All Of Us Ticketing concerns

When the ticketing was set up in Eventbrite it was clear that there was no single or flat rate to put them on. There are a variety of accommodations and spaces for people to stay so they were translated to the Eventbrite app as best as possible. You are best to go directly to Eventbrite to get the details on the event ticketing.

  • A majority of the cabins have been sold out!

We have had some feedback about some complexity in the selections. There is mostly Tenting / RV or Camper camping spots left. We also have the dormitory which is four rooms above the dining hall.

We may well open the two cabins and sell the room individually unless someone wants to buy the whole large cabins.

What can the All Of Us team do better for you and get you tickets?

View Results


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Jan 2nd News Letter: Copy

It is with excitement and anticipation that we march into 2017 in spite of national politics and the passing of so many great voices and entertainers in 2016. AND we announce the opening of ticket sales for “All Of Us” 2017, formerly known as the Queer Burner Retreat.

 

All Of Us will be held at www.saratogasprings.com in Upper Lake, California for 5 days and 4 nights in the great beauty that is the northern California woods. It is about the same driving distance as Groundswell. While we will miss the lovely and inspiring land of Groundswell, this new location can handle a larger population and is just as beautiful.

Yes, we are expanding by offering more value with stronger leadership. We have built an experience unlike any other for LGBTQ+ Burning Man participants and our allies.

Join us on Memorial Day Weekend for a new level of amazing!

 

Burning Man Ticket Sales

As predicted, in the days before the December Holidays, Burning Man announced it’s theme and then the ticket schema. They are primed for an early sale to raise funds for the artist supported projects through the Burning Man Arts Grants (also announced in December). Some have asked why are there tickets at this price point? There are those eager to go to Burning Man at any price. There are those who are zealots for the cause. Either way, this is partially how grants make their way to artists.

Queer Burner Artists for 2017

There are some special projects we are already excited to see unfolding. Please help support these artists through sharing their gifts to the community or helping to fund/support their campaigns.

2017 The Get Down

The Get Down is a conceptual art installation hoping to find its way to Black Rock City and the 2017 Burning Man Festival. If you are interested in reading more about the project, would like to keep up on our progress, or would like to become a crew member, please join us and help this dream become a reality.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BurnTheGetDown2017/

The Journey

We are a group of friends and artists experienced with Burning Man culture. We will bring a large scale art project, known as The Journey in 2017.

https://www.facebook.com/TheJourneyProject2017/

Leadership in 2017

Rumor has it that the Burning Man Org is inviting more people to the Global Leadership Conference for 2017, that is direct from a top Burning Man source. According to other bmorg staff in 2016 at the same conference, there is a strong desire to open up this inspiring event to more participants.

But, what else for 2017? Beside the “All Of Us” event replacing the Queer Burner Retreat, there is talk of a Queer Burner Leadership Summit as well. And finally, a faction has proposed a post-Burning Man event at Groundswell that looks like a great idea as well but has not been firmed up as of yet.

As for All Of Us we have a strong team creating the project that started meeting in October. Each meeting is like a onion revealing new and exciting miraculous layers. We are still looking for people for parts that will be played in the coming weeks. To sign up fill out this form.

  • Choreographer
  • Stage Manager
  • Gate Manager
  • Rangers
  • Workshop Leads

Very grateful for Ranger Kickstand for leading the Ranger portion of our event and leading a discussion about Mental Health and self care on the playa. To those who have stepped up including Phoenix from QueerCouplesCenter.com who is a licensed psychotherapist who will be also lending  hand with a workshop.

What Else about All Of Us?

It is all very exciting and our Education Manager is Papasmurf from Camp Proper. He and Toaster have been working together to start a program of educational and fun things for diversions at the event. One direction is to focus on mental and physical health. We are looking for programs for newbies that introduce the 10 Principles and burner life inside and outside the trash fence. Stay Tuned:

Upcoming Events:

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.

12/16 Queer Burners News Letter

All Of Us Announced Today!!!!!

The All Of Us Event for 2017 is the new version of the Queer Burner Retreat from 2015 and 2016 Memorial Day Weekend and tickets will start going in sale soon! We have a new venue and added a bunch of amazing people to an already amazing production team. Check out these links for all the information:

Early Bird Sales for lower priced tickets will be Jan 1 to Jan 30 only. This 5 day / 4 night event will be a much bigger, better production that in previous years. Check out all the amenities listed on our Eventbrite or Web Site links. Or visit http://www.saratogasprings.com

Happy New Year! Happy Holidays!

