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.gay domains: LGBTQ allyship for the digital age

By David Gold - February 25, 2021

.gay domains are a new way for LGBTQ people, organisations, businesses, and allies to connect online.

Inclusivity and acceptance of LGBTQ people is a sign of advancing civil rights, and it’s also good for brands and businesses.

Today, customers expect the brands they respect to advance social good in addition to creating useful products and services.

When companies use their brand to support LGBTQ equality in the public sphere, younger consumers such as Millennials and Gen Z are particularly likely to develop brand loyalty. Using a .gay domain is a powerful communications tool for broadcasting corporate allyship.

Obviously, .gay domains make sense for LGBTQ-owned businesses that specifically cater to their communities. But even businesses that don’t centre their brand around LGBTQ communities can prove an ongoing commitment to the welfare of LGBTQ people by utilising a .gay site.

It’s a new era of allyship and .gay domains are the place to start for businesses that want to build trust, rapport, and brand loyalty within LGBTQ communities.

Why are .gay domains special?

.gay domains enable people and organisations of any size to engage with LGBTQ communities, offer services, and express authentic allyship.

This is due to the clear visibility and representation offered by a domain ending in “.gay”, but also because the registry behind .gay domains has instituted unprecedented policies to ensure that .gay remains a safer, supportive, and uplifting digital space for all LGBTQ people and their allies to exchange information online.

.gay cares: Safer online

The registry’s “.gay Rights Protections” are industry-leading policies that prohibit homophobic, anti-LGBTQ usage and provide specific remedies for domains that intentionally harm or malign LGBTQ people.

Additionally, known hate groups and their members are banned from using .gay domains, and .gay sites with forums must have moderation capabilities to respond to contributor behaviour that violates the .gay Rights Protections.

.gay gives: Safer offline

The registry is further ensuring that .gay domains do good by tying every new registration to a donation to LGBTQ non-profits. 20% of that revenue will fund critical work within LGBTQ communities.

The inaugural .gay beneficiaries are CenterLink and GLAAD. CenterLink is an umbrella organization for over 250 community centres around the globe that provide essential services to LGBTQ people, and GLAAD is one of the most prominent advocacy organizations working to ensure that LGBTQ people are treated with respect and dignity in the media. In April 2020, .gay donated a total of $34,400 to the two organisations, which represents donations from initial sales before the public launch!

What can .gay do for your brand?

Pride in the age of social distancing

Thanks to the internet, our lives and our businesses are more and more tied to our online presence and communication. But social distancing has accelerated this trend like nothing else in recent memory. The internet and its digital communication technologies have stepped in to facilitate an enormous range of activities that were previously performed mostly in-person.

LGBTQ people, especially those who are rejected by their biological families, find meaningful connection and companionship through their chosen family. Chosen family are the fellow LGBTQ community members who accept and support each other as they are. Whether in rural communities or in large urban neighbourhoods, community centres, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, performing arts venues, and other public spaces often play a vital role in bringing together chosen families.

.gay domains provide a digital alternative where people in LGBTQ communities can continue to connect with each other — and with businesses — while social distancing remains in place.

Everlasting Pride with .gay domains

Participating in Pride parades, events, and festivals is an important arena for showing up and supporting LGBTQ people. Pride is typically observed in June, and it is a commemoration of the historical and ongoing activism that has advanced LGBTQ rights. Now, .gay domains can help digitally manifest what LGBTQ people already know to be true: that every day is a good day to be prideful!

Companies looking to create digital Pride can use .gay domains as their LGBTQ Pride hub. With a .gay domain, you can extend your brand’s digital Pride campaign beyond a single month and celebrate Pride 365 days a year.

When in-person Pride events are safe again, your .gay domain name can be included on your banner, signage, and swag to give your audience a short and easy-to-remember way to learn more information about your business’s LGBTQ inclusion.

LGBTQ-inclusive brand positioning

Using a .gay domain makes your company’s LGBTQ-inclusive marketing more meaningful because of the .gay registry’s commitment to centring LGBTQ communities.

Small businesses that cater to LGBTQ consumers can use .gay domains to carve out a distinctive niche for themselves and score a unique domain name that is short and memorable. Your .gay domain will send a signal to the entire LGBTQ population that your business is supportive and inclusive of LGBTQ people, and that inclusivity is good for business.

Industries with LGBTQ customers

LGBTQ people are significant contributors to the vibrancy of certain industries. Businesses in these industries, whether large or small, can all benefit from prioritizing LGBTQ audiences with a .gay domain name.

  • Travel & hospitality: LGBTQ travellers have specific safety concerns whenever they travel. From understanding the laws of different countries to navigating social customs, LGBTQ-affirming travel companies know that catering to their LGBTQ customers makes a huge difference in their safety and enjoyment. Additionally, by making connections with fellow LGBTQ people, tourists will have better and more enriching travel experiences, allowing them to better experience local offerings. These connections aren’t likely to happen through brands that do not specifically court LGBTQ tourists.
  • Entertainment: The world of bars, nightclubs, theatres, and other performance venues thrives because of the cultural contributions of LGBTQ performers, producers, and staff. In the age of social distancing, more live performances are finding a home online. Now is the time to use a .gay domain name to solidify your online presence and ensure that your audience will find you when it is safe to gather in person again.
  • Health & Wellness: From personal trainers to community clinics and therapists, LGBTQ people have specific needs and goals when it comes to health and wellness. These are incredibly personal issues, and it’s critically important that LGBTQ people feel safe and supported by their trusted health advisors. Whether you are an LGBTQ practitioner or an ally, you can attract clients through an LGBTQ-affirming .gay site.
  • Media: News, commentary, and reporting are all internet-first occupations, and a .gay domain will help you connect your information with its LGBTQ audience. From activism and politics to arts and entertainment, whether you’re a blogger or an established publication, if you’re reporting for the LGBTQ community, you will make an impact with a .gay domain.

What can .gay do for your office?

While .gay domains clearly have many benefits for external PR and marketing applications, they are equally valuable within a business’s internal operations.

Inclusive hiring and recruiting

With a .gay domain, you can show off LGBTQ diversity of your internal teams and highlight your inclusive hiring policies. Displaying a public commitment to diversity will bolster your recruiting credibility and help you attract top talent. Allies also appreciate knowing that they will be working for a company that affirms LGBTQ people.

Depending on your location in the world, LGBTQ relationships might not have legal protection or recognition. Employee policies that extend benefits to LGBTQ partners can help set your company apart as a community leader and catalyse positive change in your area. These kinds of policies are especially important for attracting top young talent in areas that do not yet recognize the validity of LGBTQ relationships.

A digital home for LGBTQ employee groups

Your most important customers when it comes to your corporate allyship are your own employees. It’s vital to prove that the company supports them. Using a .gay domain to give your LGBTQ colleagues an online portal to connect with each other will help them build their voice and presence within the company.

Get your .gay domain now

With .gay domains now available to the world, you have the chance to bolster your brand by affirming the importance of LGBTQ acceptance and inclusion. As digital accessibility continues to be more important than ever before, .gay provides an inclusive and easy-to-identify home for LGBTQ content online. Act now to secure your desired .gay domain name with 123 Reg, and participate in a vibrant social movement that does good for LGBTQ communities.