.gay

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.gay
IntroducedSeptember 16, 2020 (general public)
TLD typeGeneric top-level domain (gTLD)
StatusActive
RegistryTop Level Design
Intended useLGBT community

.gay is a top-level domain name. It was proposed in ICANN's New generic top-level domain (gTLD) Program, and became available to the general public in September 2020. Top Level Design is the domain name registry for the string.

History[edit]

Creation and contention[edit]

By 2011, the groups Dot Gay Alliance and dotgay LLC had expressed interest in operating the generic top-level domain (gTLD),[1] which became one of approximately 2,000 new gTLDs formally requested in 2012.[2][3] The .gay gTLD was one of 84 that received applications in the "community-based category".[4] Some officials of conservative Arab nations opposed creation of the gTLD.[1] In 2012, the Saudi Arabian government objected to use of .gay domains, alongside the .baby, .bar, .casino, .islam, .sex., and .wine gTLDs and others.[5][6][7] The Saudi communications authority known as the Communications and Information Technology Commission said .gay domains "would promote homosexuality and would be offensive to 'many societies and cultures'".[6] In August, The Verge's Kimber Streams said "several organized campaigns and petitions were filed against .sex and .gay domains in attempt to communicate large numbers of opposition."[8]

In April 2012, Top Level Design and three other applicants including dotgay LLC had applied to operate the gTLD.[9] In a guest column published by the LGBT publication PQ Monthly in October 2013, the domain name registry's CEO Ray King said he was inspired to apply for .gay by his late gay brother-in-law Clyde and other family members. King outlined why he wanted the gTLD to remain open in order to benefit the global LGBT community, using three main concepts: "Freedom of Choice", meaning the purpose of gTLDs like .gay and .lgbt should not be defined by gatekeepers; "Freedom of Speech", or not allowing censorship of content appearing on .gay domains; and the "Freedom to Register", suggesting there should not be a barrier to authenticate oneself as LGBTQ to register a .gay domain. In the latter concept, King argued against the need for domain purchasers to become a member of an "Authentication Partner" (LGBT organizations such as the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association or Human Rights Campaign), who would be required to create usernames and passwords for all of their members. According to King, "This means higher costs, disenfranchising many potential registrants such as youth and people in developing countries and also, forced identification, which to some may be anywhere from distasteful to outright dangerous. Further, there are many LGBTQ folks who simply do not wish to participate in formal organizations."[10] The column concluded by asking community members to express their support or opposition of an open .gay gTLD.[10]

In November 2013, Q Center, an LGBT community center in Portland, Oregon, published arguments by King on behalf of Top Level Design and Jamie Baxter on behalf of dotgay LLC; both groups expressed why they should be the registry for .gay, and were seeking community support.[11][12] Slate magazine also covered the .gay contention.[13] dotgay LLC's community application was denied by ICANN's Community Priority Evaluation committee in October 2014.[14][15] The decision was appealed and denied multiple times. The main reason for the denial was that the TLD ".gay" did not match defined dotgay LLC's stated community of LGBTQIA, and that the organizations in support were not necessarily representative of the global population; "There is no single such organization recognized by the defined community as representative of the community".[16]

In 2016, in an opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal, L. Gordon Crovitz wrote: "[ICANN] also refuses to award the .gay domain to community groups representing gay people around the world. [ICANN's] ombudsman recently urged his group to 'put an end to this long and difficult issue' by granting the domain. [ICANN] prefers to earn larger fees by putting the .gay domain up for auction among for-profit domain companies."[17]

Launch[edit]

Logan Lynn (pictured performing in 2013) helped launch the gTLD .gay

Top Level Design was recognized by ICANN as the .gay registry on May 23, 2019, after competing applicants dropped their bids.[18]

The "Sunrise II" phase for registration began on April 6, 2020. Following a delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Top Level Design offered to provide a limited number of domains to groups "working to foster digital Pride",[19] domains became available to the general public on September 16, 2020.[20] Twenty percent of registration revenue will benefit CenterLink and GLAAD; approximately $75,000 was raised, as of late September 2020.[21][22]

