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.