By David Gold
Despite less than a year on the market, .GAY is currently one of the most interesting domain extensions. With its community-centric approach, .GAY is going above and beyond domain-industry standards to elevate and protect LGBTQ people online.
Every June, LGBTQ communities and allies join together to remember the 1969 uprising in New York City when the crowd at the Stonewall Inn fought back against abuse and oppression. Like the rainbow flags that brighten windows in homes and businesses in June, the .GAY top-level domain extension is like a digital Pride flag for your website.
Since its long-awaited launch to the public in September of 2020, .GAY has been all over the news, released its own web series, and worked with global LGBTQ luminaries like Star Trek actor George Takei, pop superstar Adam Lambert, and pioneering tennis icon Billie Jean King. So far, more than 10,000 .GAY domain names have been registered by artists, entertainers, nonprofits, SMBs, global brands, and proud community members who want to help create a vibrant, more-inclusive internet for LGBTQ people.
Here’s what makes .GAY different and why you should get your own .gay domain.
.GAY gives: Funding LGBTQ nonprofits
.GAY breaks the industry mold by donating 20% of all new registration revenue to benefit LGBTQ nonprofit groups. The extension raised $148,864.41 during 2020 for its inaugural LGBTQ beneficiaries, GLAAD and CenterLink.
In other words, every new .GAY domain registered directly helps address important issues facing LGBTQ communities.
.GAY cares: Creating a safer internet
The internet as a whole is an unsafe environment for LGBTQ people, and social media platforms are particularly hostile. GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Index, reported on by Axios and USA Today, corroborates the experiences that countless LGBTQ people have had on social media platforms:
- The entire social media landscape is “effectively unsafe for LGBTQ users.”
- The “prevalence and intensity of hate speech and harassment” is the most significant and urgent concern.
- The problems of anti-LGBTQ hate speech and misinformation are issues of public health and safety.
While other companies cling to the status quo, .GAY is doing things differently. The .GAY Rights Protections Policy prohibits the use of .GAY for harassing and hateful comment, and it provides specific, enforceable remedies for domains that intentionally use .GAY to malign or harm LGBTQ individuals or groups. These industry-leading anti-hate policies are the first of their kind.
George Takei and .GAY Reclaim the #ProudBoys hashtag
One of .GAY’s most high-profile partners in the effort to create a safer LGBTQ internet is Star Trek actor and LGBTQ icon George Takei. In October of 2020, as hateful rhetoric flooded social media from the far-right, neo-fascist “Proud Boys,” George called on his millions of followers to reclaim the #ProudBoys hashtag and flood it with images of LGBTQ love and affection.
I wonder if the BTS and TikTok kids can help LGBTs with this. What if gay guys took pictures of themselves making out with each other or doing very gay things, then tagged themselves with #ProudBoys. I bet it would mess them up real bad. #ReclaimingMyShine
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 1, 2020
The campaign was a success and was documented at TheProudBoys.gay.
In December, George was honored with the Finger Award for using humor, love, and community to drown out the hate. (The Finger Awards were created by Comedy for Change to recognize comedy professionals who use their craft to make the world a better, happier place. The winners are selected by an international panel of over 50 A-list judges, all members of the Comedy for Change community.)
So many amazing .GAY sites
With over 10,000 .GAY sites registered, there’s already a huge internet gayborhood of pro-LGBTQ domains. Each one is as special and unique as the individual who registered it, and we’re here for all of it.
Personal .GAY Sites
Many individuals who identify within LGBTQ communities are building personal sites on .GAY or use it as a redirect to their other profiles. The adoption of .GAY by gaymers, furries, and tech-savvy community members has been particularly enthusiastic and generated many fantastic examples of .GAY sites.
- TechThoughts.gay: Hosted by “humanities-based” writer Art and software developer Jade, the Tech Tho(ugh)ts podcast discusses topics like information privacy, security, and internet infrastructure through a queer lens.
- FeelSomethingFoundation.gay: Pop superstar Adam Lambert uses a .GAY domain for his LGBTQ nonprofit foundation.
- PersephoneRose.gay: Storyteller, actor, and proud non-binary trans womxn Persephone Rose makes her CV site uniquely her own.
Business .GAY Sites
Brands and businesses are using .GAY to share content like Pride marketing, LGBTQ-specific offerings, and corporate commitments to diversity and inclusion. By hosting inclusive messaging on a platform aligned with community values, businesses demonstrate support for LGBTQ people.
- Composely.gay: Content-writing company Composely shows they care about LGBTQ inclusivity and representation by creating a special site on its own .GAY domain.
- FullSpectrum.gay: LGBTQ therapy practice Full Spectrum uses a .GAY domain to let their patients know that they belong.
- TheQUILTBAG.gay: Canadian LGBTQ retail/online shop The QUILTBAG is the perfect place to find affirming, supportive gifts for your LGBTQ friends and relatives.
Get your .GAY domain now!
June’s pride celebrations are a great reason to get your .GAY domain name and join this vibrant, growing online community. Whether you are a business owner recognizing your LGBTQ customers, an artist and creator showcasing your portfolio, or you just want to have a funny and cute site, .GAY is the domain for you. Get your .GAY domain now from Name.com.
David is a Marketing Content Specialist at Top Level Design, the registry for .GAY, .WIKI, .TATTOO, and .INK. David is passionate about developing creative strategies for making the internet a more expressive and inclusive space.