Burning Man announced the 2017 theme as “RADICAL RITUAL” and it could be very exciting. There are so many directions that this can go to celebrate and revel in our Burner Community at large  as much as our Queer sector of the city. Radical Ritual is not necessarily a religious thing, it could be a mating ritual, a rites of passage (wait, they did that one), a giant quinceanera, a bar mitzvah, and so many more celebrations and ceremonies and beginnings and endings.

Queer Burners

Queer Burners is a community driven platform for LGBT Burning Man participants to network and connect anywhere in the world. The sole purpose is to help generate a safe place for people to network and build relationships that people can feel safe with. Web Site / Twitter @queer_burners / Facebook

Facebook Group v. Page

So why if there a Queer Burners Facebook PAGE …AND a Queer Burners Facebook GROUP? It might seem a bit confusing to most people and it has been asked a few times.

Once upon a time it was Facebook Page – Gay Burners but we changed it to Queer Burners in 2011’ish to be more inclusive. Then the GROUP was created initially to enhance the network and started with Queer Burners as social stream for the community and when we went back to change it Facebook said … “no”.

One of these days it will all be perfect. Facebook tools change all the time. So do their rules.

What’s Happening:

There is very little for outside the bay area on our mail list. Sorry about that, but please keep us posted with regional bad-ass things happening. We try and check regional pages to make sure we stay up on the what-what…

A little more business:

12/2 Queer Burners News Letter

Queer Burners is first about creating and fostering community and safe space for LGBTQAI+ people and our allies. We have a handful of leaders in the community that have united to help unite us all, while also fostering their individual group missions as well. Get engaged, be a part of making community a part of your life, at any level. This holiday season, step out of your bubble and do something extra for someone else completely selflessly.

All Of Us Event 2017

We have a whole production team working very hard on this event already. It is the third year for the Queer Burner Retreat now branded as the “All Of Us” Event. In our next news letter there will be some seriously HUGE news so stay tuned. Check out the Facebook Group to get announcements. Yes, we have kept it pretty quiet for now, but that is about to change. We have Instagram and Twitter accounts for this event. Social Media #allofusevent2017

Happy Holidays Everyone!

We are blessed to be able to do what we do in our lives and that many of us get to experience such love and support so generously. All those FREE HUGS signs and dusty smiles mean so much. This year a lot of people have been attacked with cancer, depression, and many other medical and life issues that drain the soul. All we can do is try and be present by listening, by delivering when we can, and by being supportive to make sure we know these loved ones are not alone. Some shed tears outside, some shed them inside, but seen or unseen they are vanquished often with one of those precious hugs or acknowledgements. Love & Light to you all.

Some Updates on Stories:

Gay Pride at Burning Man: BRC Pride Group on Facebook : Queer Burners Article
A community leader offered some great feedback on this issue on the Queer Burners Group and hopefully this will be an ongoing discussion. Linked Here

Where are you at? A Queer Burner asks where people are at in the world? Check out this poll pinned to the top of  this page: Linked Here

Thank you everyone who bought t-shirts last month. We raised $25.00 that was posted to the Go Fund Me for Kitten. Saw Kitten at Thanksgiving and it was such a joy!

Check out Queer Burner T-Shirts and help us keep the lights on!

What’s on Calendar

11/16 News Letter

To get this news letter in your mail box sign in at the bottom of the page. There is a form in the footer to get on the mailing list. Everyone who signs up on the web site is automatically added to the list.

November

How exciting it is that 2016 is finally coming to an end. Politics…. media non-sense… now we can look ahead to the holiday season and enjoy family and friends. People in the U.S. are getting ready for a very prolific holiday (especially this year) called Thanksgiving. This is when we take a moment to stop and evaluate the things we are genuinely thankful for. We focus on the positive and the genuine. The 11th Principle: Gratitude.


We made a t-shirt for our community to share and encourage personal strength the leadership in the community. The money derived from this sale will only go to support Queer Burner properties like the web site, patches and stickers. BUT THIS TIME: we will donate all proceeds of this shirt through the end of the year to:

Community Shout Out: Kitten from Comfort & Joy

One of the early supporters of Queer Burners and a #queerburnerperson who played an important role in the community is trying to make himself a new life. Please help us send some love and support. ALL UNITE T-SHIRT SALES WILL GO TO KITTEN’s GoFundMe. But you can donate directly to:
https://www.gofundme.com/kittencalfee

Upcoming Events to Note

The “All Of Us” Event 2016 is about to be announced. You can still be part of the machine that makes it all work. We have just started meeting and have some great roles to fill. Some of our leads need helpers and many more roles. This is an unofficial regional style event with a remarkable new management team working with the old one to bring something super amazing. Fill out this form (link) to talk to the leads about joining in. A volunteer sheet will be out in 2017, but ticket sales will start soon.


