Oh, Snap! 18 Websites That Pay Writers for LGBTQ Content

Editor

18 Paying Sites that Want LGBTQ Content. Makealivingwriting.com

“It’s a real hustle, you sure you want to quit your job at Harvard?”

That’s the response I usually got from family and friends when I talked about leaving my day job to become a full-time freelancer. So I put it off.

But after thee years as a smoking cessation counselor and researcher at Harvard Medical Center, I knew I needed to leave academia. The work was boring. The people were toxic. The egos were huge. And it never seemed like any of my patients ever quit smoking.

Ever wonder if you can make it as a full-time freelancer, find your niche, and get paid to write?

I did. So I started freelancing on the side. Within a year I took the leap and quit my day job. I’ve been freelancing full time for seven months, and I can’t imagine going back to a J-O-B.

Trying to find your niche? Some writers seem to have that dialed in from day one. It took me a little longer to figure out where to find good-paying clients. But what I’ve been able to accomplish as an LGBTQ writer in a short amount of time is proof that you can be a successful freelance writer in just about any niche.

Here’s the basics about how I found my niche, along with 18 websites that pay writers $50 or more per article for LGBTQ content.

Expand your niche to find more clients

When I got started, I thought I might be able to write exclusively about being a bisexual man, and the experiences of biphobia I’ve encountered from both straight women and gay men. Alas, while various editors loved the pieces, it was not something I could write 20 pieces about a month. This approach was a little too narrow, so I expanded my niche and started getting more work and making more money.

Now I write about gay sex. I found that many LGBTQ sites have a need for honest and personal pieces about sex and are willing to pay pro rates. Since I’ve found my niche, I’ve had no problem finding work consistently. I write about sex, sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and queer culture.

If you’re interested in writing in the LGBTQ niche, you need to understand the market and the target audience, just like any other niche.

Most of the LGBTQ sites I write for want identity pieces that discuss the untold stories of what it’s like to be gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, sexually fluid, polyamorous, etc. They’re looking to share the stories of queer men/women/genderqueer folks, and want pieces that discuss how queer life is influenced by the modern political and cultural climate.

18 LGBTQ websites that pay $50+

If you want to write about the LGBTQ community, issues, lifestyle, and people, you can make make a living writing in this niche. Check out these websites that pay writers $50 or more per article:

1. Gay Pop Buzz pays $50 for personal identity pieces in It Really Happened. These pieces focus on real, embarrassing things that happened to you (as a gay/bisexual man). Contact: John Hollywood, misterhollywood43@gmail.com

2. Bisexual.org pays $100 for pieces on bisexuality. Pitch critical thought pieces, personal identity essays, or news stories with a bisexual spin. Contact is Talia Squires, talia@bi.org.

3. Buzzfeed LGBT pays $200-300 an article, and they’re looking for powerful, emotional, personal pieces that pull at your heart. Contact Buzzfeed LGBT editor Shannon Keating, keating@buzzfeed.com.

4. Vice pay rate varies, starting at $200 per article. (Make sure to keep your piece under 1,200 words). Vice has a new(ish) LGBTQ editor who’s actively looking for LGBTQ identity pieces. Contact Tyler Trykowski, tyler.trykowski@vice.com.

5. The Advocate pays $0-50 an article. Pitch op-ed and personal identity pieces. Contact Neal Broverman, broverman@heremedia.com.

6. PRIDE is a sister site to The Advocate that serves LGBTQ millennials. Pay $0-50 an article as well. Pitch fun list articles about sex, dating, and queer life, and personal identity pieces. Contact editor-in-chief Levi Chambers, levi@pride.com, or deputy editor Tracy Gilchrist, tracy@pride.com.

7. XoJane pays $50 for It Happened to Me, which features personal queer identity pieces (mainly for women, but men, too). Contact editor Emily McCombs, emily@xojane.com.

8. Bustle pays $50-75 an article (depending on length) and features queer, personal identity pieces as well as queer lists. Submit completed articles for consideration instead of pitching. Contact features editor Rachel Krantz with submissions, Rachel@bustle.com.

