New annual map is out!

Every burn year since …. way back… I produced a map placing camps based on the addresses camps published after they were released from Placement. A few people asked about it and I was very glad to do it again. Here is version 1!

It is all done in fun. There are probably more details that camps might have, but this shows how we are distributed in the city. It is important for a variety of reasons.

Where are the queers at? How do we find out own. As radically inclusive as we are, there are a lot of queer people who want (even temporarily) to be among like people. And part of the whole deal is we also welcome the un-like people.

The Queerborhood provides a valuable service and brings a unique energy to Black Rock City. It is vital to protect and nurture that. It is vital to curate and welcome new participants.

A 2015 survey from Black Rock Census showed us that a third of the city identified as queer, which is telling in a lot of ways. Whether it is a population who is actually non-straight or a co-opting of the word queer because cultural norms have shifted.

Updated should be made at www.queerburners.org/directory with a camp submission. The next update will come out within a week.

Rainbow Leadership Series Ep.2: Queerborhoods

Where: Online only
When: April 21, from 8pm to 9pm or later as needed
How: Register for direct access on Eventbrite
Who: As of 4/10 leads from BAAAHS, C&J, GlamCocks, Camp Beaverton, Gender Blender (Queerdome)

I invited select leaders in the community from some of the most known camps to speak about the Queerborhood in recent history and share ideas for the new age we have entered post covid (an assumption and maybe an unrealistic view). How can we help open a path to better collaboration and presentation without curating ourselves into a corner away from intrinsically inspired content that is spontaneous and inviting.

The Queerborhood in 7:30 has gone through a lot of evolution over time and continues to shapeshift. The splitting of Queerborhoods in 2019 was the first major change. 

The 4:30 Queerborhood anchored by BAAAHS was not the only Queerborhood that emerged over the years. Users have often generated spaces grown and fostered out of a need for safety and community. This includes Burner Buddies and others over time. 

On Thursday on April 21 8pm, I am inviting a panel to talk about Burning Man 2022. What are the needs of th Queer community and how do leaders in those sectors want to inspire, enrich and mentor our community into more enriching and accountable space. 

2022 is Coming!!! Weeeeeeeeeeee

Burning Man has given us a taste of 2022 and we are living for it. It is exciting they have committed to the BRC in 2022 and there are a lot of people into it. Thankfully, through many lessons learned through these pandemic times, we also learned a lot of lessons on how to do it better. That is just how PlanB opened a lot of eyes to the burning desire of our community to collaborate and make our culture thrive.

PlanB was not a shit show. Well, it gave a lot of people a really amazing experience while some of us (like me) was too uncomfortable to go out there. But, I will say that I have not heard a single bad thing. I watched the live feeds. I saw SO MANY of my friends posting pictures and sharing stories. I was in major FOMO, but I was also not in a place mentally or physically to go out there. So, I did it from home this year.

What have we learned from 2021? Certainly, that there are a lot of people who capable and responsible and willing to sacrifice a lot to commune. It is vital to us as humans. Without a doubt, these kinds of community gatherings in their various sizes are fundamental to community. I would encourage you to read “Dancing in the Streets” by  Barbara Ehrenreich.

Some have mentioned that: “Who needs the BMorg anymore if we can do it on their own?” There is a much bigger picture happening than some of those people may realize and there might have been a lot of help out there people did not directly see to make sure things went well. But, as mentioned before, the reviews have been amazing.

What was missing?

  • Art: the feedback was that we missed a lot of the art that would have normally been out there. Some of those pieces can be awe-inspiring.
  • Services: Someone left a porto filled… nasty.

And how will the Cultural Direction Setting Team’s work from 2019 to 2020 impact the future of the event? Was that all a waste? I was a part of that team and though my personal involvement I saw where there was a lot of good intentions in it, but with 2 years of no-event what will the future hold. It had a lot to do with camps and what expectations were. But, where will the bar fall on TCO’s for 2022 now?

I am excited about what could be happening and I am trying to figure out WHAT my role is for the burn. I am wondering what yours is if it is different. Feel free to comment here and/or on social media.