And much more on the December 1st news letter! Share this and tell your friends! Help us make Queer Burners the best and richest resource for queer camps going to the burn.

Community Bulletin Board

A burner wrote QB asking… are there any queer burners in Chicago and so we asked. We posted a poll asking where people are at and then we can see if we can get resources in that area.

Are you a camp leader and on Facebook? There are several resources you should know about. This is for camp leaders now and future:

AND…. 2017 Camp Listing: this year we are asking camps to submit their entries for the web site so there are fewer assumptions from the producers of Queer Burners. You need to be part of the current leadership team of a camp to submit and please submit only once to this link (embeded).

Camps already submitted include: (if you see your camp submitted and want are not sure if this was done correctly there will be a chance to correct it before published):

  • Glamcocks (submitted and confirmed)
  • Sun Guardians (submitted and confirmed)
  • Down Low Club (submitted and confirmed)

Gay Pride at Burning Man

The last big post we shared got less attention than hoped, especially about a huge subject like this. Your feedback and input is really needed right now. Please take a look at this post about Pride & Burning Man.

Let’s Talk About … IT

Starting somewhere around 2006 an active member of the community named Mario Cisneros started a gay pride parade event that would begin at the foot of the man and wind into the city. It was usually a well turned out event because politically there was a lot still going on in the United States and in some other parts of the world where LGBT and other sexual self identifying people were struggling for rights and not to forget Mario’s flare for getting people together.

Burning Man Gay Pride
Mario: Left Side of Screen

Mario was part of Moonbow camp. It was, at least for a period of time, usually found near 3:00 and C in Black Rock City and was where the original Official Queer Burner Meet & Greet was before it moved over to the Down Low Club. All of this was done, at least through 2016, in Mario’s memory thanks to several members of the community struggling to keep it alive.

Mario Cisneros
Mario Cisneros

In 2014 the popularity and attendance started to wain and the organizer tried to update the concept to make it more interesting to the community at large but it never really caught fire. Mario passed in 2012 so from 2012 to 2015 Toaster from the Sun Guardians Village tried mastering it with a more pub crawl / parade vibe. Justin from Camp Proper took over in 2016 and had about the same, perhaps slightly better success than what Toaster finished with.

What Happen to LGBT Pride at Burning Man?

When talking about LGBT Pride in Black Rock City there was a dichotomy that was grossly apparent even in a part of the city that has been traditionally called the Gayborhood (to Rainbow Road for inclusivity). On one hand there was a thought that ALL burners were playing on the same field and there was no more us versus them. In fact, the powers that be at Burning Man Headquarters have stated they want to see queer camps dispersed through the city.

On the other hand, there are a lot of Queer Burners who have asked the Burning Man Organization to keep the queer neighborhood in tact for reasons of safety and security which has already been discussed in previous posts on this site. There was a theory that LGBTQAI feel threatened physically and emotionally on various levels; specifically female and non-conforming gender identities based on a recent survey (May 2016 by the Queer Burner Leadership Network); that the close quarters of Queer Camps help created a layer of safety and refuge for vulnerable queers and women.

The various positions on Pride at Burning Man made even a seasoned queer pause and doubt the importance of celebrating ones social/sexual self as opposed to others. The drive behind pride, at least within the fence around Black Rock City, became lost in the dust at some point.

Why Pride?

Why to Burning Man of all places? Most people think of Burning Man as the adult playground of love and harmony. EVERYONE loves each other and free hugs abound. This is the story that touches every soul who is compelled back annually and let nothing get in their way. All of that is absolutely true.

The dark underbelly of that has been physical and sexual assault that has resulted in a powerful and present campaign by great organizations like BED (Bureau of Erotic Discourse) and Safe Place.

But back to pride… there are a lot of old queerdos that go to Burning Man who are 80 years old and there are a lot of young people who never saw those battles in the streets for equality. To some Stonewall was an honorable mention in a history book (maybe) or something written on a rainbow flag they saw in June (gay pride month).

