AfterEllen.com, founded in April 2002, is a website that focuses on the portrayal of lesbian and bisexual women in the media. TheBacklot.com, its companion site for gay and bisexual men, was launched in January 2005 under the name AfterElton.com. AfterEllen.com was founded by Sarah Warn, and AfterElton.com by Warn, Michael Jensen, and Brent Hartinger. Warn initially served as the editor in chief of both websites. Michael Jensen became editor in chief of AfterElton.com in November 2005. Karman Kregloe became the editor in chief of AfterEllen.com in November 2009 and Dennis Ayers took over as editor in chief of AfterElton in 2011.
AfterEllen.com is not affiliated with Ellen DeGeneres, although its name refers to DeGeneres's coming out, specifically "The Puppy Episode", the episode where her character came out on her ABC sitcom Ellen.
The site considers television, film, music, books, and celebrity news. It publishes articles, regular columns, reviews, recaps of television shows with lesbian and bisexual characters or subtextual content, and maintains several blogs. More recently, weekly video blogs, often called "vlogs", have become a key part of AfterEllen.com, the more popular of which include "Brunch With Bridget", "Lesbian Love", and "Is This Awesome?" The site also features popular web series, such as the Streamy winning and Webby nominated Anyone But Me.
It is the top website for LGBT women, reaching over 700,000 readers a month as of 2008. In March 2008, it was named one of "the world's 50 most powerful blogs" by British newspaper The Observer for its "irreverent look at how the lesbian community is represented in the media."
In October 2014, it was announced that AfterEllen was acquired by Evolve Media, leaving its parent company Viacom/logo.
TheBacklot.com launched under the name "AfterElton.com". The site is not affiliated with Elton John, although its original name refers to the milestone for gay men when John publicly came out. The site considers television, film, music, books, and celebrity news. It publishes articles, regular columns, reviews, recaps of television shows with gay and bisexual characters, and maintains several blogs, including the "Meme" by Ed Kennedy. Co-founder Michael Jensen was Editor in Chief from 2005 until September 25, 2011, when Dennis Ayers, formerly the site's managing editor, took over as editor of the site.
On January 12, 2012, the site announced that Louis Virtel had been hired as its West Coast entertainment editor.
Dennis Ayers announced on January 31, 2013 that AfterElton would be changing its name to TheBacklot.com in April. The change was motivated by a desire to separate the site from its "AfterEllen's little brother" origin and to reflect the site's general focus on Hollywood and the film and television industry. The relaunch under the new name took place on April 17, 2013.
On June 29, 2015, the site announced that it would be merging with NewNowNext, another LGBT-themed entertainment website owned by Logo. TheBacklot name will be discontinued, and Dan Avery will be editor-in-chief of the combined site.