WHAT In the Queer Media Happened You All!?!??

Just before midnight EST on October 31, 2022 — Halloween — you helped get us to our Fall 2022 Fundraising Goal IN FIVE FREAKING DAYS!!!

Five! Days! I expected this to take three to four weeks. Fundraising is part of our business model because reader-support is the only way to run an indie media outlet while also paying our people. It’s one of the reasons we can be so unabashedly queer and lesbian and bi+ and trans and gay in all the ways you love. That said, this response, this outpouring of support, came at a speed I never imagined was possible.

But that’s what you all keep doing, isn’t it? You’ve routinely shown us that what should be impossible is indeed possible. Just when I thought I could predict what was going to happen, you all showed me that, no, this community believes in throwing our expectations up into the air and batting them away like a Twilight Vampire or a Rockford Peach or an All-Star, sending our expectations sailing over the fence and the trees and to somewhere beyond we could have never imagined that they would fly (in a good way).

So what does this mean?

  • It means that we have enough money to keep going through January 2023. We aren’t going to shut down, at least, for now, and because of that, we won’t be left with a scary pile of debt and no Autostraddle. The loan still exists; we’re gonna be paying it off for a while — and officially made our first payment on it this month — but we needed to be HERE in the first place to do that. Thank you.
  • It also means that we can immediately make good on rollout of our Games vertical, which has already begun (Laneia’s heading it up and we are building it as we go!). Watch this space for more evolving games situations as we get this ship out to sea.
  • Within the next few months, we’ll begin the search for a person to contract to help us start to re-conceive live events. This doesn’t mean that we’re going to immediately bring back in-person events because again this is a search for a human and those take a minute — but we ARE going to start the process.
  • AND it means that in 2023 we’re committed to exploring more audio, especially for personal essays and longer reads. Will this be complex and require money and designing a new workflow? Yes. Will it be so cool? Sure will!

So, in sum, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Thank you to the over 369 people who signed up for A+ and to the nearly 2,000 people who donated.

You are our everything.

And what are we going to do now?

You might have noticed I said that we have enough money to survive through January, but there are a whole lot more months in 2023 than just January, aren’t there? During this fundraiser, over 369 people signed up for A+. A+ members are the LIFE BLOOD of Autostraddle. If you’re a member, you’re one of the major reasons we’re here at all. And what we really need in order to keep going is to grow the number of monthly A+ members so that we have more consistent support from month to month.

Plus, several of our senior team members and writers already wrote some fundraising pieces, and I’d love to honor their work and publish them, to let them tell you why they think you should be a member if you aren’t already.

So, we have the amount we told you we needed to survive for now — but we’d also like to make sure 2023 which, right now, is still scary in terms of our financial outlook, is a little less so. So for just a little while longer, we’re going to ride the current momentum into an A+ Member Drive!

If you haven’t supported the fundraiser yet, will you consider becoming a monthly A+ member?

Here’s how this will work:

FIRST – We Are Doing A LAST CALL For Fundraiser Perks!!!

A gif that says YOU DID IT! and shows all the perks

OMG(oddess) Being an A+ Member is Cool Because Current Members Got Discounted Perks and New Members Get Stickers and You All Get SO MUCH:

  • Everyone who signed up for A+ at the $6/month ($60/year) level or higher…SURPRISE SWEETHEARTS you are also getting the fundraiser 4-sticker pack (normally for a $30 donation)!
  • AND during the Fall 2022 Monthly A+ Member Drive, anyone who signs up for a MONTHLY membership at the $6 / month level or higher is going to get that same sticker pack. BONUS STICKERS.
  • The drive will run through November 12, so just, like, 1.5 more weeks and then we are going to enjoy the Holigays together, okay?
  • Also, if you already donated or are an A+ member, no, we aren’t going to email you. We want you to enjoy the awesomeness you have wrought!!!

Why Should I Join A+?