9. YourTango pays $50 an article for a variety of queer pieces about love, sex, and dating. (I’m currently writing a piece for them about why I love dating couples.) Contact Andrea Zimmerman directly with pitches, andreaz@yourtango.com.

10. Cosmopolitan pays $250-300 for personal identity pieces. They’re no longer “Old Cosmo” and don’t want pieces about how to please your man. They now want personal pieces about how you tried something out of the box, were scared to try it, but it paid off in the end by enhancing your relationship. Query sex and relationships senior editor Alex Drucker, ADrucker@hearst.com.

11. Surge App pays $150 per article. This is a new dating app for gay men, similar to Tinder. Also needs blog post writers. Contact Michaela with pitches at szilvasova@strv.com.

12. New York Times Modern Love reportedly pays up to $300 an article. Submissions should be complete between 1,500 and 1,700 words. The editor is Daniel Jones, and he will reply if interested or not within two months. Like it or not, it’s best to use the generic modern love submissions email at modernlove@newyorktimes.com.

13. Salon pays $100-200 an article and publishes some queer female pieces.

14. Mic has two paying sections that actively publish pieces about queer folks: Identities and Connections. They don’t want strictly personal identity pieces, but rather want pieces rooted in a larger cultural context with (many) quotes from people you’ve interviewed. Pay rate differs depending on the piece, so be prepared to negotiate. Average is around $100. Email editor EJ Dickson at ejdickson@mic.com with pitches and submissions.

15. Upworthy pays $150-200 for short 500-word posts about LGBTQ topics. Use the form to submit your pitch.

16. The Daily Dot reportedly pays $50 an article but asks you to submit to tips@dailydot.com, which is a blackhole. I’ve pitched a number of times and haven’t received a response. That said, Austin Powell is the managing editor, so if you can find his email, reach out to him directly.

17. Everyday Feminism pays $75 an article, but they’re not always accepting unsolicited submissions. They want critical feminist, social justice-type pieces.

18. Bitch Magazine Website looks for commentaries on pop culture, which can include queer commentaries, as well as personal identity pieces about being queer. Pay is variable, so negotiate for the pay you want.

BONUS: Huffington Post Queer Voices. Ok, so you’re not going to get paid writing for the Huffington Post. But it gets a lot of traffic and can help boost your portfolio as an LGBTQ writer. Contact editor-in-chief Noah Michelson, at noah.michelson@huffingtonpost.com.

Know any websites that pay for LGBTQ content? Let us know in the comments below.

Zachary Zane writes about sexuality, gender, and relationships. His work can be seen at zacharyzane.com

Grow your Writing Income. Freelancewritersden.com

35 Comments

  1. Damon

    Finally….. As a transguy, I was wondering about this very concept not long ago. Oh the ideas in my head regarding identity, relationships, etc. Thanks.

    • Carol Tice

      Go for it, Damon!

    • Zachary Zane

      Glad I could help, Damon. Can’t wait to read about them!

      • Damon

        Appreciate it. Guess its time to start pitching. It’s too narrow of a niche I believe; however, it’d be awesome to see a publication for deaf and trans.

  2. Janet Thomson

    Zachary thanks for the list. Some of the markets are new to me. Curvemag.com is another LGBTQ source. I’m not sure about the rate.

    • Zachary Zane

      Hi Janet, thanks for letting me know! I can look into seeing what their rate is.

  3. Evan Jensen

    Hi Zachary,
    LGBTQ isn’t my niche, but the paying sites you’ve compiled here should serve as a reminder to all writers that it’s possible to make money as a freelancer in many different niches. Love your one-year-side-hustle-to-full-time-freelancing journey.

    • Zachary Zane

      Thank you so much, Evan!

  4. Brad Cruise

    good. its all about making money, what I like. fine list. thanks 😉

    • Zachary Zane

      Glad I could help, Brad!

  5. Chana Roberts

    Is Noah the general editor-in-chief? Or just the LGBQ one?

