol Aird Tinkerbell Junior pic in my life, but I was planning to donate more than that, so! Much love to everyone running this site and commenting on this site, because I do so enjoy you all.

  36. FRIENDS. The bag that wants to be the bag within my bag! How did you know?!

    Real talk, as a librarian and a lesbian (and multi-year A-Camper at that), I have A LOT of tote bags. Would I have still gone for a tote bag if you’d offered a tote bag perk? Yes, absolutely, the spirit can count but the flesh is weak.

    But the bag within the bag! I can never have enough of those! They let met unpack my bag in 30 seconds at the end of the day, just as Marie Kondo wants me to, and choose the exact purse/tote I want in the morning! (I already have one for medication/bandaids/etc. and one for pens, but SURELY I need another.)

    Oh, I love this so much.

    • we TOO love bags within bags! i also have like, so many totes? like every magazine i’ve ever looked at has mailed me a tote? i feel like the bag-within-a-bag route may have been rachel’s idea and we were all like BRILLIANT EXACTLY YES.


    I was referred to Autostraddle in 2011 like a month after I came out. I’ve been here ever since. Camp has been one of the most important experiences of my life and I’ve learned, loved, and grown so much with other Straddlers. I can’t imagine a world without AS and I really don’t want to. I hope we blow through the fundraising goal. I hope some celesbians see this and donate $50k each. I’ll be donating as much as I can as often as I can. I fucking love y’all. I hope you feel how much we love you, not only during this fundraiser but for years and years afterwards. I love you, I love you, I love you.

  38. Finally became an A+ member after using this site for……more years than I can remember. Thank you for supporting me all the way from baby gay to fully fledged out-and-proud bisexual teacher!

  39. I found Autostraddle as a teenager still living in Alabama and I am so grateful for whatever google search led me here (it might have been South of Nowhere). I didn’t have a queer community and was trying to figure out where I fit in and y’all were so important in that journey.

    Flash forward ten years and largely because of A Camp I’ve met some amazing people that are more like family than friends. My life is so much richer because of it and I can’t thank you enough. I will happily do anything I can to help. You’ve changed countless lives and I hope y’all have all the success in the world. Know that we readers have your back!

    • i am so glad that you are here and have been here for so long and also SOUTH OF NOWHERE ugh it is so sad that so many ppl do not even remember that show ever existing because it was such a THING at the time

      • Right!? I mean come on it has to be so many people’s root or at least part of their coming out story

  40. I used to run a little record label several years ago and I ended up shutting it down for several reasons, but one of the biggest ones was I hated promoting myself so I know how hard it is to ask for money!

    Anyway, upgraded to gold again. Love you all!!!

    • thank you for your upgrade and also for relating to our experiences on a deep inner level

  41. Upgraded my membership from cobalt to bronze before I even saw this – I was just thinking how much Autostraddle means to me and how I read it almost every day and how fucking sad I would be over the hole in the universe of voices if it were to cease to exist. So worth paying for!

  42. So happy to give. I literally don’t know what I’d do without Autostraddle. I think I’ll be able to upgrade from A+ bronze to silver soon, too.

    I gave to the podcast because it’s life-giving while I’m at work. Also my wife laughed so hard at Riese’s hot milk story that she peed a little on the bus.

    • honestly blessed to hear i made your wife pee on a bus
      as a funny person there is truly no greater aspiration

  43. Done! Because y’all deserve better. I love this site so much. Thanks for all the work you do.

  44. Y’all! Don’t be afraid to ask for money. NPR does it. My favorite ad-free radio station The Summit does it. They have 2 fundraising campaigns a year. Media that is accountable to its audience first and not its ad providers/corporate owners needs to be funded by the audience. You guys deserve it.

    I can’t afford to donate more than the cobalt membership I currently have, but I hope more people are inspired to join, even at a low level. Autostraddle has been an important service for our community and I can’t imagine an internet without it.

  45. I’ve had A+ since 2015 and am finally going with Gold in honor of the fundraiser. This is the best money I spend all month and this community has been so so important to me since my teens. I’m really truly grateful. Love to you all xx

  46. Wow, that’s so exciting that (if I’m reading it right) you raised 1/3 of your goal on the first day of the campaign! I just donated, so excited to see you thriving!

  47. A+ member here, going to donate because y’all are truly the best. A haven for baby gay me and a delightful addition to my work day once I subscribed up.

