.GAY Creates Safer LGBTQ Spaces — Online & Offline
Launching to the world on September 16, 2020, .gay domains are one of the most exciting new top-level domains to come to market in recent memory. With its groundbreaking policies that prohibit anti-LGBTQ hate and harassment, .gay goes above and beyond to create a safer space for LGBTQ people. Despite the vibrant, supportive, and creative communities that LGBTQ people have developed on the internet, many digital spaces are targeted with hate speech, bullying, and abuse. While nothing can completely remove hate and harassment from the internet, the .gay registry is committed to changing the industry status quo and making .gay domains a place that enhances safety and support for LGBTQ people — both online and offline.
Safer in Real Life
LGBTQ people, from youth to adults, face a disproportionate amount of bullying and violence. This is proven by so many individual experiences, as well as numerous statistics and studies. Notably, 4 out of 5 students experience harassment based on their appearance or perceived sexual orientation, and nearly every student surveyed (98.5%) heard the word “gay” being used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”). The psychological trauma, especially on youth, is troubling enough, but unfortunately the issues too often result or manifest as physical violence as well. 1 in 5 hate crimes is motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias, suicide victims experience higher rates of bullying before their death, and Black, Indigenous and people of color that also identify within the LGBTQ community are the victims of an overwhelming amount of violence. This is especially true of Black trans women.
Of course, a domain can not solve these grave social problems, but .gay aims to be a supportive new space to help LGBTQ people and allies looking to create safety online and off.
By donating 20% of new registration revenue to its beneficiary partners, .gay leverages its entire platform to help provide real safe spaces for LGBTQ communities. One of .gay’s beneficiary partners, CenterLink, is an umbrella organization comprising over 250 LGBTQ centers around the world. These centers are physical safe spaces, and while the services each offer may vary, they are united by a common purpose to validate, uplift, and protect people in their local LGBTQ communities. The work CenterLink does saves lives, and .gay is unique among domains for its support of that lifesaving work. Few other online initiatives have so much impact in the real world.
Additionally, as .gay has activated a limited number of names before its wider release, we’ve seen tangible examples of how individual .gay sites can help keep people safe in the real world.
- GamersFor.gay is run by a gaming community that is united around fundraising to benefit youth facing health issues, and their .gay site is dedicated to fundraising for The Trevor Project, an amazing support organization focused on suicide prevention and mental health resources for LGBTQ youth.
- Pittsburgh.gay is being used by The Delta Foundation, a Pittsburgh LGBTQ advocacy organization, to provide authoritative local information on COIVD-19. The pandemic is more dangerous for the LGBTQ community due to increased difficulties and risk factors such as discrimination, financial hardship, access to health insurance and health care, pre-existing conditions, and lack of family support.
- Feeling.gay comes from Aleksandr Peikrishvili, a therapist who specializes in helping LGBTQ individuals facing trauma, informed by his own lived experiences as a gay man, an empathetic being, and a bicultural immigrant.
- These grass-roots activists and community leaders are joined by flagship LGBTQ advocacy organizations such as CenterLink itself, using CenterLink.gay, and PFLAG at PFLAG.gay.
Bear in mind that even experiences that allies and others take for granted, such as traveling, require extra safety precautions for individuals in LGBT communities. Companies and groups involved in making travel safer for LGBTQ people are also getting involved in .gay. The gay travel booking site MisterBandB is using MisterBandB.gay, and the International LGBTQ Travel Association has activated IGLTA.gay. There is also an interesting and useful new site at Phuket.gay that specifically caters to LGBTQ travelers looking for insider tips about this popular beach destination in Thailand.
Some registries have policies about acceptable use, but the status quo generally is that offensive website content can only be dealt with via legal proceedings. .gay rejects this status quo, and has instituted an industry-leading “.gay Right Protections” policy. Complaints will be received and investigated, and violators of the policy will be removed from .gay. The policy forbids:
- Inciting or promoting violence against LGBTQ persons;
- Bullying, engaging in cyber bullying or inciting others to bully;
- Harassing, or encouraging others to harass or harm others;
- Abusive intent to cause fear or threaten violence;
- Hate speech;
- or activity intended to organize, coordinate, or otherwise enable one of the above.
Additionally, registrations are prohibited to recognized hate groups, and .gay domains with forums must have enforcement policies and capabilities to respond to contributor behavior that violates the above.
This is a new and unique policy within the domain industry. The team at .gay believes that .gay itself has been so pridefully branded, and is so inherently in service of LGBTQ communities (including via donation), that many haters are likely to stay away. However, is prepared to respond to hate when it does arrive.
Be part of the change: get your .gay domain now
Dynadot begins carrying .gay during its Early Access Phase. This phase lasts from September 8–15, and a one-time fee lessens each day. (This is known as a “Dutch auction.”) After that, .gay will be available on September 16th on a first-come, first-served basis!
We’re impressed by the early adopters of .gay, the customer interest, and the outpouring of support for this unique and welcoming new domain. Anyone who is a part of, allied with, or working with or for LGBTQ communities around the world should consider how .gay could become a part of their online presence.