'.gay' Domains Set to Go Online

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday September 16, 2020

Stock image
Stock image  (Source:Getty Images)

A whole new rainbow-colored universe is about to open up on your browser with the advent of the ".gay" domain extension, reports SimilarWeb.

In technical speak, Top Level Domains are three-letter suffixes, or "extensions," at the end of website addresses, such as ".com," ".net," and ".org" - those specific examples are called generic Top Level Domains (whereas others, such as ".gov" and ".edu" are classified slightly differently, as "sponsored Top Level Domains").

The new extension goes into effect September 15 - a red letter day for LGBTQ-geared companies and organizations, because, as SimilarWeb explained, "a company's identity is very attached to it's TLD and new TLDs are only created every few years."

A domain registry called Top Level Design pursued the ".gay" extension for nearly a decade, finally winning the rights to the new extension in 2019. The new extension's deployment "represents a historic step forward that signals support of LGBTQ people, causes, and businesses," Business Wire noted in an article last February.

The new domain extension comes complete with a does of social responsibility. Business Wire reported that, "In addition to creating a completely new medium for LGBTQ visibility, .gay is making an industry-first commitment to donate 20 percent of all new registration revenue to nonprofit partners, which will help address key issues facing these communities."

After winning the rights to the new extension, Top Level Design posted celebratory text at its website, saying, "LGBTQ+ history is a story of resilience, beauty, and community in the face of marginalization and persecution.

"Imagine for a moment how unique and historic this development is," the text continued; "can you imagine a .gay being introduced during the .com boom of the 90s, during the era of "Don't ask, Don't tell"?"

Noted Top Level Design, "There are so many personal and social victories to celebrate and so many to still fight for." Now those who support such victories will have a domain extension to call their own.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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