A GoPride Interview

Trish Bendix

AfterEllen.com's managing editor Trish Bendix talks media, entertainment and comedy

Thu. August 21, 2014  by Adam Guerino

Some personal highlights have been meeting people—musicians, actors, writers, producers, directors—who not only know exactly what AfterEllen is but tell me how much they love it.
Trish Bendix
AfterEllen.com is the largest site for and about lesbian and bisexual women in media and entertainment. They are in Chicago for the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association Convention & LGBT Media Summit and they're throwing a party! Join them on Friday, August 22nd for a few fun hours of cocktails, conversation and comedy at Berlin Nightclub. Managing editor Trish Bendix will not only be throwing the party, she'll also be performing. To talk to her about AfterEllen.com and the big show, comedian Adam Guerino asked her a few questions.

AG: (Adam Guerino) Tell us about AfterEllen.com; how did it began and when did you get started with them?

TB: (Trish Bendix) I've been with AfterEllen since 2008, so 6 years after it was first created by Sarah Warn and only a year or so after it was bought by Logo. The site has grown exponentially in that time because our community has, as well as lesbian/bi visibility. When I first started, we didn't even have enough lesbian/bi content to cover so we also did a lot of women in Hollywood pieces and news about women we loved. Now we have so much to cover, we have to pick and choose and it can be overwhelming. It's a great problem to have.

AG: What have been some of your AfterEllen highlights?

TB: Some personal highlights have been meeting people—musicians, actors, writers, producers, directors—who not only know exactly what AfterEllen is but tell me how much they love it. Once I was interviewing Lisa Edelstein, who was on House at the time, and she told me AfterEllen is the only place that covered her lesbian storyline on the show Relativity back when it was one of the very first lesbian characters and kisses on television. Some other personal favorite interviews include Sarah Paulson, Portia de Rossi and, recently, Emily Rios, who came out to me during our conversation. Seeing how many public figures have come out during my time at AfterEllen really is inspiring. I just wish they wouldn't do it when I'm on a flight. (JODIE FOSTER AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES!!!)

AG: What is your background in writing?

TB: I went to Columbia College for journalism and, at the time, had a focus in magazine writing. I did some internships and a lot of freelancing while in school, mostly about music. But during a college press conference (Columbia Chronicle shoutout!) I saw Albert Williams of the Chicago Reader on a panel. He was talking about his career in covering theater, and how he got his start in gay publications. Having just come out that year, I realized that was something that not only I could do, but wanted to do.

AG: How long did you live in Chicago?

TB: I lived in Chicago for 10 years and I call it my home. I grew up in Michigan but most of that time was spent waiting to get the hell out so when people ask where I'm from, I usually say "Chicawgo" and they say "I knew I heard it in the accent." I lived all over the city—downtown, Ravenswood, Wicker Park, Logan Square, Andersonville, Albany Park. My sister is still here so I come back all the time.

AG: What's on your list of things to do while you're back?

TB: All my friends that have also moved away want to live vicariously through my eating here, so I'm trying to go to all the places I miss (I'm forever a Giordanos die-hard) while also trying some of the new places that have popped up in the close to four years I've been gone. Some of my favorite places in the city, though, are the MCA, Myopic Books, Women & Children First and Quimby's. I like books!

AG: Can you tease us a bit with what you'll be doing at the show Friday?

TB: I'm still deciding what I want to read! But I am thinking something that ties in the personal with lesbian pop culture, of which I have many. I am super excited about the comics, though, and know everyone will love them. This is basically an excuse for me to meet people who like AfterEllen and get to watch comedians that make me laugh in a venue I've spent many a crazy night in. Who doesn't have a Berlin story?!

The AfterEllen.com meet-up and comedy night is Friday, Aug. 22. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. at Berlin Nightclub 954 W Belmont, conveniently off the Belmont CTA train stops (red, brown and purple lines).

Interviewed by Adam Guerino