Friday, September 30, 2016

My Weekend After AfterEllen

As by now you’ve realized, I’ve been moving the last two weeks and am surrounded by a mountain of boxes and my own exhausted tears. But I wanted to offer two more very gay cents on what is happening over at AfterEllen right now. A week after the last original posts under the old AfterEllen were published Sept. 21, a new post has sprung up from one of the site’s relatively newer freelance writers explaining “Why I’m Still Here.” It is well-written and no doubt heartfelt. And I sympathize with the writer’s desire to not lose something so very important to our collective histories as queer women. AfterEllen has born witness to our culture for the past 14 years, often when no one else would.

But right now, to be brutally honest, I’d rather AfterEllen shutdown all together than become a rotting zombie corpse of itself buoyed by the occasional “evergreen” lesbian-ish clickbait lists and coasting on the enduring strength of its archives.

This is a site I, we, all cared deeply about. It had its flaws as all sites do. But since its inception it was edited, managed, curated and cultivated by gay women - period. To hire random freelancers and have some random Evolve editor try to recreate that is ludicrous.

What the company did to Trish and our readers (not to mention us writers) was shameful. The site – any editorial site – cannot run without an editor who understands its mission and vision. It cannot run without writers who buy into that mission and vision. It can not run without a community who supports that mission and vision.

Look, I understand everyone needs to pay her bills. I am not criticizing the writer’s decision. This change will be a big hit to what has been a steady income for me for pretty much 10 years. And I understand the desire to cling to the vestiges of AE. It has also been my home for more than a decade and I would absolutely not be the person I am today without it. But this is why I’m leaving. Until the people who own AfterEllen can prove – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that whatever they try to build out of this festering rubble is a real, genuine and sincere attempt at creating engaging/educational/entertaining content for and by queer women – I am out.

We built this together and it matters. We dictate our own history and our own future. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. As previously announced, I’ve climbed on board with the fine folks at Autostraddle where I will be blissfully rejoining my friend Heather Hogan. So look for my writing there in the near future.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My (SGALGG) Moving Crush

Because I didn’t watch the Emmys this year I didn’t do an EMMY SGALGG. But luckily I stumbled on this photo of American Ferrera and Judith Light about to make up, which I will use as my mea culpa. Also “Transparent” is back and I just started watching “Superstore,” which is a lot of fun. And they are both super, feminist, wonderful ladies. So there is that, too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Moving Crush

You guys, I am so incredibly tired right now. So tired. Here is Ellen page is a suit. I’m still tired, but at least there is now Ellen Page in a suit.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Moving Crush

My entire life is sitting around me in cardboard boxes and the bottle opener is missing and the TV and Internet still aren’t working and the only thing keeping me going is the thought of Kate McKinnon and Sigourney Weaver slow-dancing together in perfect little circles around the “Ghostbusters” set.

Monday, September 26, 2016

My (Presidential) Moving Crush

On the day of our the first presidential debate, when expectations have been lowed for Trump so far that if he doesn’t shit on the stage and smear it on Hillary he will be considered “presidential,” here are just a shit-ton of celebrities telling you to please – for fuck’s sake – do the right thing. Though, I’m fine with Mark keeping his pants on.

Friday, September 23, 2016

My Moving Crush: Kristen Bell

I have liked Kristen Bell for a long time, but I have not really watched any of her shows. (Yes, yes – I know “Veronica Mars” is supposed to be awesome - I know.) Her public persona has always been delightful, and also incredibly smart. So during the Olympics when I saw like 30 million ads for “The Good Place”* and it looked, well, good I could not have been more excited. And, indeed, I watched and the first episode Monday was good. Like, really good. It reminds me a little of “Pushing Daisies” in its magical weirdness. And I mean that in the very best way. So now I get to enjoy Kristen the person (who hate the pay gap) and the performer (who hates clown paintings). That’s what I call a win-win.

* Called it The Good Spot because, due to my impending move, I apparently boxed my brain. I think it is somewhere in with the kitchen utensils. Anyway, watch this show!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

My Moving Crush: Angelina Jolie

So Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are dunzo. Is nothing sacred in 2016? What else will this infernal year claim? Sweet merciful Xena, save us from this madness. (And Trump, please please save us from Trump.) Though, I will admit, a itsy bitsy, teeny weeny part of me wants Angie to return to her wild child days now that she is a single lady again. You know, when she danced (and kissed) Peta Wilson with abandon and jumped into hotel pools fully dressed. We can still skip the Billy Bob years, though.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

After AfterEllen

So that’s that. Yesterday news broke that Evolve Media had suddenly decided to shut down AfterEllen. After Friday, there will no longer post regular daily content posted. The archives will remain intact, at least for now. But the site, as we have come to know and love it, will be over.