Burning Man 2021 Live – Cancelled

How are you coping with the news? We had a glimmer of hope that was turning into the light at the end of the tunnel that seemed to indicate Burning Man 2021 was happening. We had a theme. We had DGS ticket sales and Placement for Theme Camps warming up. There were a lot of communications, but with Maid Marian’s announcement last Tuesday brought so much to a halt.

Theme Camps

The Burning Man Theme Camp Symposium seems to still be happening for camps to gather and share resources. These resources have dwindled and transformed with this being the 2nd year of no migration to the playa. There is a call for information still: Link Here. Maybe that will change too? It is being spearheaded by our own Dr Dilemma from the Paradise Motel theme camp.

Camps were already getting their ducks in a row and there was a lot of energy being driven forward. I guess we proved that even in a much shorter window of time we could act and get our logistics lined up and deliver. However, the road was swept away. Some people saw it coming and some retained unbreakable optimism only to be left with a broken heart in the end.

Will Burning Man Survive?

Burning Man is much more than an event in the desert and many of us know that. The 10 Principles, their application to our individual lives and those around us, have evolved so much in 30 some odd years. Yet, so much energy has gone into regional events that the life breath created by Larry Harvey can continue to thrive on those places.

What makes regional events stronger is their ability to be more inclusive, enable diversity and be much more equitable because TTITD has strayed a long way from that. I do not believe (my opinion) that Burning Man is exclusive, it is achievable, but not for everyone. Should it be? Ideally yes, because we celebrate art, performance and self expression. It is a sense of joy and connection that will bleed down through it’s regional events and it’s most dedicated followers.

Burning Man 2022 might just be the most – off the chain – event of the decade. The community is facing the most powerful reset button one can imagine, but it is vital to appreciate that journey. By honoring the burners who did not survive this pandemic in the deepest most meaningful way possible we should move ahead. I truly hope the theme of that year is that phoenix that symbolizes the struggle and sacrifice of so many humans.

For the many vendors whose business suffered without that revenue, family businesses like MECO Water our of Reno, let’s remember them as well. Their services and livelihoods suffered too.

The Org struggles to maintain their projects, staff and mission in the vacuum of ticket sales. There are people there whom we have come to love and feel connected to.

So, yes Burning Man as an ideology and culture will continue to thrive as long as we have a channel to achieve that. Our network is strong and our ideas and spirit unbreakable.

Conclusion

The abrupt and sudden decision to call Burning Man 2021 was a hard one. BRCvr and other channels for a virtual burn will without doubt shine and help fill the void. Groups are already planning their own events and there seems to be an expectation that people will go to the playa anyway. They even released a travel guide for the journey: Link here. So looking ahead let’s look around and:

  • make sure your community or camp mate or partner or friend is doing okay with this news
  • see where your community is bringing the playa home and how you can participate
  • be the doacracy for your community and help forge that vision with partners
  • support your community participants in whatever the vision of the future take shape

Where are we that….?

Over the years that I have been doing things under the banner of Queer Burner (formerly Gay Burners) it has taken many forms. As the primary voice on this project it has been my chief goal to unite queer burners and make a fun play space for all those who would like to play in this amazing sand box.

Like on any playground, there are bullies. There are people who would thrust their point of view on other around them in spite of facts or truths. We do live in an age where there is “truthiness” and “alt-truths” and revisionist history that seek to drive a narrative that is increasingly questioned by some and ignored by others.

In the scope of that, calling out white privilege has been a big subject. At the Burning Man Global Leadership Conference this April 2017 in Oakland, California there was a 2 hour discussion from a black woman to a widely mixed audience. The smartest thing a white male could do was to listen and observe, but that was too much for some of us. You can imagine the results.

This week we put a survey on one of our Facebook Groups : Queer Burners Global Social Network :

  • Patience. Calm. Honesty. Maybe reflect a moment before answering. There is a reasonable expectation that the Gayborhood / Rainbow Road is going to be very different in 2017. If the Queer Neighborhood is decentralized will this effect your burn?

The feedback has been amazing. The ability to answer in the scope of the poll was limited. Read through the comments and see some of what happen, because it is awesome. However, a lot of people had no problem with the dissolution of the Gayborhood. BTW: they were mostly white and male (as of last check).

