Autostraddle, One of the Internet’s Most Beloved Queer Websites, Is Fundraising for Survival

One of the longest running and most popular queer blogs on the internet is fundraising for its survival.

If you are reading this website, it is more than likely that you have heard of a site called Autostraddle. Founded in 2009, the blog provided (and still provides) a revolutionary space for independent media on culture from a lesbian perspective. According to the site’s About section, it is also “the most popular and oldest independently owned website for lesbian culture on the Internet, inclusive of trans and nonbinary people and all queer women.” Even as blogs like AfterEllen pivoted to publishing TERF-ery or just outright closed their doors, Autostraddle remained a steady voice in the media landscape, providing a platform not just for cis women who love women, but for queer people of all genders, with an explicit focus on increasing black and brown people.

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But despite being such a vital and unique website, Autostraddle is in danger of sinking. According to a fundraising update posted on the site Thursday, the site needs to raise $145,000 in the next few weeks “or it’s over.” Although fundraisers are routine for the independent site, the Post explains that the site’s co-founder and CEO, Riese Bernard, applied for and received an economic injury disaster loan from the Small Business Association (SBA), which was awarded to help businesses recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. It’s the first time the site has taken on debt, and considering that independent queer media outlets aren’t exactly rolling in cash, the fundraiser is Autostraddle’s only way to pay the SBA in full.

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“If we can’t raise the funds we need, we will all lose our substantial archive of resources and history on everything from lesbian sex to queer television to countless critical discussions of identity and politics and relationships,” the post reads, adding that the archives may even be seized as “assets” if the loan is not repaid. “We will all be scattered to the winds, no more changing the face of media, no more giving queer and trans writers some of their first bylines or unheard of freedom to write the weird shit THEY actually WANT to write.”

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Like all good fundraisers, Autostraddle’s comes with great perks for donors. Depending on how much money one gives, people can get a “Gay Agenda” sticker pack, some super queer magnets, a peachy (literally) zipper pouch, and even a 500-piece puzzle, all made and illustrated by queer artists .

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