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Afterellen logo.png
"The pop culture site that plays for your team."
AfterEllen Main Page (screenshot).jpg
Screenshot of AfterEllen main page.
Type of site
Website, blog, news (entertainment, community, society), podcast
Available inEnglish
OwnerLesbian Nation, LLC
Created bySarah Warn
EditorJocelyn Macdonald, Editor in Chief[1]
LaunchedApril 15, 2002; 21 years ago (2002-04-15)
Current statusOnline

AfterEllen (also known as is an American culture website founded in 2002,[2] with a focus on entertainment, interviews, reviews, and news of interest to the lesbian and bisexual women's community.[3] The site covers pop culture and lifestyle issues from a feminist perspective; and the political climate as it pertains to the community.[4] AfterEllen is not affiliated with entertainer Ellen DeGeneres, although its name refers to her coming out, specifically when her character came out in "The Puppy Episode" (1997) on her eponymous sitcom.[5]

AfterEllen originally reported on subjects of popular culture, such as celebrities, fashion, film, television, music, and books; publishing articles, regular columns, opinion pieces, interviews, reviews, recaps of television shows with lesbian and bisexual characters or subtextual content, and popularity contests. Weekly vlogs were a key feature, the more popular of which included "Brunch With Bridget", "Lesbian Love", and "Is This Awesome?" The site also featured popular web series such as the Streamy Award-winning and Webby Award-nominated Anyone But Me.[6] AfterEllen later included news and politics affecting lesbians, bi women, and the general community. Its podcast, Let's Process, ran from 2014 to 2016, and was revived in 2020 as the AfterEllen Podcast. Ownership of the website changed hands in 2006 (Logo), 2014 (Evolve Media), and 2019 (Lesbian Nation).[7][8][9]



AfterEllen was founded April 15, 2002 by Sarah Warn and Lori Grant, under their corporation Erosion Media.[10][3][2] A companion site focusing on the portrayal of gay and bisexual men in the media,, was founded in January 2005.[11] Its name was an homage to Elton John. The site rebranded as in April 2013,[12] and was dissolved in June 2015.[13]


In 2006, AfterEllen and AfterElton were acquired by cable television channel Logo.[7][14][a] In 2007, in response to the popular "Maxim Hot 100" readers contest for heterosexual men, the annual "AfterEllen Hot 100 List" poll of women in "film, television, music, sports and fashion" was created.[15][16][17] The special feature ran until 2016.[citation needed]

In March 2008, AfterEllen was named one of "the world's 50 most powerful blogs" by British newspaper The Guardian for its "irreverent look at how the lesbian community is represented in the media.[5] At the time considered the top website for lesbian women, that same year it averaged "over 700,000 readers" per month.[18]

In October 2009, Sarah Warn announced that associate editor Karman Kregloe would take over as Editor in Chief.[19] In June 2011, the site ranked as the second most popular LGBT website with 203,924 monthly visitors, after The Advocate.[20]


In October 2014, Evolve Media acquired AfterEllen from Viacom Media Networks, the parent company of Logo, and made it a part of its TotallyHer Media subsidiary.[21][8][22][23] Kregloe announced that managing editor Trish Bendix would be assuming the role of Editor in Chief.[24][25] In November 2014, TotallyHer Media announced the launch of The Lphabet, an original AfterEllen online comedy series that would "demystify terms from the lesbian and bi community".[26][27] According to Karman Kregloe, in 2015 AfterEllen "averaged 1.25 million readers" per month.[28]

In September 2016, Trish Bendix announced her departure on her personal Tumblr blog and stated that AfterEllen was shutting down, with only its archive to be kept live.[29] TotallyHer Media denied the allegation by Bendix, calling it a "false rumor",[30][31] and on September 20, 2016, Evolve Media fired Bendix ahead of her scheduled departure.[32][33] Bendix told The Advocate, "I share the feelings of the community at large that contributing to a site that is run by a cisgender, heterosexual male is not what we are looking for in a virtual home".[34] Emrah Kovacoglu, General Manager of TotallyHer Media, explained that a drawback was triggered by the lack of "increased audience" and "enough advertiser support to justify continuing to invest at the same levels".[30][28]

Memoree Joelle became Editor in Chief of AfterEllen in December 2016.[35] Joelle promised readers that there would be a return to the website's original intention of maintaining a "feminist perspective" and staying "true to a lesbian/bi perspective", as well as "more racial diversity and age diversity".[35] Soon afterwards, Joelle issued a statement in which she questioned the motives behind the increase in "attack" language directed at lesbians from members of the LGBT community, and the decline in interest within it "to hear the variety of perspectives in our community".[36] Under her editorial direction, articles and essays of political nature became more frequent.

