Tag Archives: AfterEllen

Sad News: AfterEllen Forced To Shut Down After 14 Years

This morning we woke up to hear the terrible and shocking news that AfterEllen.com will be closing its doors next Friday.

Editor-in-chief Trish Bendix has said the site has shut down in a Tumblr post.

After 14 years, AfterEllen as we know it will be effectively shutting down as of Friday.”

Founded in 2002 by Sarah Warn, AfterEllen focused on lesbians and bisexual women in the media.

Offering countless posts of cultural reviews, opinion and humour, AfterEllen soon became the go-to-read for many queer women around the world, ass well as becoming an influential voice to other news outlets.

In the post, Bendix thanked the writers as well as AfterEllen’s readers.

I feel so grateful and so, so lucky to have been a representative for lesbian and bi women for a decade. I often joke that I’m the one asking “the lesbian questions” in a room full of journalists or reporters or critics that aren’t looking for the answers that I am, that we as a community deserve. And even though mainstream visibility has grown and larger publications have verticals now where they focus some of their attentions on LGBTs, AfterEllen was still the one place completely dedicated to queer women in media, entertainment, pop culture and our depictions therein. We are frequently cited, linked to, asked for comment and utilized as a resource for those who find us to be the only place that has, for so long, been the authority on ourselves.

In 2006 AfterEllen.com stopped being a personal project and was purchased by MTV’s Logo.

Then two years ago, it was acquired by Evolve Media, who tasked the team with making AfterEllen.com a profitable venture.

They gave us two fiscal years to become their LGBT property and profit in that space, and they found we are not as profitable as moms and fashion. And, yes, “they” are mainly white heterosexual men, which is important to note because not only is this the story for us, but for a lot of other properties—large-scale media outlets, lesbian bars out-priced by neighborhoods they helped establish, housing in queer meccas like Portland that is being turned into condos and AirBNBs.

At the very same time, queer women and culture is being celebrated on the Emmys, in the legalization of both mothers being included on their newborn’s birth certificate, and our namesake, Ellen DeGeneres, being one of the most well-known, well-liked and undeniably profitable television and lifestyle personalities of our generation.

Somewhere, there’s a disconnect. AfterEllen is just one of the homes lesbian, bisexual and queer women will have lost in the last decade. It was a refuge, a community, a virtual church for so many. I’m not sure that some people outside of us can really ever understand that.”

Sadly, like so many other blogs, making profit without selling you sole, or loosing prospective on what you’re doing for your community, is a tricky balance – which meant the powers in charge have closed the doors on the website and it’s talented team.

I’m overcome with loss, but not just for me, for my community. For every single woman who has ever come up to me, tweeted us, sent us an email or a Facebook message or written a blog post about how much AfterEllen has meant to them at some point in their life, I am grieving this with you. We had so much ahead of us—more than ever before—and I’m sorry there won’t be an opportunity for us to do that work together.”

Although KitschMix has not been in the game for long as AfterEllen, we started with a similar mission as them – to create a space for women in LGBT community to call their own.

We have resisted the urge for outside investment, because of the fear of loosing our autonomy. We want to remain in control, but in doing so that comes at a cost.

To offer free space for women, means we have to pay the bills, make sacrifices, work long nights. However, through sheer determination we move forward with KitschMix, and watched it grow.

If you’re a regular reader, you like our work and you value our existence, please continue your support – spreading the word, buying something from our store – www.kitschkandy. We will be very grateful and help us to move forward.

Queer Viking Comic ‘Heathen’ Gets Vol. 1 Compilation

If you’re looking for queer female representation in the mainstream comic world, then it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

For example, although new Marvel and Netflix show Jessica Jones introduced lesbian character Jeri Hogarth, Hogarth is only the first gay character in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

Meanwhile, while DC fan favourite Batwoman (Kate Kane) is an out lesbian, DC refused to let her get married to her fiancée (which prompted the creative team’s resignation) and in one issue, she was also sexually assaulted.

It’s reasons like these why so many queer female comic fans have begun to look elsewhere for representation.

One such comic that has garnered attention is Heathen (written and illustrated by Natasha Alterici), which made headlines last year following its successful Kickstarter campaign.


Heathen stars Viking warrior Aydis who is banished from her tribe after she is caught kissing another woman. The official blurb for the comic explains that Aydis then goes on a mission to “end the tyrannical reign of god-king Odin during a time of warfare, slavery, and the subjugation of women.”

