Gay=yes replaced by lgbtq=*

I lack knowledge on this specific area of tagging and have no significant experience with bars in general and even lesser with this specific subset* but I spotted some well-intentioned edit that seems to be potentially causing a data loss.

*the same goes for most of other edited objects

See say Node History: ‪Motherlode‬ (‪1028939685‬) | OpenStreetMap - over some edits it seems that some level of detail appears to be lost.

Is mass retagging like Changeset: 148075508 | OpenStreetMap a good idea?

Should it be reverted? Should it be encouraged?

Tied. Seems more like “can invent new tag (any tags you like)” if notable data is lost. Can’t say to encourage the behaviour.

It doesn’t cause any data loss. I’m pretty sure the lgbtq= tag was created to supercede the gay= tag because it just sucks. Most gay= tags have an easy lgbtq= equivalent (gay:men to lgbtq:men, gay:women to lgbtq:women, gay:transgender to lgbtq:trans, gay=welcome to lgbtq=welcome). lgbtq=primary has been used for gay bars for a while now.

Nobody uses the gay= tag anymore. It’s been stagnated if not decreasing since lgbtq. was introduced. On the other hand, lgbtq= has been steadily rising and had about 4 times as many uses before the mass retagging (~2000 to ~600). The gay= tag has been out of date and use for a while now. It doesn’t make sense to keep two completely seperate tags that mean the same thing, lgbtq is the far better system. To be blunt, using gay= to indicate all degrees of lgbtq friendliness or primary-ness is absurdly stupid.

Gay=yes is also incredibly vague, though it usually means a queer primary place i’ve seen cases to mean queer friendly or places for cruising. I also should mention that this whole thing was discussed on the discord, which basically everyone either supported it actively or didn’t care, literally no one opposed it. I haven’t met a queer mapper who doesn’t support lgtbq= over gay= (though im sure they exist).

No, they shouldn’t be reverted and cleaning up outdated tags should be encouraged.


No, they shouldn’t be reverted and cleaning up outdated tags should be encouraged.

it is encouraged, but the guidelines for automated edits must be followed if mass edits should be performed in the process.


I don’t see any advantage of using gay=yes over lgbtq=yes and lgbtq=primary. The main advantages of lgbtq=* I see are as follows:

  • The term “LGBTQ” is less ambiguous than “gay”: it’s almost always implied to represent the entirety of the queer (LGBTQ+) community, while “gay” can mean both “queer”/“LGBTQ+” or “male homosexual” (if not other things) depending on the context.
  • It’s far more established: Taginfo lists 2,190 uses of lgbtq=* and not a single of gay=* (checked on 2024-03-02). This might be related to the recent mass retagging, though.
  • Judging by this forum thread, most people seem to agree that using lgbtq=* over gay=* is appropriate. I don’t know whether a similar discussion has taken place in other places, though.

The only disadvantage I can see is that, as “LGBTQ” is an acronym, the discussion on how many letters to use might arise from time to time. It’s worth noting that (at least from what I know), the forms most commonly used are “LGBT” (e.g. the .lgbt TLD) and “LGBTQ” (e.g. the OSM key). I’m not sure whether this is a historical issue (was the queer community involved in the creation of the “new” gTLDs?) or a deliberate choice, but in any case the use of these acronyms, although not entirely inclusive, is well established.

(Personally I prefer the term “queer”, but a queer=* key would have similar issues to gay=*: it’s ambiguous (“queer” can mean “part of the LGBTQ+ community”, “queer” (strict sense) and “genderqueer”, if not more, depending on context) and not in common use (yet).)

When it comes to mass retagging of gay=*, I do think this should be done if the community prefers lgbtq=* over gay=yes, but it should go without saying that the Automated Edits code of conduct should be followed.


…but it might not be what the original mapper meant.

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The automated edit guidelines dont apply, every case was manually considered.