In December 2016, Joelle added her personal signature and endorsement statement to the "L is out of GBT" petition on

I'm signing because I see the word lesbian becoming a bad word under lgbt, in a time when it's trendy to be pansexual or fluid, etc which are all newly invented terms. I don't agree with the word queer being applied to me under this acronym as it isn't accurate, and I don't agree with all of the gender politics the lgbt acronym focuses on. Further, I don't appreciate being lumped into an acronym where the only thing we have in common is being minorities, as it is more apparent that it erases lesbian identity rather than supporting/including it.[37]

Former AfterEllen senior editor Heather Hogan criticized Joelle on Twitter for doing so,[38] accusing Joelle of promoting a "lesbophobia" movement on AfterEllen which, according to Hogan, was a disguise for "anti-trans, anti-bi" rhetoric.[39] Joelle denied Hogan's accusations and described her reasoning as "a FORM of activism".[40]

In 2018 — after banning use of the controversial term "TERF"[41] on its website and social media channels,[42][43] publishing articles such as "Girl Dick, the Cotton Ceiling and the Cultural War on Lesbians, Girls and Women" by Miranda Yardley,[44] and the op-ed "How I became the most hated lesbian in Baltimore" by Julia Beck,[45] as well as for giving publicity to vloggers who criticized trans women activism in the lesbian community[46] — AfterEllen (although not specifically mentioned) was by implication accused of transphobia in a general declaration titled "Not in our name" signed by representatives of nine lesbian and queer publications in which "trans misogynistic content" in "so-called lesbian publications" was condemned, including "male-owned media companies" that profited "from the traffic generated by [such] controversies".[47][48] The trans-related controversy received coverage on NBC Out, the LGBTQ section of mainstream media NBC News.[49] In response to NBC Out's news story, Joelle and AfterEllen colleagues described the "Not in our name" statement as "a continuation of a false narrative that's been created to perpetuate division and anxiety within the lesbian community", and denounced the backlash launched against AfterEllen for addressing issues such as "lesbians [being] called 'vagina fetishists' with 'genital preferences'";[b] repudiating the "idea that lesbians are not allowed to have an opinion, or feel anything for that matter. That we can't have any autonomy. That we must bow to groupthink at every turn or be subjected to homophobic slurs, attacks on our jobs, doxing."[50] It was also revealed that AfterEllen "was sign the statement as well, the day after it was released."[50]


In March 2019, AfterEllen was bought by Lesbian Nation, a multimedia company owned by Memoree Joelle and business partner Gaye Chapman.[51][9][52][4] With this change in ownership, articles and opinion pieces concerning controversies affecting lesbians and bisexual women increased.

"AfterEllen does not use the word queer to describe lesbians" was announced in an editorial addendum to a March 2020 article.[53] In September 2020, the site declared their stance on terms used for referring to females: "We will NEVER use the words 'womxn' or 'cis' or any other derogatory, insulting, abusive terms directed at females. Women are women."[54]

In June 2020, Joelle announced the promotion of Jocelyn Macdonald, managing editor of AfterEllen, to Editor in Chief.[55]

In December 2020, the website experienced technical difficulties and was inaccessible for a week, prompting Out to publish a hostile article speculating about AfterEllen's demise.[56] Gaye Chapman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Lesbian Nation LLC, issued a rebuke through her Twitter account and announced that the site would "be back soon".[56]

On February 18, 2021, AfterEllen announced that the business partnership between Gaye Chapman and Memoree Joelle had been dissolved, with Chapman retaining sole ownership of Lesbian Nation LLC and AfterEllen.[57]


AfterEllen's official podcast, Let's Process, premiered on November 18, 2014, and continued until January 13, 2016.[58][59][60] The podcast was relaunched under a new name, AfterEllen Podcast, on April 29, 2020.[61][62][63]

See also[edit]

American lesbian-related publications:


  1. ^ AfterElton, AfterEllen's companion site for gay and bisexual men, was launched in January 2005[11] (later renamed
  2. ^ Re "Vagina fetishists":
    • Ditum, Sarah (11 July 2018). "Why were lesbians protesting at Pride? Because the LGBT coalition leaves women behind". New Statesman. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
    • Heuchan, Claire (July 1, 2017). "The Vanishing Point: A Reflection Upon Lesbian Erasure". Sister Outrider. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
    Re "Genital preferences":


