Editor’s Note: This is a special collaboration between Blacknight and .gay, who have kindly provided this for Blacknight readers.
We know that the internet can be a dangerous and malevolent place for LGBTQ communities. When we launched the .gay domain on our service, we ourselves experienced this firsthand. This was just a small taste of the harassment that many LGBTQ people face online on a daily basis.
In May of 2021, .gay’s beneficiary partner GLAAD announced the results of its first Social Media Safety Index report, and it was damning. As USA Today reported, the Index revealed a litany of problems on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok that result in the entire social media sector being “effectively unsafe” for LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities.
The flippancy of social media companies with regards to LGBTQ community safety stands in stark contrast to the .gay Rights Protections Policy that protects the .gay zone as a safer online space dedicated to LGBTQ communities. The .gay domain bans hateful content and verifies and takes down reported violations.
At Blacknight, we’re proud to support equal rights for all. That’s why when .gay domains became available, we initiated a partnership with BeLonG To Youth Services. This essential organization assists young LGBTQ people in Ireland struggling with mental and sexual health, housing instability, and other issues that disproportionately affect LGBTQ communities.
BeLonG To Youth Services is one of many wonderful organizations in Ireland that provide support and advocacy for LGBTQ communities. While LGBTQ rights have come a long way, especially in Ireland, there is absolutely more work to do. Here are some other organizations doing good work for Ireland’s LGBTQ communities that are worthy of your support.
Established In 1979, the National LGBT Federation (NXF) is the oldest LGBTQ nonprofit organization in Ireland. The NXF publishes Gay Community News, Ireland’s national LGBTQ news magazine, which is a not-for-profit publication for LGBTQ people. GCN is the national LGBT news magazine of record and the key information resource for the Irish LGBT community.
LGBT Ireland is a support helpline and support service for LGBTQ people in Ireland. They offer a comprehensive range of services that provide support and information on issues relating to sexuality and gender identity. Non-judgmental, confidential listening and support is provided seven days a week through their telephone helpline at 1890 929 539, and through their online instant messaging service.
Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) works to protect the rights and lives of trans people and their families. Besides supporting the well-being of trans people through direct services, they also provide educational training to promote understanding and inclusion across societal boundaries, as well as policy and legal advocacy in medicine, law, and politics.
Dublin Lesbian Line is a confidential support helpline staffed by an enthusiastic group of female-identified LGBTQ volunteers. Their phone line is open on Thursday evenings, and they offer support to anyone in Ireland who needs a friendly ear to listen.
Digital activism can lead to significant real-world success, and .gay’s own fundraising program is a great example. In addition to its policies against hate and harassment, 20% of all new .gay registration revenue (not just profit!) is donated to LGBTQ organizations to help address key issues facing these communities.
In Summer 2021, .gay announced that it donated over $148,000 to its beneficiaries GLAAD and CenterLink based on .gay registrations in 2020. GLAAD and CenterLink each offer vital tools and life-saving services to LGBTQ communities. CenterLink is an umbrella organization for over 250 LGBTQ centres across the US and around the world, providing safe physical spaces that liberate, dignify, and empower LGBTQ lives, love, and families. GLAAD’s preeminent legacy and continued work is rooted in fighting against misrepresentation and hate in the media.
To continue supporting the spaces and conversations that can help make the internet safer for LGBTQ people .gay is also premiering a second season of its web series The Library. The show is created in partnership with Two Penguins Productions, and season 1 is now streaming on the Revry TV platform — available in over 250 million homes worldwide.
With an all-new cast of LGBTQ luminaries, .gay and Two Penguins are again showcasing the diversity of LGBTQ people and celebrating all of those lived experiences through humour, storytelling, and community education. By documenting conversations about LGBTQ experiences and bringing them online, this information is made accessible to LGBTQ people and Allies around the world.
Topics explored in this new season include gay bars, dating, healthcare, the internet, travel, LGBTQ elders, media and pop culture, ageing, religion and spirituality, queer visibility, and more. Watch the series at TheLibrary.gay.