  • In our lifetime, even today, a person can be killed – loose their job – be thrown out of their home – all just for being LGBT. It does not matter what your age is. This happens today.
  • In our lives we queers are often forced by survival to choose our own faemily (spelling intentional) because the ones we were raised with cannot relate.
  • Queer teens are, as long as records have been kept, have the highest rates of suicide.

Pride, even if YOU as an individual don’t need it in the moment, that you know you have a softer place to go to if your other system fails. It is a light, rainbow colored, that will embrace.

Pride has FAILED some people who feel shamed or ostracized by their contemporaries or elders. As much as we try and sweep up the wreckage and want to heal that soul sometimes we cannot.

Pride and self worth is something we as a community embrace on our own terms, but as a community stand together to be that soft cushion for those in need where we can. The key word: Community. No matter how many people who cannot understand that history and vulnerability that are out there, the rest of us have to stand strong and bright so darkness does not win.

LGBT Pride and Burning Man

It has always seemed clear that the 10 Principles written by Larry Harvey for Burning Man were things that would resonate with LGBT people, specifically because it already represents what we have been trying to do our whole lives. It would seem the white-hetero-heavy board of directors for Burning Man were looking for the same exact thing as Queer Burners and people residing in the Rainbow Road section of the city.

According to the 2015 census 1/3rd of the citizens of Black Rock City are LGBT self identified. In 2016 the questions on the survey changed somewhat thanks to input from members of the Gender Blender camp to the powers that be that included more definitive terms people can self identify in the 2016 census. Look up #demographics on this site to see past census data.

The 10 Principles draw some parallel lines to basic needs from Burning Man participants to Queer Burners as a substructure of that community as a whole.

Out of the 70,000 people of Black Rock City only a small percentage actively engage in the Rainbow Road sector comparatively. However, the energy generated by queer camps has attracted mixed and mostly straight camps to the same sector for the same benefits queer camps have asked for. Camps like Orphan Endorphine identify as queer friendly and have been great community partners who want to be near us.

2017 Pride

There is yet new blood working on a 2017 event at Burning Man with new management. It is with great hope and anticipation we will see more of the community drawing together under the 2017 pride banner. We have a responsibility to represent the best qualities of ourselves and our community.

There have been some true champions in this story over the years. Many are shown in the #Queer Burners People hashtag who have contributed to this effort over time. Collectively Gender Blender, Beaverton and Glamcocks have made great strides in building bridges in and out of the queer neighborhood.

There is a vital need for LGBT Pride! Our fight is not over. All the rights bestowed upon us in the USA could vanish in a month, a week, or any amount of time. Even at Burning Man, there is still a chance that Placement will dismantle the queer camps in spite of our arguments to the contrary. The truth is there are more arguments against it out there than for it. We need to keep pride, community, and being present for those that need a hand always in mind.

If you are the one who needs that hand then talk to people… but a hand is different than a handout and radical self reliance is a scary road.

And finally: Placement has not taken a position to dismantle the queer neighborhood completely but it is a reality we might soon need to face. There was talk about breaking it in half at a 2016 meeting attended by your community leaders. Use your voice for good and together we will be a stronger community. Be engaged and help us promote a better united and supportive hug to embrace those when they need it.

News letter from 10/13

October Part II View this email in your browser

** October Part 2 ————————————————————

Here is to hoping everyone and their many touching #ComingOutDay messages seen on line this week. This is a great primer as we see the announcement for ALL OF US 2017 (the new Queer Burner Retreat) is on the horizon. BUT, we are looking for help still… we are looking for:

* An Accountant

* Stage Manager

* Choreographer

Just email us or reply to this email. The production Team will be meeting in the beginning of November and are looking for someone engaged as soon as possible. It is best if this person is in the Bay Area, but not absolutely required. These are paid positions, part time.

Big Announcements coming in the mid November mailer about ALL OF US 2017 – including tickets sales, ways camps can make a presence, the ways people can access the event that could not do it before, and out campaign for INCLUSIVITY!