  48. Hello, I know my comment will probably be lost among all the others and as much as I want y’all to know this it’s OK. but I just wanna say, Heather’s email really resonated with me, because right now I still have many days where I feel so scared and alone in my queerness…and for me Autostraddle has always been a reminder that there is community out there, and not just any community, but community that will embrace all of us with all of our complexities and I am truly so grateful for this safe, affirming little piece of the internet that ALL of you have created for us. It gives me hope that give it five years and I could be openly sharing my queerness for other queers to see and connect with, and seeing the potential for that confidence is really cool.
    Also, I wish y’all would ask for help more often. You all have done so much for us and given us this incredible site, and I honestly don’t know how to repay you for that, but as soon as I get paid I’ll be trying my best to do just that. Thank you so much for everything <3

    • Fragilelittleflame, you are not alone! I am so very glad and grateful that you’re here! Home. <3

  49. Delighted to donate! I also really love the fact that you’ve created an *international* community. Hearing from queer people in other countries is fascinating. I hope you swell with pride whenever you announce an Autostraddle meet-up and groups organize all over the world! You have created something really incredible!

  50. I’m in a weird money situation right now (largely of my own making), but as soon as I get my life sorted out, I’m all over this. I just checked my calendar and saw that my monthly A+ pledge gets billed tomorrow, which makes me feel a little better about not being able to participate in this immediately.

  51. Just donated and upgraded my A+ membership.
    I love this site.
    Anyone near Bogotá looking for a meetup? I need more queerness in my life!
    Thank you Autostraddle for being my daily dose of queer!

  52. Hey, there! So glad you’re doing this! Is there a way to keep us updated on how close you are to the goal? Like maybe going old school and posting photos or videos of a thermometer drawing and coloring it in as the $$$ mercury rises? And have Carol photo/video bomb in each one?

  53. Holy cow! I just checked the fundraising tracker (one-third of the way there after one day!), and I’m so proud to be part of a community that supports each other so much. AS came into my life when I really needed it. I don’t know what I’d do if this site wasn’t around, so I’m happy to contribute and to keep my A+ membership rolling as long as you’re here. Love you all!

  54. When I came out, Autostraddle was my everything. Thank you.

    But in the last few years, the queer community has been a challenging place to be Jewish. Autostraddle did not create, but it hasn’t stepped in to address it with the firm stand I’d like to see, I think for fear of stirring the pot.

    It’s a shitty and complex topic, no doubt, but AS is so vigilant when it comes to other marginalized groups that it’s disappointing. Which is to say: I’m want you to exist, but I’m conflicted about giving limited $$ to a place that’s not really a safe space for me anymore.

    • As a Jewish lesbian, my perspective is really different on this than yours seems to be, so I’m curious to hear more. Also, Riese, the EIC, CEO, and CFO of this site, has always been proudly and openly Jewish and sometime in the last ~year~ish edited her bio to include “Jewish” in the first sentence. Based on my memory, it hadn’t been there before. I’d be really curious to hear what exactly you want autostraddle to do differently and how you feel the site isn’t safe for you. I also know that there are many other Jewish writers on autostraddle and in the bigger autostraddle/a-camp community. Also, I personally find the Judaism tag really great: https://www.autostraddle.com/tag/judaism/

      • There’s a lot of Jewish content and writers, no doubt! But IMHO it’s all relatively safe content. I think perhaps because there are so many Jewish writers, they are afraid of stirring the pot.

      • “Theee vegan recipes for Seder” and “Wisdom from my Bubbe” and “I’m sad a right-wing extremist shot a bunch of Jews”—I’m not knocking that, that’s important.

        But it’s not going to ruffle any feathers. It’s not, “Why are Jews being kicked out of Dyke Marches?” or “You need to stop quizzing Jews in lefty spaces on exactly what they about Israel before they can enter” or “Yeah, Ilan Omar did some kinda antisemitic stuff [which no, doesn’t negate the horrible racist crap that’s happening to her], it’s not just the Zionist media attacking her” or even, G-d forbid, “Lots of countries are fucked up and Israel is not the literal cancer of the earth and we need to be able to talk about Gal Gadot just because she’s hot without calling her a she-devil if in the next breath we’re thanking trans American service members for their service and the queer situation is very complex there are honestly they could use your support but without you trashing them for existing” and also that time Heather Hogan wrote about Charlottesville and don’t mention antisemitism which was front and center (“Jews will not replace us”) l, yeah, that’s about when I started feeling like AS is willing to do that hard to have my back.

