18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
|.gay||Top Level Design, LLC||gmail.com||View|
Top Level Design, LLC’s mission is to create a dedicated space in the root zone for those involved in the various aspects of homosexual culture. We recognize the size and diversity of the individuals identifying as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,, Trans, Queer⁄Questioning) and want to welcome everyone underneath a succinct and widely understood top-level domain. Labeling those that identify through queer gendering or sexuality proves to be difficult and widely controversial, both to those identifying as queer and those that do not. Thus, it is worth noting that there is merit to implementing .lesbian, .bisexual, .trans, .queer, and .lgbtq, but even then, those individuals that don’t fit cleanly into the confines of a single definition are not represented in these root-level distinctions. There are plenty of people that defy distinct labelling, and identify themselves through fluid notions of gender and sexuality. This is precisely why we at Top Level Design, LLC believe that a .gay TLD could never be delegated through a Community Priority application, especially if it claims to represent the entirety of the LGBTQ community. Just because it is often easiest to try to fit others’ gender and sexual preferences into socially constructed boxes, whether heterosexual or LGBTQ, does not mean that the minority who participate in multiple self-definitions at any one time can be ignored, or that we have the right to create labels for them. This must be kept in mind as the ICANN community decides how to proceed with a .gay TLD, especially in the case of a Community Application that proclaims the support of the entire LGBTQ community.
This is why we are proposing an open .gay TLD. To allow maximum freedom of expression within these non-heterosexual circles. While it may be that individuals identifying as homosexual men feel most comfortable with the “gay label,” we recognize the rights of anyone who identifies with or is passionate about gay and queer culture to have a voice on a .gay TLD. We do not want to monitor or restrict the activities of a group of individuals that have spoken so loudly and proudly through so many different voices. We believe that by our placing a premium on individual self-expression, we are fulfilling a major tenet of LGBTQ culture, which also maps well onto the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance.
The LGBTQ community and the identifiers used are in flux; some time ago, the term “gay” described what was perceived to be all non-heterosexual people. This, of course, was not the case. And as these other individuals fought to reclaim previously derogatory words, such as lesbian and queer, the notions of who was “gay” and how we can refer to them expanded. More fluid labels have been gaining traction, and while LGBT (no Q) was seen as a more appropriate and inclusive label than “gay” as early as a decade ago, people have begun adding the Q to recognize those that have more elusive self-definitions. Thus, we believe that a .gay TLD could never fully-represent the nuanced LGBTQ community. Still, we believe that this will be the most marketable and widely understood umbrella term, which consequently lends itself to being used as a TLD.
So, given that there is no clear and perfect solution to how to best provide a TLD for this diverse group, it seems to us that a .gay TLD is an encouraging place to start. It is an internationally understood word that largely denotes homosexual or queer gender and sexual identification. It is an umbrella term, and while we recognize that the whole LGBTQ community may not feel it is their own, or be supportive of a .gay TLD, we believe a large contingent of queers will be able to identify with it. It is also a succinct three letter word that will match the paradigm of many of the most popular, current TLD offerings.
The .gay TLD promises to be one of the most culturally progressive and innovative TLDs introduced through ICANN’s New gTLD Program. Given that this unprecedented program will allow Internet users to better harmonize their interests and online activities with the root zone, it is only fitting that a large contingent of individuals are recognized and catered to. This has the potential to be an uplifting and validating development that will positively affect millions of individuals worldwide. It is our goal to fulfill the revolutionary and innovative potential of ICANN’s New gTLD Program in a way that allows the Internet to develop as a more socially sensitive medium that better reflects the diverse world it connects.
Furthermore, it is our goal at Top Level Design, LLC to push beyond any controversy, ignorance, or ideology that will likely be encountered along the path to implementation of .gay. There are millions of individuals, both homosexuals and heterosexuals, that will benefit from the creation of a space where prevailing notions of identity, gender, sexuality, and society can be openly discussed and freely questioned. We have noted that any apparently uniform gay community is actually far more complex than some would have it characterized, and consequently we know that we will receive opposition and support from inside and outside this diverse group. We hope to work closely with anyone who is ready to create a vibrant and open online space, and to reassure gay and queer advocates that a .gay TLD will benefit queers and homosexuals, their families, friends, and their cause for equal rights. We also hope to educate and inspire outreach, and to help decrease the level of hate and ignorance that is all too often brought into discussions of homosexuality.
This promises to be an exciting development for ICANN, Internet users, gays, and queers. We don’t expect it to be easy, but we believe it is necessary. ICANN cannot choose to validate the rights of certain groups involved in its multi-stakeholder processes instead of others, and so we know that implementation of a .gay TLD is inevitable. Thus, we encourage all other parties that are invested in the ICANN multi-stakeholder model to work with us to create the most safe, secure, and prideful .gay TLD possible.
Furthermore, it is Top Level Design, LLC’s goal to make the .gay TLD a viable and profitable business. We believe this to be the most likely scenario, and the projections and financial analysis included in this application demonstrate such. We hope to grow at a rate that allows us to continually improve our registry offerings, increase benefits for both our customers and employees, and develop a foundation or other means of reinvesting in the gay advocacy. We are particularly interested in developing a fund to encourage tolerance education and gay youth outreach in international primary schools. However, our commitments and projections at this time are focused on conservatively estimating our revenue in order to best prepare for a TLD market with the possibility of many more TLDs.
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|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||z||Detail|