Some battles have been strange and interesting. If you read the trip report from the 2016 Burn there was a meeting with Placement at a queer camp (Sun Guardians) where in mostly queer camps came to meet with Placement and have a conversation about being neighborly: this was not a meeting about Queer Camps.

There were two attendees that highjacked the meeting and tried to make it about the merits of the Gayborhood, but we were able to steer it away. Among them was a person with a complex and strong voice from the White Ocean camp who clearly was dealing with his own demons.

The second person was a member of the temple crew  whose partner wanted nothing to do with the direction of the conversation.

This week someone named Tom Steward posted publicly his feelings about the Gayborhood and this submission was an echo of sentiment from other voices in the minority about the Gayborhood:

  • Gays are in no more danger than anyone else at burning man. No need for a gayborhood unless you want easy cruising. Gays should be sprinkled lightly over the entire city. We are a gay camp and have never felt threatened and dislike that gays are segregated.” – Tom posted this with his email address and IP. It was a public submission through the feedback form and he had some feelings to share.

Tom reflects the feelings of some other burners; most often it is a voice of people who feel rejected by the Gayborhood and it’s residents. In my 9 years burning I have seen an amazing evolution of queer camps who have worked very very very hard to make their camps and residents more inclusive and welcoming. We have evolved and ask to see if your perception can evolve with us.

Even if the Gayborhood is broken into 2, if it is dissolute, it will evolve and survive. But with that, people who find a sense of safety with it are the people Burning Man is trying to reach. It’s not just an ethnic loss, it’s the loss of diversity on another level.

E very person I have seen asking for the breakup of the Gayborhood was a gay white male sharing a point of view that excluded anyone else in the scope of what they proposed to be destroyed. Objectively these people are missing a lot of facts.

  • we conducted surveys of the community and found clear data that there were significant threats to personal safety against gender ambiguous, trans and specifically female identified people in the scope of the survey sent to Queer Burner members.  The results are on this site from last year.
  • his expression of “we” seems to be limited to his white, gay camp mates of a mysterious camp yet unidentified.

Queers and people of color do not move through community like everyone. We (they) are usually aware of their environments for specific safety reasons. We do not walk through a neighborhood assuming safety. It is the same in the world and the same at Burning Man. With the commercialization of Burning Man, with the Bucket List thinking, we have to step up our game for safety and community support more and more.

GLC: Gayborhood Broken up?

The Burning Global Leadership Conference (#bmglc2017) (GLC) was last weekend and one question has been on my mind: will Placement be breaking up the Gayborhood / Rainbow Road / Queer Neighborhood? We do not know. But there were people who approached me saying the same thing:

The Rumor Patrol was running around the event and reported:

  • “…there was a placer in one of my sessions who confirmed that the Gayborhood was being broken up”

Burning Man Placement is about to undergo some major changes in that Answergirl is leaving her role as the head of Placement; a role she held for about a year. She has been and acted as a advocate for LGBT needs and the needs of the citizens of our community. On top of that a favorite Placer for Burning Man who had traditionally handled the Gayborhood is leaving Burning Man altogether; Hepkitten is moving on.

When asked for an official statement about the breakup of the Gaybohood; e.g. where Placement is on the issue Answergirl had a very defensive posture and reaction that took me back.  I assured Answergirl I was not an adversary but I should be looked at as a tool for communicating to the community as a whole.

Per Answergirl: (paraphrased quotes)

  • we have 350 applications for a space that holds 250
  • the theme camp application form is still open we do not know how many are asking
  • we included a part of the form about lgbt allies and will group people accordingly…

Burning Man’s official position from Answergirl is that they try and meet everyones needs in the scope of the application process. They do their best to meet everyone’s needs. There is no official Gayborhood to consider breaking up, because it is not officially recognized. So, asking if Placement is breaking up the Gayborhood is not the right question.

All that is certainly true within the scope of how Burning Man looks at it’s community and placement. Queer camps are not acknowledged differently than non-queer camps.  The Gayborhood has existed since the late 1990’s and has only come together because of the way people filled out their applications and with some support with placers like Hepkitten.

