Project Main Details
On many levels it’s a revolutionary opportunity for the gay community to develop safe space as well as social & economic benefit, but it has yet to be obtained, and it’s going to take your community support to make it happen.
One of the biggest mysteries of the Internet is that it is made up of namespaces, which are run by companies or governments.
Among the existing namespaces, .COM was the first to arrive on the Internet and it currently has the largest volume of domain names in use, including well known destinations like Amazon.com and Facebook.com.
Website addresses ending in .COM are all part of the same namespace, and that individual namespace is managed by a company that has established rules for every .COM website to follow. It’s not unlike how countries operate with a government in power, and a set of laws.
When the Internet was born there were only a few namespaces to choose from, but that is quickly changing with the introduction of many new namespace communities where you can place your website.
Much of the attraction to the new namespaces is the clearer link of the term to your website’s activities, and the rules that the namespace operates with.
For example, if you own a yoga studio, it is now possible to have a webaddress like www.studioname.yoga, part of a new namespace where you are likely to soon find many websites related to yoga and the yoga industry.
In addition, some namespaces have self-selected as community designated spaces to offer a more trusted online environment, with community constructed rules governing the namespace. For banks looking to ease customer concerns about fraud, choosing to use www.bankname.bank boosts consumer confidence because only legitimate banks are permitted to have website addresses in the .bank namespace.
With all of the new namespaces being introduced, it was a critical opportunity for the gay community to carve out its own namespace online; a virtual safespace, on that is a true product and reflection of the LGBTQIA and one that prioritizes community interest over profits.
As a dedicated space for the LGBTQIA on the Internet, a community designed .GAY is a visionary way to tackle both local and global issues in the virtual world, with a mission focused on participation, safety, visibility and support.
A community designated .GAY allows for community established gay sensitive policy, the community has input into the namespace, the community reaps the financial benefits from operating the namespace and the community takes 100% control of how its story is told to the world online.
Although many other communities are involved in launching new namespaces, the gay community has so far been prevented by the Internet’s regulator, ICANN, from securing .GAY as its chosen namespace online.
At the beginning of the process, ICANN’s requirement for the namespace was a globally recognized abbreviation for the community, understood by both the LGBTQIA and the outside population all around the world. The community unanimously decided on .GAY to serve as the umbrella term.
But now ICANN is trying to deny community recognition of LGBTQIA efforts by disassociating us as wholly separate groups. This is an old game that highlights how LGBTQIA continue to be disadvantaged and discriminated against.
If .GAY is not recognized as a community domain, ICANN will simply auction the namespace to the highest bidder and pocket the proceeds. If ICANN assigns the right to operate the registry for .GAY to a company seeking to exploit it only for profit--very possibly without community participation in policy development for the string, or taking in to consideration LGBTQIA interests and concerns—the community will have no assurances that .GAY will be a safe space on the Internet.
On the other hand, if ICANN delegates the right to operate the namespace to dotgay LLC, the community will gain not only a powerful tool for collaboration, support and advancement of gay rights & empowerment, but the security of knowing that dotgay LLC is contractually bound to uphold its commitment to operate the namespace on behalf of the community.
In the end, ICANN and the three other applicants for .GAY have shown no respect for the global gay community’s wishes on how dotGAY should exist on the Internet. This is an opportunity for a dedicated domain name which will have a symbolic resonance within the gay community.
It is an opportunity to rescue .GAY from companies that will exploit it at the expense of a community that is often marginalized and discriminated against.
To date, more than 1.5 million dollars of private funds have already been spent to move the community’s wishes and mission forward. The effort has spanned 7 years, involving collaborations on every continent with all segments of the gay community and endorsement from over 250 LGBTQIA organizations.
It has truly been a multi-stakeholder effort from all segments of the gay community that is being threatened as ongoing ICANN actions continue to drive the costs up.
We have the LGBTQIA’s back on this one. We have enlisted an amazing legal team to help in the battle, but we need money to keep fighting the decisions that have kept the gay community from getting control of .GAY to build an LGBTQIA namespace that is; governed by the community, representative of the community, and operated with the best interests of the community as a priority.
Please support our fight with your donation.
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