** EVENTS & HAPPENINGS ————————————————————

From the calendar!
* San Francisco: Cosmic Ranch 2016 Burning Man Deco (https://www.facebook.com/events/168549850255182
* World Wide: Hugs Across America (https://www.facebook.com/events/296284867393010/
* New York City: Playa in the Park (https://www.facebook.com/events/1608200769472687/
* Colorado: Denver DeCOmpression – The Atomic (https://www.facebook.com/events/1839492569612308/
* Oakland: Exxxhibition – An artistic celebration of (https://www.facebook.com/events/1161140213927069/
* San Francisco: SpiceRack: Trumpacolypse! (https://www.facebook.com/events/351848188490599/
* San Francisco: 7th Annual SuperHero Street Fair 2016 (https://www.facebook.com/events/173711622995981/
* New York City: Haus of Yes – Pink Mammoth (http://Tickets: https://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx
* Yorkville: Groundswell Halloween 2016 (https://www.facebook.com/events/1313540668657288/
* San Francisco: Ghost Ship Halloween: Atlantis (https://www.facebook.com/events/1779256285686456/
* Sacramento: Spark the Dark – Sacramento Burning Man (https://www.facebook.com/events/660141257469081/
* San Francisco: ALL OF US Production Team Meeting – closed meeting for producers Nov 3rd

LAS VEGAS: Going to Vegas anytime soon? The Phoenix Bar 4213 W Sahara Ave is Burner and Queer Burner owned space! They have weekly meet-ups. Check them out! https://www.facebook.com/thephoenixlv

COLORADO: has a new Regional Queer Burner Page!!! More to come, but this page has already taken on some amazing life!!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/216147918803048/

SAN FRANCISCO: Did you know that there are a lot of local businesses owned by burners? QBar, Midnight Sun and Beaux are all owned by a local burner business man who is committed to the community.

 

** COMMUNITY AWARENESS ————————————————————

How many people on your feed are experiencing a hard time? The increase in Cancer in the community is scary! Keep your thoughts, prayers, well wishes and wallets available for those asking for help! #fuckcancer hashtag for those supporting the fight for cancer.

Mental Health is also something very important! Many camp leaders and participants suffer from Anxiety and Depression and can’t … literally can’t ask for help. Be mindful of our community and be a supporter. All it takes to start is a smile and the show of love and support. Don’t find out when it is too late.

Radical Inclusion: Doing Better

There were 2 highly visible incidents during burn week where people had a wide audience who complained they did not feel welcome in the queer neighborhood affectionately known now as Rainbow Road. This is not news to a lot of people, because we have had problems in the past, among LGBTQAI people exploring the area of Black Rock City.

Given the conversations we have had among leadership in the community, it is hard to believe that such a thing can still happen today. We strive to make Rainbow Road accessible to everyone.

A few years ago Camp Beaverton has a hard nut to crack. That is a women only space (women identified too) and there is a need to protect and honor that space. But the gay men-folk love their lesbians and thanks to the efforts of camp leadership starting with Bucket and then someone like Foxy and Galaxyled the way to make the Beavers more engaged and invigorated community partners.

The Beaverton space is still a space to be honored for women as Gender Blender is to gender queer and trans people which are all spaces that need to be respected. The GB’s have always maintained a sense of welcoming.

Nobody can deny how much The Glamcocks have worked to build into community awareness and to make sure that their camp was accessible by people of all shapes, sizes and ages. It’s been YEARS since there were any complaints and anyone holding into the past needs to explore the future.

That was the Past: The Now

Incident 1: As mentioned in a previous post, there was a meeting at Sun Guardians Village that was attended by a lot of Queer Burner Leaders, non-Queer specific and others. This was attended by Placement and Placers from Burning Man HQ. One of the attendees complained he was ostracized by queer Burning Man participants because he was an ex-porn star, ex-escort and so forth. In fact his position was so anti-Gayborhood and loudly spoken that it derailed the meeting with Placement for at least an hour.

This one person claimed that he posted on the Queer Burner boards and was treated horribly, though I have not been able to find that discussion. In fact the only thing I can find is an offer to help camps with grey water back in August this year.

This was a powerful situation, highly visible, from a person who has a voice in the Burning Man community at large and should never have had a negative experience, but things happen. We have some strong opinions and defenses out there but not to the point of exclusion.

Another Instance

Big Gay OwlIncident 2: A Facebook Queer Burners user Matt Melnicki  posted his misgivings about they way he was received in the Rainbow Road camps. As someone in the process of coming out of the closet, plus putting out an art piece as part of his coming out process, I think from the discussion it was important for him to find that radical acceptance that even his own family hard a hard time giving him; a story we all know (depending on that generation you stem from).

This was his coming out piece, one which he was very proud of. As for some of the supporting posts on the Facebook feed he had a lot of admirers for his work.