        • I am aware of that policy, but the fact that it’s nexessary, and that those comments arrived in the first place, is kinda the whole problem.

          It’s not a safe space for being Jewish if all Jewish discussion needs a mod and a disclaimer and lots of people jump down your throat.

        • And I also think that gets to the heart of the problem. They’re not willing to have the hard conversations. Zionism isn’t automatically bad. It’s been really meaningful to Jews historically, and is still meaningful, and 93% of the American Jewish community calls itself Zionist, so if your purity test for Jews excludes 93% of the community that’s a problem.

          It’s a word that means a lot of things and has been made a dirty word by a small fringe—sort of like the word feminism. But AS has not been willing to go there and have that hard conversation or that exploitation, it just says it’s bad.

      • Or even, now that I’m on a role, it’s not even “What is antisemitism really?”

        Because being Jewish, I thought everyone knew, but they don’t. It’s not just “racism for Jews”, it’s fundamentally very different. I think AS would be a great place to explain that, especially when it was running pieces after Pittsburgh decrying antisemitism.

        (For the curious there is an excellent explainer here.)

    • I really appreciate the conversation in this thread. This is a topic I don’t know as much about, so I’m grateful for what you’ve shared about your experience and for the link to more information.

      I hope that this fundraiser will equip Autostraddle with support so they can continue to grow in their ability to take on hard conversations and provider safer space to more of the queer community. (My understanding is that that’s part of what the fundraiser is for, in terms of what they’ve said about needing support staff and about wanting to fairly pay a more diverse array of writers.) So that’s part of why I chose to contribute, though I can understand why you might have mixed feelings about doing so.

      Regardless, I’m sorry that the queer community has been such a challenging place for you lately. Sending supportive energy <3

  55. It’s my payday which means I give you monies which means we both got paid today! Woohoo! Love you all :)

  56. stupid question: i’m extremely intrigued by the throwback shirt and was wondering if shipping it internationally will be possible (or whether it would screw up the whole donation to perks ratio)?

  57. Came a little late because I had to asked a friend for the use of his credit card (my finances are sooo fucked up right now that I don’t have one, only cash). It wasn’t a lot but AS is the greatest place on earth.

    Please, @caseythecanadianlesbrarian, don’t make another great list of books for a while or, if you do, please do it with books already have, I’m a bit short for cash now.

  58. Donated. How could I not?!

    Love you the most AS. You are so important, we need you to stick around.

    Also the emails from Laneia and Heather, RIP my heart.

  59. Donated! Wishing you all the very best for this fundraiser — you deserve the 90k and more to make not just surviving but thriving possible. I’ve been reading almost since the site began, back when I was in high school, so this is the least I could do. You amazing folks have what it takes. And the community you’ve rallied speaks volumes, too. <3

  60. No.

    Why should I, a butch woman, give you money to continue saying that the gender nonconformity that makes people uncomfortable with me even in queer spaces, that makes me an easy target for homophobic harassment, that gets me followed into bathrooms, and that makes me less hireable, gives me “masculine privilege”?

    That femme birds article saying that went up a couple days ago, but Autostraddle’s been on this for at least three years now – despite people saying time and again that it’s misgendering, laterally homophobic bullshit. I’ve frankly stopped expecting this site for “all queer women” to ever include women like me. But you can cut the gender policing and then begging for money shtick.

    • I agree that the trend of accusing butch women of ‘masculine privilege’ is alienating, simplistic and serves to further isolate a group of women who are still structurally marginalized because we don’t conform to gender norms. Having been turned down for jobs, interrogated in bathrooms, shouted at by men in public etc, I can relate to your frustrations as a butch woman.

      At the same time, Autostraddle still presents work by butch voices, has plenty of resources that I find relevant to me, and has an editor and plenty of writers who I would argue are very careful not to flatten the nuances of butch women’s experiences. They might not be perfect and offer everything to everyone, but they operate in good faith and truly do their collective best for us along with everyone else they serve.

      I will continue to support them because as a butch woman I still think this is the best place for me on the internet and A Camp was literally the safest place I have ever been in my entire life, as a butch woman.

  61. I feel so SEEN by this swag.

    As soon as I can, I’m going for the nail file. I mean.