The web series The Library, which explores LGBT slang and other concepts, debuted alongside the gTLD's launch. Logan Lynn, who helped with the launch,[23] said the 2020 release commemorated 50 years since the first pride parade. Domains have been registered by Roxane Gay, Grindr, Instinct, Billy Jean King, PFLAG, and George Takei.[21][24]

Harassment protections[edit]

The gTLD offers harassment protections. According to Willamette Week's Andrew Jankowski, "The .gay rights protections policy gives users a clear guide on making sites queer-friendly, while outlining behavior that gets would-be trolls banned from misusing the extension."[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Brito, Jerry (March 5, 2011). "ICANN vs. the World". Time. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Darlington, Shasta (April 18, 2019). "Battle for .amazon Domain Pits Retailer Against South American Nations". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Osborne, Charlie (November 21, 2012). "Government advisory agency files domain name protests". ZDNet. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Ramachandran, T. (July 2, 2012). "India shows little interest in new top level domains". The Hindu. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Sutton, Mark (August 17, 2012). "Saudi Arabia objects to new internet domain names". Arabian Business. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b Kelly, Heather (August 15, 2020). "Saudi Arabia objects to .gay and .islam domain names". CNN Business. Retrieved October 11, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Saudi Arabia opposes .gay internet domain name". BBC News. August 14, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Streams, Kimber (August 22, 2012). "The public speaks out on ICANN's potential top-level domains". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Rogoway, Mike (April 23, 2013). "Ray King steps down as AboutUs CEO, starts new Portland venture". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ a b King, Ray (October 18, 2013). "Guest Opinion: .Gay and the LGBTQ Community". PQ Monthly. Portland, Oregon: Brilliant Media. Archived from the original on September 29, 2015. Retrieved October 3, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) Note: Posted by Nick Mattos.
  11. ^ King, Ray (November 21, 2013). "Queer Voices – Top Level Domains: The Future Of ".gay" (Perspective A)". Q Center. Archived from the original on October 13, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Baxter, Jamie (November 21, 2014). "Queer Voices – Top Level Domains: The Future Of ".gay" (Perspective B)". Q Center. Archived from the original on October 13, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Naimark, Marc (November 20, 2013). "How the ICANN Top-Level Domain Scheme Puts LGBTQ Organizations at Risk". Slate. Graham Holdings Company. Retrieved October 3, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "New gTLD Program Community Priority Evaluation Report Report Date: 6 October 2014" (PDF). ICANN. October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ .gay Community Priority Evaluation:
  16. ^ "New gTLD Program: Community Priority Evaluation Report Report Date: 6 October 2014" (PDF). ICANN. Retrieved October 16, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Crovitz, L. Gordon (August 28, 2016). "An Internet Giveaway to the U.N.: If the U.S. abdicates internet stewardship, the United Nations might take control". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ ".gay Registry Agreement". ICANN. May 23, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Allemann, Andrew (April 6, 2020). "Covid-19 delays .Gay domain availability". Domain Name Wire. Retrieved October 11, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Allemann, Andrew (September 16, 2020). ".Gay domain now available for all". Domain Name Wire. Retrieved October 11, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ a b Street, Mikelle (September 9, 2020). "You Can Now Own a .Gay Website Domain — Get Them Fast". Out. Retrieved October 11, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ a b Jankowski, Andrew (September 28, 2020). "A Portland Company Is Trying to Make the Internet Most Hospitable for the Queer Community". Willamette Week. Retrieved October 11, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Street, Mikelle (September 17, 2020). "Meet the Man Helping to Build a Queer Section of the Internet". Out. Retrieved October 11, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Randall, Devin (September 12, 2020). "Say 'Hey' to the New .Gay Domains!". Instinct. Retrieved October 11, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]