How do we keep the BMorg from dividing us? Do we care if they do. It is my opinion that placement in 2016 did splatter us on the map. With the shooting at the Pulse night Club in June 2016 was the idea to break things up pushed back?

And what about safety for vulnerable LGBT burners on playa? Check out that information and more on this page under the tag: #controversy

Answergirl went on to say in a way that was heartfelt, that it breaks her heart to know that some people go to Burning Man who do not feel safe there. It is not just LGBT people who struggle with safety, but a lot of women and other ethnic people in a world dominated by:

  • straight, white, (mostly) male entitlement and
  • an upsurge in tourist and festival goers (See Burn.Life article)
  • a steady loss of burners bringing the burner ethos & life style

The answer is… we don’t know. Answergirl had no answer other than a few bullet points on official policy but would not say there is any plan officially. Bravo Placer is likely to be her replacement and though we met him at the May 2016 meeting with Queer Camp leaders, we really do not know him. No matter what, I think we can be best to be prepared for something different in 2017. One thing I know is for certain, we have people who know how to roll with the punches and bounce back strong.

March 2017 News Letter

March 2017 – Happy Burnal Equinox

It’s a time when the season has really began heating up and the foundation for the 2017 Burning Man event themed “Radical Ritual” is taking root. The DGS ticket sale for theme camps and the participation forms are open are all happening right now. Shit is happening people!

In this issue of the monthly news letter:

  • All Of Us Update
    • The Journey joins All Of Us
    • BAAAHS bus Pearl will be there
    • 2 planned parties announced
    • A complete list of our scheduled DJ’s
  • Burning Man Ticket Sales
    • it’s time to get ready!!!
  • 2017 Queer Camps List
  • Events
  • The Mechanics: How this email works

Next Week

All Of Us Update

Ticket sales are still flowing strong and if all continues to go well we can see a point where we can sell out another year. This is our 3rd year and since it is the ONLY LGBTQ event of its kind we offer something truly special. We are blessed with some amazing talent joining us.

The Journey – a 2017 major art piece headed to Burning Man is coming to All Of Us as a preview!

The Journey is sponsored by Fractured Atlas where you can learn more! [click me] to donate and learn more about this amazing project. For All Of Us attendees this is a great photo op for pictures with the art piece that syncs with the BAAAHS bus with lighting and sound making it a real 360 degree experience!!!

How do you imagine the After World: will it be bright and fun, or dark and dirty, or peaceful and relaxing? Come share your vision with us at After World our Saturday-night event at All Of Us Event 2017! Costumes encouraged, but not required. Get your tickets to All of Us here: https://tinyurl.com/AllOfUsAfterWorld

Here are the 3 banners circulating about the event.

Sunday @ All Of Us Event 
On Sunday afternoon, it’s time to lather on the sunscreen and gather at the pool. Drinks, music and hot wet fun! It’s supposed to be 80°, so grab an itty bitty bikini or your favorite victorian bathing costume and let’s all splash around. We’ll miss Groundswell’s beautiful pond, but this year there will be fewer fish biting you. Plus the 20-person hot tub is just the place to get cozy and meet new friends.

The pool and all the grounds are clothing optional, but please remember to always respect your fellow burners. Everyone is entitled to feel safe and accepted at all times. Treat fellow guests with dignity regardless of sex, gender identity, gender expression, age, race, body type, culture, etc. and we’ll all get along swimmingly. See you by the pool!

Stay tuned and follow the event on Facebook at All Of Us Event and Twitter @allofus

Burning Man Ticket Sales

Well, they are starting really soon! THE ONLY SOURCE of information for ticket sales is the ticket sales web site. Period. Go to tickets.burningman.org … why, because something really fucking important is happening now:

Make sure your Burner Profile is up to date and has your real information on it (name and address stuff) and that you TicketFly.Com is also up to date. Have at least $1200 of room on your credit card if buying 2 tickets. Just FYI…

2017 Queer Burners Camp List

The list is taking shape and camps are seriously gearing up to get ready for “Radical Ritual” Burning Man 2017. Do not be one of those people who wait til the last minute to commit because you WILL be left out. Check out the 2017 Queer Burners Page on our web site. 