  1. ^ "About". AfterEllen. Lesbian Nation LLC. 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b Voo, Jocelyn; Anderson-Minshall, Diane (June 1, 2005). "Other clicks.(tech girl)(". Curve. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2011. (via HighBeam Research)
  3. ^ a b "About". AfterEllen. 2002. Archived from the original on April 19, 2002. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "About". AfterEllen. Lesbian Nation. 2019. Archived from the original on October 8, 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b Aldred, Jessica; Astell, Amanda; Behr, Rafael; Cochrane, Lauren; Hind, John; Pickard, Anna; Potter, Laura; Wignall, Alice; Wiseman, Eva (9 March 2008). "The world's 50 most powerful blogs". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  6. ^ Cohen, Joshua (August 9, 2011). "Indie Drama 'Anyone But Me' Hits 10 Million Views". Tubefilter. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b Warn, Sarah (June 5, 2006). "Letter from the Editor: Announcing our Acquisition by Logo". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on September 25, 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b Dave, Paresh (October 7, 2014). " acquired by Evolve Media from Viacom". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b Newsdesk (14 March 2019). " acquired by new owners". The Gay UK. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  10. ^ Frey, Mattias; Sayad, Cecilia, eds. (2015). Film Criticism in the Digital Age. Rutgers University Press. p. 125. ISBN 978-0813570730.
  11. ^ a b "Erosion Media Launches" (Press release). Erosion Media. 3 January 2005. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  12. ^ Ayers, Dennis (January 31, 2013). "R.I.P. AfterElton. And What the Hell is "The Backlot"?". TheBacklot. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  13. ^ Ayers, Dennis (June 29, 2015). "Changes At TheBacklot". TheBacklot. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  14. ^ Kramer, Staci D. (June 8, 2006). "MTVN's Logo Acquires Three LGBT Sites". GigaOm. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  15. ^ scribegrrrl (June 6, 2007). "The Hot 100 List". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. Retrieved 15 October 2019. ...what straight men and lesbians find sexy in a woman is a little bit different.
  16. ^ Brownlee, John (June 12, 2007). "Lesbians Vote On The 100 Hottest Women". Wired. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  17. ^ Logo (April 10, 2009). " and Heat Things Up With Their Third Annual "Hot 100" List" (Press release). New York: Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  18. ^ Warn, Sarah (June 20, 2008). "Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (June 20, 2008)". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on August 9, 2008.
  19. ^ Warn, Sarah (October 26, 2009). "Passing the Torch". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on October 28, 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  20. ^ Cision Staff (June 30, 2011). "Top 10 LGBT Websites and Blogs". Cision. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  21. ^ writer (October 7, 2014). "Evolve's TotallyHer Acquires" (Press release). Los Angeles: Business Wire. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  22. ^ Castillo, Michelle (October 7, 2014). "Evolve Media Acquires". Adweek. Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  23. ^ Garcia, Michelle (October 7, 2014). "AfterEllen Leaves Logo Online For Enthusiast Publisher EvolveMedia". The Advocate. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  24. ^ Kregloe, Karman (October 7, 2014). "Evolve's TotallyHer Acquires". AfterEllen. TotallyHer Media. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  25. ^ "About". AfterEllen. TotallyHer Media. 2014. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014.
  26. ^ writer (November 6, 2014). "TotallyHer Media's Recently Acquired Launches Original Series, The Lphabet" (Press release). Los Angeles: Evolve Media. Gorilla Nation. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Video: AfterEllen Launches New Lphabet Web Series". Tagg. November 6, 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  28. ^ a b Bianco, Marcie (October 6, 2016). "Lesbian culture is being erased because investors think only gay men (and straight people) have money". Quartz. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  29. ^ Bendix, Trish (September 20, 2016). "Eulogy for the Living". Tumblr. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  30. ^ a b Kovacogluon, Emrah (September 21, 2016). "False Rumor: We Are Not Shutting Down!". AfterEllen. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  31. ^ Edwards, Stassa (September 21, 2016). "AfterEllen EIC Says Site Will Shut Down on Friday While Corporate Owner Calls It a 'False Rumor'". Jezebel. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  32. ^ Browning, Bil (September 21, 2016). "AfterEllen publishers deny shutdown, fire editor after advertiser blowback". LGBTQ Nation. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  33. ^ Horgan, Richard (September 23, 2016). "A Messy Exit for the EIC of AfterEllen". Adweek. Archived from the original on December 10, 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  34. ^ Daley, Elizabeth (September 21, 2016). "Lesbian Website AfterEllen to Be Run by Straight Men?". The Advocate. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  35. ^ a b Joelle, Memoree (December 12, 2016). "Greetings From Your New Editor-in-Chief". AfterEllen. TotallyHer Media. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  36. ^ Joelle, Memoree (December 30, 2016). "Letter From the Editor: What Our 1 Resolution Should Be in 2017". AfterEllen. TotallyHer Media. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  37. ^ Statement: L is out of GBT (April 2, 2016). p. Reasons for signing. Retrieved 11 April 2019. @ (The URL for is blocked due to spamming and cannot be linked with a citation template.)
