Since the Gay Community began its coming out and formed human rights (Gay Rights are Human Rights) organizations in the 19th century, the community has known that we were responsible for our own survival. This means that for over a century the gay community has required funding from the gay community in order to meet social service functions and human rights needs. In most of the world, for most of the global gay community, this remains the case today.
In the same way that the Gay Community needs to provide its own support in physical world, so too on the Internet. The digital freedom and safety of the gay community depends on the support, financial and otherwise, of the Gay Community. No one is going to fund that for us. The digital opportunities for the Gay Community are also dependent on the support of the Gay Community. No one is going to fund that for us!
dotgay LLC has 3 standard application competitors for the .gay top level domain name. These competitors have little or no relationship with the Gay Community. As investor based organizations, they have ho clear plans to support the gay community as part of their public interest obligations. Nor can they be expected to serve the Gay Community as they have financial investors they must keep richly fed.
As a community registry applicant, dotgay LLC has put its guarantee in its binding application with ICANN.
The Gay Community is intimately familiar with struggles around funding, often excluded or delayed in accessing resources because of discrimination, non-inclusive policy or lack of statistics. The struggles are widespread in the community and the challenges vary country by country based on governmental and cultural influences. In response, the Gay Community has looked to its own community members to financially support programs and services that emerge as priorities. An example of this is the immediate response of the community to the HIV⁄AIDS crisis in the 1980’s, funding programs and services well before any external support was provided.
dotgay LLC will channel funds back into the Gay Community using two methods. The first is to compensate all Authentication Partners in the community for each confirmed name registration or renewal. Secondly, dotgay LLC has also committed to giving a minimum of 67% of the profits from domain name registrations to the dotgay Foundation for redistribution back into the Gay Community.
When compared, it is obvious that the gay community loses a lot if dotgay LLC does not get a chance to fulfill it promises to the gay community. The other applicants want .gay because they plan to acquire a bundle of profits from the indiscriminate sale of .gay second level names. Profits that will not fund the Gay Community. dotgay LLC will use 2/3 of its profits to fund projects in the Gay Community.
#yes2dotgay for funding of Gay Community projects.
The coming out of the gay community over the last two (2) centuries has been instrumental in the survival of the LGBTQIA individuals who make up that community. It is good to go back to description in the dotgay LLC application:
While gay individuals have always existed, visibility of these individuals only began in the 19th century. One of the first movements for the human rights of the Gay Community was initiated by Magnus Hirschfeld (Scientific Humanitarian Committee, 1897). In the 20th century a sense of community continued to emerge through the formation of the first incorporated gay rights organization (Chicago Society for Human Rights, 1924). In the ensuing years additional organizations continued to emerge, but it was a watershed event in the streets of New York City that would kick-started what would become known as the modern gay rights movement. At the Stonewall Bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village in June 1969 male and female homosexuals, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed and allied patrons fought back against routine police raids on gay bars in the Village and the events of that evening spiraled into several nights of riots in the streets. The ensuing mayhem helped not only galvanize the Gay Community and moved many individuals out of the dark bars and into the comparatively brighter streets, but resulted in global media coverage that had the unintended effect of both launching the modern gay rights movement and connecting gay individuals around the world to a larger Gay Community. For those gays living in remote parts not only of the US but of the world, knowledge of an angry mob of gays in New York City gave otherwise isolated individuals a community to finally identify with.
To commemorate the anniversary of Stonewall, three American cities organized “gay pride” demonstrations one year later. At this writing hundreds of gay pride celebrations occur around the world and an international organization of Pride Organizers called InterPride has been created.
Many of the descendants of these and other historical organizations have endorsed dotgay LLC to lead the quest to establish a corner of the Internet where the online gay community can achieve a genuine global visibility that is under the communty’s control. This will contribute to a global goal of freedom, safety and opportunity for our community.
Together with the giants of gay community visibility on whose shoulders we stand, #yes2dotgay
The previous entry discussed the the importance of the new predictability for safety on line. The new predictability online is important not only in itself but for the opportunity it allows for innovation by the gay community within its online space: innovation in the social network, innovation in travel services, innovation in business services, and innovation that can’t be foreseen before the community TLD .gay is established
In contrast to non community TLDs that auction off all of the most useful names, like center, sport, lawyer, travel, or repair, dotgay LLc will be reserving names like these in order to build a service that allows for bona-fide gay registrant services and businesses to optionally link their domain names to a set indices that identify the services they offer and, also optionally, help to geo-locate that business for customer convenience. The no-fee optional community index is one of the features that is being planned by dotgay LLC. If the community name is approved, every registration, such as Jills-emporium.gay would be offered the opportunity to register its service and its customer area in a dotgay LLC database. A gay customer, lets say a couple living in Providence RI, who wanted to find an electrician that could be trusted to come into their home, would be able to use a user friendly application to find the gay community electricians in the Providence area, including a reference to Jill’s Electrical Emporium.
Such an index could be created by any TLD, but could one not being regulated or monitored the gay community gTLD registry and its multistakeholder community advisory board ever be trusted? Such a service depends on the trust the community gTLD builds with its community. A trust that will never be found within those gTLDs who sell any name to any one who has the money to pay the price.
This is but one of the service innovations that are being contemplated for a safe .gay domain space, one were we can predict gay community safety instead of anti-gay threat and exploitation. There are more ideas cooking, but they are all held in abeyance waiting for the powers-that-be to decide that we are gay enough and community enough for ICANN.
So, #yes2dotgay for a predictably safe space where the gay community can thrive, can be bold and can innovate the creation of new services and ways for us to interact and thrive.
The gay community world-wide is subject, day in and day out, to a life that is predictably discriminatory and cruel. While there may be some opening up to the gay community is some countries, the majority of the global gay community, whether LGBTQI or A, lives in a world of pain and degradation. A world where they either hide who they love and who they are, or they are bullied, pursued, tortured or imprisoned. A handful of us are lucky enough to live in places where the gay community is coming into its own and getting the privileges of every other citizen. Most live in a word that is predictably unjust and unequal. Unfortunately the gay community online has been beset by the same problems as the gay community in general society.
dotgay LLC, with the support of over 250 gay organizations from around the world, has applied for the community run top level domain (TLD) .gay in order to build a place on the Internet that can be predictably safe. ICANN, ostensibly, offered the world a chance to bring communities online, to use a TLD to establish a place where the members of a community would be free to exercise their right of association and peaceful assembly. By relying on criteria for those who run domains and on public interest commitments guaranteed by contract, community TLDs, can create online spaces that are predictably safe and accepting of a community. The dotgay LLC intends to bring this new predictability online for the gay community.
The .gay domain should be a place where a gay community member living under a repressive regime, could go on line to find reliable information and assistance in dispelling the despair of being alone in the world. The .gay domain should be a place where the outreach of a community center could be trusted and not end up a trick for outing someone and making them a target for violent attack. Even in countries were the repression and abuse has started to recede, a .gay domain should be a place where a member of the gay community could go to find gay friendly businesses. Even those living in gay accepting countries need such a new predictability. Anyone who has ever brought a workman into the house who treated a female couple as damaged and in need of cure, or any of countless other similar incidences, knows the importance of a new predictability that gives us safety online. A .gay domain can only become such a predictably safe space if it is under gay community control.
dotgay LLC is still being reviewed by ICANN’s deputies, the community evaluation panel at the Economist Intelligence Unit, to determine whether it is gay enough and community enough for the straight world. As we wait week by week for the determination of this evaluation, we continue to hope that the dotgay LLC community cause will be recognized and that they will be allowed to build a corner of the Internet where we can be predictably safe.