Matt Wrote:

Hey, I’m the artist who did the little owl piece (near the library). I came “home” to some disconcerting messages from my mother urging me not to post about it on social media, and I don’t know how to respond to her (nor do I want to). She was initially supportive when I told her before I went into BRC last week. (The owl was a coming-out piece, for those who missed it). I don’t have the pictures yet to do my big FB post, but now I’m feeling a lot of the empowerment gained at BRC to be dissipating. (I also had several disappointing experiences of unwelcomeness at gay events/camps this year, but that’s another issue). Anyway, I feel alone and confused and sad again and I actually could use some advice if anyone wants to help me finish taking the biggest step of my life..

  • Rich Martin Matt: I also have enjoyed the same cold reception from the “gay ghetto”,…and I’ve created some of the pieces that have helped make BRC a destination for my fellow citizens 🙂
    Don’t take it personally. As you are finding, charting your own path and being answerable to no one but yourself is a big deal. As an artist, it’s important to realize that your self-worth depends on no one but you. The Ten Principles play big here: radical self-reliance is one of the heaviest hitters.
    Personally…I REALLY HEART THE OWL. ***Please*** post pix. Definitely a piece worth sharing.
  • Matt Melnicki i just spoke on the phone with my brother, who for most of my life has been closed-minded…. UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT! wow. i’m crying so much. he told me to ignore our parents and do whatever i feel i need to do to be happy.
  • Jay Michel Hi Matt! The owl is wonderful. 🙂 I would love some details on your experience with gay events/ camps this year. As a member of one I hope it was not us that made you feel unwelcomed! But I know we and all the camps are always looking to improve so sharing might be helpful for next year. If you rather not post here, you can always message me.

There were a lot of other posts that went along with this and this is not even a good representation of the highlights. The problem is bigger than this because a lot of people have had similar experiences. I am also personally aware of some camps who have made tremendous efforts to improve accessibility of camps. I am aware of some camps who have done nothing, but the beauty is the people that have – have accomplished a lot.

Balancing Perception v. Bias

Some of us walk into a space with our own baggage or prejudice and see people of a group in a certain light. The challenge in Radical Inclusion is a two way street which means to be received as an open heart, you have to go in with an open heart. To be accepted openly that person has to come in openly.

Each of us has a biased world view because we are all limited to a single camera perspective. That is we can only see what comes before us, we can only hear what is around us, and we can only read that which is in front of us. No one has the definitive version of reality, including the the author of this lesson. Our social locations helps inform our world view – our race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, culture, etc.Our world view impacts how we view, respond, and react to every experience. Our job in this lesson is to learn what stereotypes and biases are, how to recognize our own biases…” – Recognizing & Understanding Stereotypes and Bias on cptc.edu

I have seen two very different reactions to the same kind of interaction in a camp like Glamcocks (or any camp) for example. It is no secret that the Glamcocks live up to their name filled with gorgeous men who are smart, witty and on the cutting edge of their respective communities. A middled aged man walks into camp and:

  • circumstance A: he sees all the lovely people and feels like he is part of that vibe and dances with joy. His expectations are open. His defenses and fears are practically null. He dances and enjoys the vibe and leaves thinking he had a great time. While he was there during his fun, he met several camp members and will be back. He felt connected to the vibe, music and space and will come back.
  • circumstance B: he sees all the lovely people and wants to be part of the vibe and dances but looks for acceptance. He fears he will not click with people. He engages and was greeted and welcomed to the camp. He continues dancing and makes some superficial connections but, although attracted to a lot of the crowd, find himself detached and leaves. It’s their fault for not connecting with him because of his age (weight, hair color or whatever).

I have been on other sides of these equations. This is almost a personal testimony. Where is my heart in this interaction in the reality of the situation. What baggage am I bringing to the table? We all need to ask ourselves these questions and reflect.

In the last few years I have not seen a situation where a camp has not been welcoming. But then again I have a certain level of comfort and ownership that I bring into my interactions that are a lot different than where I was 8 or less years ago.

Conclusion

Without being in Matt’s shoes, or Rich’s shoes, we cannot speak for them. In no way can we blame these folks or apply fault for their perceptions. We can apply tools to help for the future. Or maybe provide tools for others. There is a lot of stuff online including a cool Huffington Post article.

In the end what we take into a situation is what we will experience. Smiles are contagious. An open heart is a road paved in gold.

