Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Its the end of the world as we know it.

Well I am breaking out of hibernation for this one people. As always I hope this finds you well and safe in your little corner of the world. It’s been a little while I know. I was a little busy getting married and neglected my writing. Now with that done (happily) I am back and will aim to write more for you.

Over the years I have told you about my coming out, I’ve recapped shows with fantastic LGBT characters and I have ranted, oh have I ranted, about our portrayal (or lack thereof) in mainstream media. When trying to understand myself I remember looking to TV and film to find people like me. People who were going through the same thing as I was. People facing the same reality as I. When I was a wee baby dyke with nowhere to turn I fell on a website that changed my life. (or TV and Film girl as it was called way way WAY back) was my Mecca. It was the place of my dreams. Back then it followed the few gay characters that existed for us to live vicariously through as well as provided an interactive message board that allowed like minded people to meet, share experiences and bond over the constant death of our most cherished characters (a trend that hasn’t slowed sadly.) Through we grew with the characters we saw in movies and TV. When they came out it helped give us the courage and comfort to do the same.  We bonded over loss, celebrated victories, some small and some not so small and became friends, all within the hallowed digital walls of

Over the years Afterellen has grown from a small communal website to an entertainment powerhouse. It became the place for entertainment information. It launched the careers of comedians, vloggers, bloggers and introduced us to queer characters from around the world. We own Afterellen for Bridget Mcmanus and Julie Goldman amoung many others. In one site we could learn about the latest TV character, read a piece on a political movement and vote for our favorite celebrity. It covered every possible subject you could need.

Today, it was announced that as of this Friday it would be shutting down and closing. A site that has run for more than 12 years and had changed so many lives is saying goodbye. We have mourned so many lesbian character deaths this year that this only seems like a fitting, albeit sad, end for us to face. We are all in shock. What’s worse is that it’s being shut down because it’s not making as much money for the company that now owns it would like. Sadly it’s the end of an era.

Afterellen will be gone soon, but what it’s leaving behind is a true testament to the power of this site. On top of the fact that it helped me discover myself all those years back, it’s left me some amazing friends that I still talk to today. We have all grown so much since that site first launched. We have seen one another get married, have kids, move across the world, come out and so much more. We have been there to witness one another’s achievements and been able to celebrate each and every one in time. Thanks to Facebook we have been able to stay close when the message boards stopped working years back and have been able to stay connected all these years.

I cherished this friendship so much. With the exception of two people in Toronto I have never had the honor of meeting any of my Afterellen friends in person, something I hope I can change in the future. These are people I value so much and appreciate their friendship in turn. Life would not be as fun without them.

So Kirsty, Sharon, Sonia, Kris, Kel and Rachelle here’s to life Afterellen.

Cory A.K.A Soupie

 (The only Afterelleners I have had the pleasure of meeting.)