I cannot tell you how heavy this makes my heart. This is terrible news for so many reasons. So many talented writers have lost their jobs. So many queer women have lost a place to go for news, information and community. So many voices supporting gay women have lost their home. In short, a legacy of advocacy for more and better representation of queer women in the media has come to a close.

On a personal note, AfterEllen changed my life. I started writing for AfterEllen in in 2007 – February 4, 2007 to be exact. When I started with AE I wasn’t just like so many of its readers, I was one of its readers. Site founder Sarah Warn messaged me one day and asked me to write for them. I had, until then, only been a frequent lurker and a sometimes commenter. And I was so deeply, deeply flattered and floored.

The first thing I wrote for AE was a picture post about hot ladies in red dresses. In retrospect, it could not have been more fitting.

For a time I wrote for the site nearly every day. I wrote news, reviews and all manner of silliness in between. You name it, I blogged about it for AE over the last almost 10 years. More recently my work has been largely recaps and interviews, with occasional commentary thrown in for good measure.

The site has evolved and changed hands over the years. Sarah sold it to Viacom and MTV/Logo. MTV/Logo sold it to Evolve Media. It’s focus and tenor has shifted some as well, but never strayed too far from its founding tenet: Visibility Matters. But now its corporate owner has decided that ensuring that visibility for queer women simply isn’t profitable enough, or important enough, for them.

Well, you know what, fuck that. Gay women need a site like AfterEllen. Gay women deserve as rich and robust a media landscape as possible. In fact all underrepresented communities deserve places that are made by them and for them. (So, while you still can and whenever you can, support existing queer women’s media - like, say, Autostraddle.)

Like for so many others, AfterEllen was a lifeline for me when it first started. I grew up in the Midwest and didn’t know a lot of gay ladies back then. For so many gay women, AfterEllen was the first site for gay women they ever visited. AE showed me that there were gay women out there with my same interests and ideas. The same aspirations and the same frustrations.

Through the years I've been humbled time and time again by readers who have written to say how the site, and my writing, has helped them through hard times. Who have said reading things written by gay women for gay women has been important to them, and reminded them of their own importance.

Hell, I am one of the people AfterEllen helped, too. It helped me find my voice and myself. It helped me become the writer – the person – I am today. Being a part of AE allowed me to meet and become friends with so many wonderful women, so many inspiring writers. I thank all the editors who helped mold my writing at AE from Sarah Warn to ScribeGrrrl to Malinda Lo to Karman Kregloe to Heather Hogan to Dana Piccoli to Trish Bendix.

Thanks to all my fellow writers, who did it for the love of celebrating, and when necessary critiquing, queer women’s representation in the media. Yes, I know am leaving so many amazing people out simply because there were so many amazing people who worked for the site.

Never stop believing that queer women’s stories deserve to be told. Lesbian, bisexual and trans women may not be “profitable,” but our lives matter. AE was a place that, at its core, always believed in and championed that simple fact.

So what’s next for me? Well, don’t worry, I’ll keep writing here at Dorothy Surrenders. I’ll keep looking for other outlets that care deeply about LGBT representation. I’ll keep pushing for more and better presentation of queer women in the media.

So thank you, AfterEllen. Thank you for so many things. But possibly most of all thank you for helping me find all of you. I will forever be grateful to AE for that and for you. Thank you for reading along all these years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Moving Crush: Kate McKinnon

So during my time of flux and boxes (when I can’t get a full post up), I’ll be posting some Moving Crushes for you so you still have something pretty to look at because I care. First things first, belated look at the Emmys. I wasn’t in town Sunday night and was busy all day so I actually missed them completely. Sheesh, the one year I miss and Kate McKinnon, Tatiana Maslany and Sarah Paulson all win. My timing is absolutely the worst. THE WORST. Anyway, I had to go searching for clips of their acceptance speeches and Kate’s in particular was just wonderful. But then, Kate is wonderful period. It’s like one of the tenets of lesbianism that you have to have a crush on her, right? Right.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Cuddle Time

Right, so as you can see I have gotten behind on the posting a tad. I am in the midst of a confluence of pretty insane (and incredibly time consuming) life events. In short, I am in the process of moving somewhat unexpectedly (and very begrudgingly). It is all happening rather quickly so all this week I will packing everything I own into cardboard boxes and lugging them across town. Yayyyy. So until things return to normal (and I have a reliable internet service hooked up again) please bear with me as my posting will likely be intermittent. Please accept this otter cuddle party as my sincere apology. And thanks, as always, for reading.