    I’m counting on there being a second fundraiser in the very near future, during which I’ll go for the bag-within-a-bag. And then by increments… I’ll work my way up. If you ever consider bringing back the “Straddle This” boyshorts, well I may just die but I’ll definitely press that donate button before I expire.

    Thank you Autostraddle. You mean the world to me.

    I’m not super-happy where I landed in the Comments thread, but since I’m here, let me say that I so appreciate this very safe space on the internets.

    One thing I truly appreciate about Autostraddle, is that it’s a place where we can talk and be our different selves and share our experiences and points of view without blaming or shaming or badmouthing. It’s a refreshing oasis in the aggressive partisanery of the rest-of-the-internet. I don’t agree with everything, some things I don’t quite understand, or even sometimes I think the exact opposite, but so what. We are all united here, even though so much could divide us. I appreciate our humanity, our common purpose in thriving and supporting each other to thrive even more.

    Plus the staff are all super babelicious and I have crushes on all of them so.

    My heart is full.

  62. Things that seemed like too much money to spend this week: bus fare, shoes without the insoles ripped to pieces, a spare pair of jeans, an ice cream

    Things that are unquestionably always essential and value for money: the medication I require to survive, Autostraddle

  63. Forgive my being late, I’m not around as often as I used to be. As with most things, life has a way of, well, getting in the way. But that doesn’t mean AS is not still near and dear to my heart. You introduced me to my wife! For that and so much more, I will always support you.

  64. I’m on vacation this week, but when I’m back home I’ll look at my bank account and figure out which perks are speaking to me. Is there an option to give A+ memberships as gifts yet?

    • There’s no option yet, but we’re working on it, we promise! Have fun on vacation, SodaPop!

  65. Thank you, writers of AS, for the incredibly important work that you do. You should be insanely proud that this place has survived and thrived. It is a testament to the quality of your journalism and dedication to this community.

    I’m another who promises to donate come pay day. Had to resist the urge so bad to grab my credit card WITH EVERY EMAIL about this fundraiser. (Brain: you NEED TO STOP using your credit cards. Heart: but autostraddle NEEDS ME!!! Brain: seriously you need to stop using your credit cards or things are going to spiral real hard. Heart: but!!!Autostraddle!!!!) Brain wins this one. I will donate this Friday, I promise.

    P.s. love watching the donation$ bar at the top of the site. So exciting!

  66. Just bumped my membership up to silver ❤️ Rest assured that when I can afford gold level, I’ll do it in a heartbeat!

    I didn’t start commenting until like, a couple years ago, but I’ve been here for a while. I think I started casually visiting sometime in 2012/2013, and then I followed Heather Hogan and her Pretty Little Liars recaps over from AfterEllen and never looked back.

    Autostraddle has kept me going through what has been the worst time of my life (basically the last four years or so), and given me a community even when I couldn’t leave my house. And now you’ve seen me out the other side and I’m doing so much better. I’m still overwhelmed with how much my first A-Camp meant to me, how much I loved meeting everyone, and how it healed some part of me in just a few days. I don’t think I can ever express what this community means to me and how much I admire all of you! No amount of money will ever feel like enough to say thank you, but I’m happy to keep trying.

  67. Oh my God, I hope this works!!! I am not in a great financial position these months, so I can’t change my membership or contribute…
    But I still wanted to thank your collective work and beautiful writing to help me become more accepting of others and of myself. Honestly, AS saved me from becoming transphobic (so important since… turns out i’m not cis!), helped me accept and enjoy my kinky queer self, and learn to express that in respectful and realistic ways. Also, helped me parse my feelings after break-ups…
    So if I dare, I will send this page to queer friends that might be interested to contribute.
    Love you all! <3

  68. Just updated my membership, which had lapsed without me noticing! Thanks so much for everything you’ve done and the content you’ve put out there over the years :)

  69. I got a raise last week, what a perfect way to celebrate and give back! Things I read that I Love fed are my go to for fascinating long reads that keep me busy for a weekend. Thank you,for sticking it out 🙌

  70. Thank you to all the writers of Autostraddle, this website has been such a life saver for me. Whether its learning more about the queer communities or making me laugh on a tough day. I get paid tomorrow so will definitely make some contributions then and continue when I can.

    This is my favourite website, so I wanted to thank you all again xx

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