The Bitter End of AfterEllen

Posted by Tara G on

It's been about a week since the devastating news broke that Evolve Media was viciously striking down a piece of queer heritage on the internet, and I have to say that I'm still not quite over it.

Although there have been assurances from Emrah Kovacoglu, General Manager at TotallyHer Media that the site will not be closing, it is clear that content has stalled and there has been a mass exodus in the wake of editor-in-chief Trish Bendix's unceremonious axing.

Also, I googled Emrah. This is Emrah:

TotallyHER Media!?!? GTFO.

Anyway, fuck Emron, back to more important people.

Since 2002, AfterEllen has represented a common point of assembly for queer women all over the globe. I'm pretty sure we could all play a game of six degrees of separation from AfterEllen. In fact, I only stumbled upon Bobo Academy thanks to a feature in AfterEllen's 2014 LezBiBuy. Two years later and I'm sitting in New Zealand writing the blog for this fine Canadian establishment.

Since initially featuring us in the LezBiBuy, AfterEllen have featured us multiple times and have given us a level of exposure among queer women that we could only dream of. For that, we can never thank them enough; and it for this reason, and a few more of my own, that I can't simply sit back and allow this iconic queer publication to simply slip away in silence.

For most of my adult life, AfterEllen's sassy LA based coverage of all things queer pop culture related has been my go-to to find people who represented me, and were interested in the things that interested me.

To be honest, I could give less of a fuck that Angela Jolie's big fat hetero marriage has gone up in flames, but I do care when Sara Ramirez decides to leave Grey's Anatomy and bring about the end of Calzona - especially when they didn't lock in Geena Davis to become the next love of Arizona Robbins' life. 

I like to absorb my pop culture through a queer lens. I like to read about the love lives of the writers on the site, I like to know that there are women out there facing the same shit in their lives that I am, even if it happens to be based in Los Angeles, America and I always imagine their lives being something akin to the L Word, minus Jenny.

AfterEllen was the first place I visited on the internet when I was crawling all the way back from Narnia to take my first tentative steps out of the closet. AfterEllen was the place that gave me my light bulb moment, the place that lit up all the reasons why I had always felt a little displaced in my small, mildly conservative, southern New Zealand town.

As a keystone in my personal queer history, I feel this loss keenly, as I know will many others. In this time when queer faces are becoming more visible in mainstream media, it's easy to forget the world of a decade ago where queer voices were shunned to queer-only spaces and the need for our own digital and print media was at its strongest. The fact that a bunch of white heterosexual patriarchs have decided this is no longer a necessity loudly screams exactly why it still is.

In case it's not obvious, I'm fucking outraged by this.

Thankfully, there is a beacon in the dark of this cold September and that is (also known as Autostraddle). A number of fan favourite freelancers such as Dorothy Snarker have made their way across, so we can only hope that the recaps will continue undeterred.

In other words:


You can read Trish Bendix's piece 'Eulogy for the Living' here.

 Be sure to continue your support for queer women's media by heading over to Autostraddle.


Tara G is a jack-of-all-trades history graduate with a New Zealand accent. She likes alcoholic beverages, yelling at the TV, acting like royalty, and the word 'fuck'. Currently based in Wellington, New Zealand and patiently waiting for bureaucracy to allow her to join her partner in Barcelona, Spain. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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