    • Zachary Zane

      Noah is the editor in chief of Queer Voices. He’s not the EIC of the whole site.

      • Chana Roberts

        Thanks. (I asked because I know Arianna recently stepped down, and wasn’t sure who the new EIC was.)

      • Carol Tice

        You’d never want to pitch the EIC anyway — too high up the chain. 😉 The section editor, like Zach has given here, is the one you want. 😉

  6. Victoria

    Hi Carol,

    Many thanks for the list. It’s very helpful.

    The only thing I would change is the email address of the Vice editor, Tyler Trykowski. His real email is tyler.trykowski@vice.com

    I first sent him an email on the address you indicated, yet I received a failure notification. Being interested in communicating with him, I decided to dig deeper and I searched for his email using some “hunting” tools. The results showed me this second email. I sent him a pitch, and he replied to me, so it works. 🙂

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks for the tip, Victoria! We’ll correct.

      • Evan Jensen

        Thanks Victoria. Updated Tyler’s email address.

  7. D Kendra Francesco

    Glad to see this. I had no idea how many places existed for LGBTQ writing. I’m certainly going to look into it.

    As a bi, I’ve had a few from the LGBTQ community who tried to shame me. It shocked them when I pointed out that as much as THEY hate bigotry, they’d better not use it on me. (Made them stop and think, though.)

    • Carol Tice

      Oooh, I think that’s JUST the sort of thing they LOVE to get essays about on these types of sites. 😉

  8. John Rodgers

    This is a good list, it is hard to find places to write for regardless of your lifestyle. I travel on the road 365 days a year and any source that will pay for good articles is a source to contact.

  9. Robert Schneider

    I used to be a cabinetmaker and have also done some building work. I found my niche in home improvement sites. There’s a niche for everything, I think.

  10. Jones Kerrin

    So happy to read this! It only shows proof that going niche is the right way to go if you want to have a thriving freelance writing business. These LBGT sites are eye-openers for me 🙂

    • Zachary Zane

      Glad to hear it!

  11. Kimberly Smith

    Hello, new freelance writer here!

    I was wondering if straight people can write for this niche as well? I’m a straight married woman, but have been affected by LGBTQ issues and events most of my life, especially since I have been living in Atlanta, Georgia for almost 15 years, and here is a veritable hot bed of said culture. Do you think I will be as accepted in writing for this niche?

    • Zachary Zane

      Hi Kimberly,

      I think so. There are always places that are looking for straight advocates. I would still try to pitch.

      • Carol Tice

        Also, several of these sites like Cosmo are looking for a VARIETY of personal essay topics, Kimberly.

        • Kimberly Smith

          Good! Thank you Carol & Zachary.

  12. Reuben

    Hello, new in freelance writing and very much interested in writing but currently out side Europe how best can i begin, even without a web sight can i make it carol ? advice me.

    • Carol Tice

      I’m not a fortune-teller, Reuben…and I’m outside Europe as well. 😉 Freelance writers certainly live all over the world.

      While I do know a very few writers who’re doing OK without a website, in general it’s considered an essential item for any writer looking to be taken seriously online these days. Otherwise, you’re just lurking around Upwork for Fiverr taking whatever low-paid work is on offer.

      • Reuben

        Thanks a lot Carol for this wonderful advice.

  13. JL Nichols

    My 5-year-old daughter is trans. The last three years or so, as we’ve made our way from “it’s just a phase” to grieving for our lost son, and getting to know our child as a girl has been a whirlwind.

    Just getting the school and pediatrician on board was an event. 🙂

    More than just the writing opportunities, it’s pretty cool to know I’m not alone in the community.

  14. Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh

    Thanks for the great resource. Just a head’s up…the Buzzfeed is shannon.keating not just keating. Cheers!

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks for the tip on that, Veronica!

  15. Ashley

    Thank you so much for posting this <3

  16. Gudtalent Chrisent

    Thanks for sharing, Never knew NYT is paying as well.

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