[Tagging] Out of the bars and onto the map: An lgbtq:*=* tagging scheme?

Jmapb jmapb at gmx.com
Wed Oct 24 16:52:21 UTC 2018

On 10/24/2018 4:27 AM, Christoph Hormann wrote:

>> *When* to add a lgbtq=yes tag can be hard to know. In some places a
>> gay bar can be easily identified by a prominent rainbow flag. Some
>> cultures are less accepting, so bars might not be so blatant (I've
>> seen this in the EU). Using the common OSM rules of "local
>> knowledge", people within the local LGBTQ community are probably the
>> best place to make a final call.
> Based on what you wrote i have a bit of a problem seeing a verifiable
> meaning of the tag you are contemplating here.  If there is some sort
> of certification system for bars based on objective criteria similar to
> hotel stars ratings that would be something that can be tagged but a
> subjective assessment based on perceived tolerance and friendliness or
> by statistics of the clientele seems problematic.
I know many bars, restaurants, shops, and other businesses that fly a 
rainbow flag out of solidarity with the LGBTQ communities, but are not, 
best I can tell, gay establishments in any meaningful sense. Sometimes 
these flags appear when a business first opens, or sometimes they go up 
during Pride Week and simply remain indefinitely, like Halloween decor 
that somehow survives into the new year. I suppose you could interpret 
them as lgbtq=permissive (though frankly that sounds a little insulting) 
but not lgbtq=yes.

Obviously, though, gay (etc) businesses are a real thing! And it's a 
thing that many people would like to know about a place, whether they're 
seeking it or avoiding it. The venerability is tricky. As Justice Potter 
Stewart said, "I know it when I see it" -- but I can't imagine how a 
"certified gay" system would work.

The fact that homosexuality is criminalized or otherwise marginalized in 
many parts of the world adds to this problem. Some establishments might 
not want to draw attention to themselves in this way but would prefer to 
rely on word-of-mouth.

These are definitely tricky waters. My suggestion would be to only tag 
lgbtq=* if the establishment itself communicates this in an official way 
-- though written signs, fliers, official business website/social media 
account. Unfortunately this will exclude a large number of gay 
businesses, but I'd say that if they prefer a subtler approach it's not 
a mapper's job to out them.

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