  38. ^ Heather Hogan [@theheatherhogan] (29 December 2016). "But the new AfterEllen editor signed a "take the L out of LGBT petition" and tweeted at me and tweeted a "lesbophobia" article" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 April 2019 – via Twitter.
  39. ^ Heather Hogan [@theheatherhogan] (29 December 2016). "And a loud group of people are shielding themselves behind AE's history to spread that kind of anti-trans, anti-bi, etc. toxic thinking" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 April 2019 – via Twitter.
  40. ^ Memoree Joelle [@memoreejoelle] (29 December 2016). "Replying to @theheatherhogan. I signed a petition that did not mention anything about trans ppl it was about a FORM of activism" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 April 2019 – via Twitter.
  41. ^ Weinberg, Justin (August 27, 2018). "Derogatory Language in Philosophy Journal Risks Increased Hostility and Diminished Discussion (guest post) (Update: Response from Editors)". Daily Nous. Archived from the original on August 28, 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  42. ^ [@afterellen] (29 November 2018). "Be advised we don't allow the use of slurs on our page or social channels" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 April 2019 – via Twitter.
  43. ^ [@afterellen] (29 November 2018). "people using the term will be blocked" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 April 2019 – via Twitter.
  44. ^ Yardley, Miranda (December 5, 2018). "Girl Dick, the Cotton Ceiling and the Cultural War on Lesbians, Girls and Women". AfterEllen. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  45. ^ Beck, Julia (December 10, 2018). "How I became the most hated lesbian in Baltimore". AfterEllen. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  46. ^ [@afterellen] (1 December 2018). "Dear Trans Women, Stop Pushing "Girl Dick" On Lesbians via @YouTube" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 April 2019 – via Twitter.
  47. ^ "Not in our name". Diva. 19 December 2018. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  48. ^ Gilchrist, Tracy E. (December 19, 2018). "Female Editors Reject AfterEllen, Other Sites' Anti-Trans Agenda". The Advocate. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  49. ^ Compton, Julie (January 14, 2019). "'Pro-lesbian' or 'trans-exclusionary'? Old animosities boil into public view". NBC News. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  50. ^ a b Joelle, Memoree (January 15, 2019). "AfterEllen's Response to NBC OUT (Full Statement)". AfterEllen. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  51. ^ Joelle, Memoree (March 4, 2019). "Announcing Our Acquisition by Lesbian Nation!". AfterEllen. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  52. ^ "Lesbian Nation Has Acquired AfterEllen from Evolve Media". AfterEllen. March 22, 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  53. ^ Heuchan, Claire (March 6, 2020). "Lezbehonest, Opposing Same-Sex Attraction is Homophobic". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on March 7, 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  54. ^ [@afterellen] (September 8, 2020). "We will NEVER use the words "womxn" or "cis" or any other derogatory, insulting, abusive terms directed at females. Women are women" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 10 September 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020 – via Twitter.
  55. ^ Joelle, Memoree (June 8, 2020). "A Farewell From Your Editor in Chief, and Here's to New Beginnings". AfterEllen. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  56. ^ a b Rude, Mey (December 2, 2020). "UPDATE: It Sadly Doesn't Look Like AfterEllen Is Dead Quite Yet". Out. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  57. ^ [@afterellen] (18 February 2021). "Their partnership owned AfterEllen. Memoree still had access to our Twitter account and used it to like things that are not representative of AE, our business, or our politics. Gaye Chapman @my_real_name is now the sole owner of Lesbian Nation LLC and AfterEllen. 2/" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 May 2021 – via Twitter.
  58. ^ "AfterEllen's Podcast "Let's Process"". PlayerFM. March 16, 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  59. ^ Piccoli, Dana (November 18, 2014). "AfterEllen's podcast "Let's Process" debuts with "Carmilla" cast as special guests". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  60. ^ Piccoli, Dana (January 13, 2016). "AfterEllen's podcast "Let's Process" Episode 16: Amber Benson". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on January 17, 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  61. ^ "AfterEllen Podcast". Podbean. 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  62. ^ [@afterellen] (April 29, 2020). "Introducing the AE podcast! Our first episode is a SportsCast segment with Gabrielle - more episodes to roll out in the weeks ahead! Sportscast Episode 1! Interview With Daria Berenato" (Tweet). Retrieved July 9, 2020 – via Twitter.
  63. ^ Alejandro, Gabrielle (April 29, 2020). "Sportscast Episode 1! Interview With Daria Berenato". AfterEllen. Retrieved 9 July 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]