Type of site
|Owner||The Excitant Group LLC|
Autostraddle is a formerly independently owned online magazine and social network for lesbian, bisexual, and queer women (cis and trans), as well as non-binary people and trans people of all genders. The website is a "politically progressive queer feminist media source" that features content covering LGBT and feminist news, politics, opinion, culture, arts and entertainment as well as lifestyle content such as DIY crafting, sex, relationships, fashion, food and technology.
Autostraddle was founded in 2009 by Riese Bernard, the current CEO and CFO, and former Design Director Alexandra Vega. In June 2020, Kamala Puligandla succeeded Bernard as editor-in-chief. In June 2021, Carmen Phillips was named the new editor-in-chief.
The site received 400,000 unique visitors and 2 million views per month in 2012. In 2016 these numbers had risen to one million unique visitors and 3.5 million views per month. In 2023, the site received 2.5 million unique views per month. The website received GLAAD's Outstanding Blog Award in 2015, and was nominated in 2013, 2014, and 2018.
Riese Bernard founded Autostraddle in March 2009 with Alexandra Vega, the website's former Design Director. She wanted to create a website for queer women that was unlike other sites that existed at the time. The senior team consists of Riese Bernard, Laneia Jones, Carmen Philips, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Nico Hall, and Heather Hogan.
Revenue, funding, and financial status
In a 2016 article for Nylon Magazine, founder Riese Bernard discussed Autostraddle's alternative revenue strategies in the context of the rapid disintegration of queer women-oriented publications and online spaces. She has noted that advertisers largely do not buy ad space on the website. Autostraddle's funding model relies heavily on memberships, merchandise, and community fundraising.
In May 2023, Bernard announced that "financial reasons" had forced Autostraddle to reduce spending by scaling back, terminating contracts, and cutting writers and editors. In August 2023 Autostraddle was acquired by For Them, a company founded in 2021 that sells binders.
Autostraddle publishes content on relationship dynamics, radical queer politics, economic injustice, among other things. In 2019, Riese Bernard and Buffering the Vampire Slayer's Kristin Russo started To L and Back, a podcast recapping every single episode of The L Word in order, one by one. Filmmaker Carly Usdin took over for Russo as co-host starting in season 2, and the show began featuring regular special guests.
Queer Girl City Guides
As part of their travel section, Autostraddle began publishing Queer Girl City Guides in 2012. Queer Girl City Guides are user-created, Autostraddle-approved guides to cities in the United States and abroad for queer women moving to or traveling to a new city. The guides discuss places to dance, eat, drink, be entertained, party, play sports, get an "alternative lifestyle haircut" or tattoo, celebrate pride, purchase LGBTQ books and publications, participate in activism, and more. The guides also provide insight on local colleges, gayborhoods and neighborhoods or places to avoid. Some guides also include sections on trans culture.
Autostraddle TV Awards
Starting in September 2018, Autostraddle has held the Autostraddle TV Awards (formerly the "Gay Emmys" and "Queer TV Awards"), in which readers and contributors annually vote for their favorite LGBT-inclusive television broadcasts.
Autostraddle hosts in-person events such as "Holigay Meet-Ups" and its Pride Meet-Up Month, which are organized by users with Autostraddle's support and promotion. Autostraddle also offers ideas, tips, and resources for hosting a meet-up.
In April 2012, the first A-Camp was held as a pilot at Alpine Meadows Retreat Center in Angelus Oaks, California, where 163 queer campers and 35 staff members attended. A-Camps include various panels, workshops, discussion groups, classes, entertainment and other activities. Subsequent A-Camps have been larger, with between 300–400 campers in attendance per camp, including staff, and have taken place in the same location in California in September 2012, May 2013, October 2013, May 2014, May 2015 and June 2016. A-Camp took place in Wisconsin in October 2016 and May 2017, and the event moved to Ojai, California in May 2018. As of July 2022, A-Camp has been put on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Special guests at A-Camp have included Mary Lambert, Cameron Esposito, River Butcher, Julie Goldman, Brandy Howard, Be Steadwell, Mara Wilson, Gabe Dunn, DeAnne Smith, Hannah Hart, Somer Bingham, Lex Kennedy, Megan Benton, Mal Blum, Dan Owens-Reid, Kristin Russo, Jasika Nicole, Jenny Owen Youngs, Julia Nunes, Brittani Nichols, Mollie Thomas, Haviland Stillwell, Ashley Reed, and Sarah Croce. WNYC's podcast Nancy featured A-Camp in the episode "Kathy Goes to Camp".