Events

This is a list of events we know about:

Submit your events for the news letter in the link below.

The Mechanics

Thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped keep this network thriving. As we get closer to event season there is room for more people to play in this garden. If you sign up on the Queer Burners web site and are verified, then you too can write posts and continue conversations relevant to the community at large. Thank you to so many of you.

Burning Man 2016

What an amazing year. Rainbow Road (Inner and Outer) found itself spread out really thin in 2016 as opposed to the way were concentrated in 2015. There will be an article posted about that on Monday right here on QueerBurners.Com.

We would love to post highlights, camp photos, group photos of everyone’s burns. Please send them to info (at) queerburners (dot) com so we can put them in a group image gallery. Naughty bits okay in our gallery, not like F***book.

The BAAAHS sheep roared like a lion and the Glamcock showed in style as usual. Comfort & Joy brought a slightly new spin to their whole presentation and we loved it. 8-Bit Bunny  heated it up and the Gender Blenders served it cold. Mudskippers had table service and Camp Conception blew it up.

Sun Guardians hosted a Burning Man wide event for Placement that fell into the merits of the the Gayborhood that got super ugly (details coming).

The general consensus is, except for those taken down by the Norwalk virus, this year was a general success! We have some things to work on to make sure we keep our place in the sun, but community strong and united we stand.

Naked Pub Crawl

source: www.aussielicious.com.au

2016 Mens Naked Pub CrawlWell it’s out. One of the most popular events happening on the playa is the Naked Pub Crawl aka Men’s Naked Bike Ride… although not technically synonymous. It is of course a radically inclusive event, but also attracts mostly gay men. By the time it is done people are feeling… well… no pain.

(click to view image > and hit the back button in the browser to escape)

This typically happens on Wednesday at 11am and lasts until the early afternoon. There are hundreds of people engaged in it and is is a lot of fun.

The organizers posted this imaged on the Queer Burners Facebook group and have indicated there might be more changes coming. But, we can be assured that the event is scheduled and will start at The Man* then off to Barbie Death Camp.

One big change this year is the giant Circle Jerk is not happening at the end of the ride. The organizer has moved the Circle Jerk to Thursday asking for a focus on the ceremony of a circle jerk. This is good for a variety of people. The limits and strengths are +/- for people because in the ceremony you can’t go-down on someone or start fucking. There is a discipline needed and the challenge of patience.

Link to the Bike ride in Playa Events

Link to the Circle Jerk in Playa Events

The writeup from Playa Events (linked above):

Since 2004, hundreds of burners meet at the Man and pedal off into the City for a few hours of bar hopping and good cheer! Multiple host camps will have bartenders standing by with icy libations prepared exclusively for the riders. Among this year’s host camps are Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro, Duckpond, Cubhouse, BAAAHS, and Celestial Bodies. The ride culminates with an 80s Jazzercise Dayglo afterparty hosted by the wonderful folks at Comfort & Joy. If you’re willing to meet the dress code, join us for one of the goofiest parties on the playa. No statement or political agenda; just riding our bikes, drinking some cocktails, and making new friends. Oh yeah, and we’re naked. Mugs for the first 500 riders (and yeah, we always run out). Cheers!

 

Events Information for BM 2016

The creator of the Time to Burn App has provided one of the most widely used online tools for the playa for your smart phone. While many people argue that devices like that are one of the reasons TTITD is in the middle of the desert, it is also more useful that the What Where When booklet because it holds a lot more events than are listed in it.

The What Where When booklet you get upon arrival, with the official sticker inside, can only hold approximately 15000 entries while there are a lot more than that on playa. Apps like Time to Burn and iBurn utilize the whole playaevents database. The more value added side of Time to Burn is that he has been able to ferret out many of the LGBTQ camps/events and associate the #lgbt hashtag that makes it more useful to our community.

Has need and technology voided the usefulness of the What Where When booklet? That is for the future participants to decide. We have the links where you can download your copy of the app for free.