A Philanthropic Dot Gay

During the ICANN summit in Seoul I met Joe DOLCE, member of the Dot GAY Alliance who projects to create domain names with the .GAY extension for his community. Here is our interview.

Mailclub.info : Could you introduce yourself and the dotgay alliance?

Joe DOLCE : We are a group aiming to launch a new gTLD for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people and all of those who love them. What makes us special is that our business model includes a philanthropic program which donates a majority of our profits to organizations fighting for LGBT civil and human rights. We’re based in New York City.

Mailclub.info : Will .gay be open to everyone ?

Joe DOLCE : A community, as defined by ICANN, must be a safe place so I envision it being closed to people who are bigots, haters, wish to do community members harm. The great news about the LGBT community is that they are very fluent online, so I expect that many members will dedicate themselves to reporting malicious behavior, hate speech, super right wing lunatics etc…

Mailclub.info : Some people might consider the .gay as another way of isolating gay people. What is your view on that?

Joe DOLCE : I understand the desire to join the mainstream, but I believe that today many of us are made up of several cultural components, all of which co-exist simultaneously. In simpler terms, I am a White, Italian-American Gay Man who lives in New York City and works in Media. I identify equally with all five of those descriptions at any given time and I think the same is true for many people in Western societies.

But there’s something else that many people overlook because they see images of successful LGBT people on television all the time. We are also unified by a host of factors : job discrimination, marriage inequality in the US, violence, bullying, to name a few. In 7 countries homosexuality is still punishable by death. We’ve come a long way in 40 years since the organized movement began, but there is still a lot of work to be done, and if .GAY can assist in funding that work it is a worthwhile venture. By the way, in just a few months we’ve received endorsements from people in Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Nepal, Mexico, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Chile and a dozen more countries, so rather than isolating a community it appears that .GAY could do a great job of organizing and bringing it together globally.

Mailclub.info : There is another .gay project. What are the main differences between your project and the others?
Joe DOLCE : There are three significant differences :
1. Ours is gay run, which I think is important to a community gTLD.
2. By charter, ours has a philanthropic giveback program in which a majority of profits will be donated to organizations that fight for LGBT causes in the US and around the world.
3. Ours has the endorsement of Christine C. Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council, and New York State Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, two important politicians who represent millions of people in the city with the largest openly gay population in the world

Mailclub.info : When do you expect the project to be launched ?

Joe DOLCE : I wish it could be tomorrow. There is a lot of community support for this initiative and the community could really use the financial help–many LGBT organizations are scrounging for pennies these days. But ICANN first has to set an application date so we can apply formally. It would be great if those of your readers who sympathize with our cause could go to www.dotgayalliance.org and endorse us. Equally important, they can write to the ICANN board expressing their desires to see quick approval of new gTLDS.