In the 2012 Weblog Awards, Autostraddle was awarded Best Weblog of The Year, Best Group/Community Weblog and Best Entertainment Weblog. Autostraddle was nominated for GLAAD's Outstanding Blog Award in 2013, 2014, and 2018, and won in 2015. One of their articles,"105 Trans Women On American TV: A History and Analysis" by Riese Bernard, was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the category of Outstanding Digital Journalism in 2017.
- "One of the Internet's Most Beloved Queer Websites Is Fundraising for Survival". Them. 2022-10-28. Retrieved 2023-04-17.
- Bernard, Riese (June 24, 2020). "One Last Letter From This Editor". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
- Bernard, Riese (June 16, 2021). "Carmen Phillips Is Our New Editor-in-Chief (and Would like a Vanilla Iced Latte Please)". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
- Autostraddle About Page Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Autostraddle About Page Retrieved 5 May 2016.
- Autostraddle About Page Retrieved 10 January 2023.
- them (20 June 2018). "How Autostraddle's Riese Bernard Forever Changed the Queer Media Landscape". them. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
- "Meet the Team". Autostraddle.com. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "After AfterEllen: On The Future Of The Queer Community On The Internet". NYLON. 23 September 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Bernard, Riese (May 23, 2023). "A Message From The CEO/CFO". Autostraddle. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
- Theisen, Lauren (July 11, 2023). "Autostraddle Is Spiraling Toward A Shutdown Or A Sale". Defector. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
- Hamilton, Colleen (2023-08-23). "Autostraddle's New Owner Promises a New Era. Readers and Writers Have Questions". Them. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
- "Clicking the Bean: The History of the Internet's Most Popular Lesbian Blog". Vice. 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2018-01-27.
- "12 LGBTQ Podcasts You Should Be Listening To". www.advocate.com. 2019-05-17. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
- "To L and Back, L Word Podcast Episode 201: Life, Loss, Leaving with Vico Ortiz". 2019-07-29. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
- Candace Hansen (2021-10-11). "Why this season of 'The L Word' might be its most controversial yet". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2023-04-17.
- Bop, She (2012-05-17). "Portland Queer Girl City Guide". She Bop's Blog. Retrieved 2023-04-17.
- "Queer Women Travel Sites To Inspire Your Perfect Vacation". HuffPost. 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2023-04-17.
- "Autostraddle TV Awards Archives". Autostraddle. Retrieved 2023-05-02.
- "Come Gather, All Ye Gentlequeers: It's Autostraddle Holigay Meet-Up Season!". Autostraddle. 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- "Let's Get Proud: It's Almost Autostraddle Pride Meet-Up Month!". Autostraddle. 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- "Meet-Up Resources & FAQs". Autostraddle. 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- "A-Camp". Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- Bernard, Riese: "Introducing Camp Autostraddle" (14 February 2012). Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "Introducing Camp Autostraddle 2.0" (21 May 2012). Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- "Introducing Camp Autostraddle 3.0". Autostraddle.com. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Queer Camping With Autostraddle". Curvemag.com. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "Introducing Camp Autostraddle 5.0". Autostraddle.com. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Introducing Camp Autostraddle 6.0". Autostraddle.com. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- Block, Jenny (2017-06-11). "Here's What Happened When I Went To Queer Summer Camp". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- "Introducing Camp Autostraddle X". Autostraddle. 2018-01-30. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- "A-Camp — Taking a Break". A-Camp. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
- "#14: Kathy Goes to Camp – Nancy – WNYC Studios", Wnyc Studios, retrieved 2018-04-21
- Twelfth Annual Weblog Awards Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "Media Awards Nominees #glaadawards". GLAAD. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "GLAAD Media Awards Nominees #glaadawards". GLAAD. Archived from the original on 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
- "Kerry Washington, Roland Emmerich honored at 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles". GLAAD. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "GLAAD Media Awards 2017: Complete List of Nominations". ENews. 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2018-01-27.