On her quest, Aydis gets help from “legendary immortal, the Valkyrie Brynhild” and she “battles, befriends, and outwits the various gods, demons, and fantastic creatures of lore she encounters along the way.” One of these friends includes Freyja, who AfterEllen describes as both “queer” and “polyamorous”.

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While it gets major kudos from us for starring a queer protagonist on a journey to bring down the patriarchy and it has also been called “the best self-published comic of 2015” by Comixology, there is one major criticism about Heathen.

Some readers have taken issue with the fact that Aydis is scantily clad, something that seems a little odd given the cold climates of the comic’s setting.

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Other than that, both Heathen‘s backers and critics seem to be happy with the comic and so it seems like a standout choice if you want something with both queer content and Norse mythology.

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The first four issues of Heathen are no available in a Volume 1 compilation here.

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L Word Actress Clementine Ford Discusses Labels and Sexuality In “Words In My Mouth”

Actress Clementine Ford is probably best known for playing Molly Kroll in iconic queer show The L Word. As Molly, the daughter of Phyllis Kroll (played by Ford’s mother in real life, Cybill Shepherd), she fell for lothario Shane, despite initially having been dating a man. Molly’s time on the show was significant for viewers as it was an example of how sexuality can change, but for Ford the role was significant as it was on The L Word set in which she fell hard; for a woman.

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When she fell for this woman during her time as an L Word cast member, it wasn’t the first time that she’d had feelings for someone of the same sex as she’d had romances with women when she was younger, before dating men, getting married, and then getting divorced. But it did set off an unfortunate chain of events for the actress.

Also read: How TV Culture and Lesbian Visibility Have Changed After The L Word

Namely, there was the fact that this woman Ford fell for appeared to be biphobic, having said “You’re not bi, are you? Because bi girls are a fucking nightmare. Ugh. They’re just so—”, to which Ford replied that she was “totally gay”. And also because once they broke up and Ford continued to date, before eventually settling down with a woman, the actress did an interview with DIVA Magazine which they ran with the headline “Clementine Ford comes out!” while non-lesbian websites said “Cybill Shepherd’s daughter a lesbian!”

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In a new personal piece on AfterEllen called “Words In My Mouth”, Ford explains that those headlines calling her a lesbian were not entirely true. Following DIVA’s piece Ford did an interview with TV Guide explaining that she wasn’t interested in labels, but after the interview she felt as though she was “letting everybody down” and so she went on TV and told people that she’s gay.

Flash forward a few years and Ford began dating a man named Cyrus, who had been her co-star, and after asking her mother for advice, Shepherd went on TV and told viewers that her daughter had a boyfriend, causing dismay from Ford and severe backlash from the public.

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In the piece, Ford explains that despite having dated both women and men, at the time she wasn’t sure where she fell on the Kinsey scale. She wasn’t a lesbian because she liked men and she liked women so she couldn’t be straight either. As for bisexual, she didn’t want to put that label on herself because, as she puts it, “no one likes bisexuals”. And so after speaking to her sister, Ford decided to identify as ‘queer’, saying that “nothing felt truer than identifying as a lesbian, but queer was a close second”.

Perhaps as expected, the comments on that personal piece are particularly nasty, with many commenters attacking the actress for shunning bisexuality and for ‘not being brave enough’, with one commenter saying that “it’s time bisexuals say they are”. However, Ford is part of a growing community who chooses not to identify as either gay, straight, or bisexual.

Also read: What Does it Mean to be Gender Fluid?


Many more people are choosing to identify with the word queer for the fact that their sexuality is fluid and that is the word that they feel most comfortable with – should society force them to choose some sort of label. So we applaud Ford for her honesty and for being so open about her identity; no matter how divisive it is.


Lesbian Dating Problems

From Twin dates, to ex-girlfriend interruptions, straight-girl dating, to Ladies with the same-name as you  – dating in the lesbian world can be a trick thing.

Brittany Ashley outlines the dilemmas of dating lesbians in this great new sketch. And check out cameos from a whole host of our favourite web-based lesbians – #hashtag‘s Caitlin Bergh & Laura Zak, The Better Half‘s Amy Jackson Lewis & Lindsay Hicks, and even AfterEllen‘s chief editor, Trish Bendix, gets a spot.