Motherlode is a gay club, a place where gay people meet other gay people. I am pretty sure lesbians or trans-people are not their main target. I’m ok with gay=yes being tagged there with lgbtq=* as this is more detailed than just lgbtq=*.

For mapping a gay bar (for men only), I’d say lgbtq:men=* is better. Your reasoning as to why lgbtq=* isn’t necessarily a synonym for gay=* does make sense, but this is why subkeys exist (lgbtq:*=* for men, women, trans people etc.; see OSM wiki for details) and changes nothing about the fact that “gay” is an ambiguous term that does not solely cover gay men, but is also commonly used as a term for the entire LGBTQ+ community (see this Wiktionary page, etymology 1, definitions 1.1 and 1.2 for details). It is not obvious to everyone that “a gay bar” implies men only, as the definition of “gay” varies between countries as a result of varying degrees of tolerance towards the LGBTQ+ community, and there’s also language barriers.


Lgbtq:gay=primary or :men=primary are better in about everyway over gay=yes.


I know there is some diffenrence between definitions, that’s why I suggested both tags can co-exist. We don’t know what exact policy in this place is - it’s possible that feminine-looking person would not be allowed there or that person would prefer less men-oriented place (they may simply feel uncomfortable here). If there is some better tag, that’s ok. Use them. But I am against removing it completely without changing it to anything else, and this is what is done there.

Maybe, but unfortunately, this didn’t happen in mass edit we are talking about. This information is just removed completely.

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gay=yes already didn’t have that information in it. It is impossible to know whether or not gay=yes on a bar means queer in general or gay men specifically without knowing the place.


Then it should have been discussed with community what the tag means and what it can be change into beforehand. Especially since this applies to the whole world, and terminology may be different there.
We also have to remember that many of gay=yes tags are really old. Terminology has changes a lot last 10 years, but if the tag was added 9 years ago, it’s pretty clear what they meant. It’s probably a better way to say it now, but again, this doesn’t mean that this automated edit is correct.

In my opinion all those edits shoul be reverted. They are against osm policy anyway (at least I didn’t see any discussion about that), and a lot of discussion is needed to be done beforehand. And none was done.

However the community says its defined doesn’t matter, it doesnt change how its used. It overwhelmingly meant lgbtq=primary pretty easily, with some just lgbtq=welcome or lgbtq:crusing=yes. Plenty already had lgbtq:men/etc tag added. I would know I went through all cases of it.

Again, not an automated edit.

Strongly disagree.

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I highly doubt that the mapper manualy looked after gay clubs using bing imagery how the comments and tags suggets. There is no way to tell how its done and it’s not explained. Which is another red flag.
But it doesn’t change much. Mass edits should be discussed too.


You’re just wrong here. We literally discussed this in the discord. All of it was manual. Besides those edits just removed it from places that already had lgbtq=primary, which if you want to follow OSM policy, gay=yes was just duplicate data.

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Are you the mapper? Becuase nothing suggests how it’s done. Only one comment from the mapper, but they didn’t explain how it’s done. If there was a discussion, I definitely didn’t see it (forum is generally the better place as more people are there to discuss) and it’s not mentioned anywhere which is incorrect. Again, a lot of errors there.

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No, I didn’t do those changesets in the post above, but we did coordinate in the discord about replacing all gay= tags with their lgbtq= equivalents. Everyone either agreed it should be done or didn’t care enough to comment. It was all manual. I don’t know the specifics of how jan-leila did it, but unless you know of a way to do an automated, worldwide edit in iD, it cleary all was manual. Personally, I used an overpass query in JOSM to get all uses and reviewed them there.

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In the future, I would strongly recommend discussing that types on changes on forum instead. That way the discussion does not “disappear” after a while and people will have more time to notice and join. Now it’s very difficult to say what happened and why.
It is also necessary to point in changeset comment that the edit is discussed and provide a link to discussion (I have no idea how to do that if the discussion was done in discord).


yes, discussing on discord is not sufficient to comply with the requirements for a mass edit, this should be reverted