  • Because you are consistently supporting indie queer media and all we do here! A+ members funded half our entire budget in 2021. That’s serious business.
  • A+ members get access to all kinds of bonus content, including the abilitity to have their advice questions answered by the team.
  • That content now includes a bonus Saturday puzzle that is, yep, just for A+ members.
  • A+ members also get access to exclusive discounts with our partners in our ever-expanding A+ marketplace (and now that the fundraiser is over, you can bet I’ll be reaching out to more businesses!).
  • AND A+ members are invited to periodic Pop-Up A+ Discord Servers, such as the one opening this week, with a hang with the Autostraddle team happening on Friday! The next one is happening in December, during our annual 13 Days of A+.

When will I get my perks?

So! Did you catch the part where this went WAY FASTER than expected? I had actually planned to work from out of town for a week coming up (my girlfriend has band practice in another state) so I can’t pack perks just yet — and oops I just DID NOT EXPECT YOU ALL TO PULL OFF A MIRACLE OKAY, but I have the email for everyone who is due to get perks, both regular donor and A+ member, and when I am back and settled I will email you with a timeline of when I think you can expect to receive your perks. In the meantime, if you have emailed me with an updated address (or need to) I have received those missives and will confirm so that I send your perks to the correct address. So, while I can’t give you an exact timeline because we’re definitely not Amazon over here (I ship these things out personally, and the person who helps us out in the UK similarly is just one human), I do promise I will keep you up-to-date.

So Is Autostraddle Okay Now?

Yes and no haha! You’ve given us more time to work on 2023, to continue to build traffic and ad revenue and new ad partnerships. By signing up for a monthly A+ membership, you’re helping us to stick it out LONG TERM. But yes, we’re okay for now, and considering this hellscape, that is pretty damn cool. You all are incredible.

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+!

Nico Hall

Nico Hall is a Team Writer for Autostraddle (formerly Autostraddle's A+ and Fundraising Director and For Them's Membership and Editorial Ops person.) They write nonfiction both creative — and the more straightforward variety, too, as well as fiction. They are currently at work on a secret longform project. Nico is also haunted. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram. Here's their website, too.

Nico has written 229 articles for us.



    Wishing sleep soon for you all!!!

    Also I hope this means you can ask for MORE and/or promise LESS next fundraiser so you can REST. Seriously, none of us want you all running yourselves into the ground. It does none of us any good.

  2. I’d just like you to know, Nico, that every time there’s an AS fundraiser, I think “Look, there’s a checkbox saying I could donate without getting perks. Should I really ask for perks? Poor Nico has to ship these to me with their own two hands…” but then I think “But that sticker is so cute dammnit! I WANT ITTTTTTTT”

    That is to say, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your personal labor in sending us our cute perks for every fundraiser. Your efforts don’t go unnoticed!

    • HAHAHAHAHAHA I love to send the perks. This time, they’re not custom orders, so I think it should be easier. That’s the main reason we opted to do that! Cannot wait to send you your sticker :D

  3. YAY GO TEAM!! I was not able to donate this time due to some unexpected medical expenses so I’m so glad those who were in a position to donate stepped WAY UP for this community! Personally I’m excited for more puzzles/games/quizzes to do when I’m supposed to be working. 😉

    • We’re so grateful! And we of course never expect anyone who can’t afford to do so to donate. I hope that all is well or on its way to being better. Thank you also for being an A+ member!!

  4. Nico, what are the parameters for offering a discount on the A+ marketplace? I am a v small business, but would love to sell queer art to queer people that share my queer media values at a discount!

  5. Just a thought…there’s a big push for new members, but it might be helpful to encourage UPGRADES! I realized I’ve been at the same membership level for a couple years, but it is now within my means to upgrade to a higher membership level. Just changed my membership level, and I bet there’s others out there like me!

  6. I really want to see autostraddle succeed and live a long happy and successful life. This is so crucial to my gay life and I’ve followed your content for many years I cannot fathom the internet without you.

    As someone who actually worked in digital fundraising, I just want to say don’t stop keep raising funds throughout November and December (best time to do it). Get some extra cheddar to help you pay for that loan!

  7. I second NoblePorpoise’s comment. I am an A+ member and I would like to increase my monthly amount but I don’t know how…
    I’ve become increasingly dependent on AS for my self-care routine and my dormant lesbian side and I also have a unionized job now. I’d like to put more of my money where my brain is, which is deep into the AS content!!!!!

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