The thing about our Burning Man world is that it is diverse in it’s psychology. We are all looking for something to hold on to. We want to hold on to each other but we have to be prepared for that union.

Rainbow Road: WTF?

I wrote a somewhat cutting piece last week about the Gayborhood / Rainbow Road about what I witnessed and I tried to convey a sentiment from myself and the voices of people around me. What I discovered there is a huge leap from what people will say, what they will speak up for and what they will take action for.

There is an inherit danger to writing a piece the is critical of an institution that has unlimited power on your experience at an event that you might hold dear. In spite of a lot of work, commitment and bridge building that one leap of faith can result in a pretty messy splatter. A part of my leadership standard has been to take chances.

Rainbow Road Feedback

The responses on Facebook opened the door for several things.

  1. it gave a segment of people a chance to stand-up for a similar vision; 22 people signed the petition calling for the stronger presentation of the Gayborhood /  Rainbow Road. There were some feelings expressed.
  2. a majority of the voices were actually against the Gayborhood, or so it seemed. We have a lot of people asking for the dissimulation of the Gayborhood stating it was a crutch for people unwilling to engage outside a perceived bubble.
  3. then there were the voices waffling on the idea or being supportive who felt very lost in the feedback

There were 2 conversations on the Facebook PAGE and the Facebook GROUP. Both of which were very powerful and eye-opening. This project (Queer Burners) is a community driven project. My opinions do not represent all queer burners and I  try and stay away from giving that position.

Alas, this post. I lit a torch to carry forward and found out for the most part I was standing alone. I had some powerful quotes that in the 24 hour life of the article were pulled and asked to be removed. They were accurate and complete in the moment, but they were also accurate from the position I heard them in. OR copied/pasted them from their written sources. So there was no other choice but to remove the article.

Placement

The voices say that people are generally happy with the way Placement handled the location of queer camps. The map that we posted and that was enhanced by a member of the community made it look like far less of a spreading than it seemed while out there:

BRC Map

Comfort and Joy really felt like they were off the beaten path and outside the center of the Gayborhood. C&J has been the epicenter of the Gayborhood along with Beaverton for years. We really did not have that anchor camp this year and that was missed. Maybe that was why we seemed so decentralized?

Integrity

All we have is our integrity, and if I can maintain mine then I feel like I can hold my head up. I have always tried to do that in the community (Burning Man wide) and have often walked right into barriers that come from places that would shock people. This propensity to step into someone’s pile of shit has left me gob-smacked on more than one occasion.

There was a bit of a scandal over another camp and some EA passes. I asked a group of leaders in a private message about HOW we can help. The general consensus when all was said and done was there was nothing we could do. One of those campers shared that conversation with Placement; that person is known. Ironically, one of those leaders who was so adamant about the issue shared their EA passes with another camp leaving me completely stunned.

Voices

There was a meeting on playa Tuesday of burn week at the Sun Guardians village hosted by the Burning Man Theme Camp Organizer board that Placement attended. Having Answergirl and several placers there with more than 2 dozen camp leads was very important and appreciated.

There were a couple rotten tomatoes in the mix including Rich Martin who claimed to be a founding member of White Ocean and Opulent Temple. His rants against the Gayborhood and were paired with a member of the Temple Burn crew (name unknown) who railed hard about the existence of the Rainbow Road neighborhood. They had their reasons, and their voices are not unfamiliar, but they seemed to come to upset the table of the meeting that was not about the Rainbow Road. The meeting was about Placement and services for camp leaders.

It is powerful voices like these out of the 29.7% of the LGBTQ, Burning Man Black Rock City Citizens, that talk about the dissimulation of the Gayborhood. Is that where this is headed? Is that the future as it applies to Burning Man?

Conclusion

It is Queer Burners position, as part of the project, is to see the Gayborhood preserved. That Rainbow Road will be the future of the queer burner participants. If the future of Burning Man cannot see color, sexual orientation, sexual identity, or the other things that make us different than the other person then that will be a curious day. What I learned from Burners is that each of us who build and make want to be seen for our individual or group special-ness. All burners are peacocks.

Our integrity is everything. But someone told me this week that sometimes we simply need to be water, we need to flow with the current, and for some people the integrity of a peaceful solution is better than a battle against the current. If Queer Burners went away tomorrow and that was where it was supposed to go, if that was the flow, then that is the natural evolution of this project.

In the end, thanks for ALL the feedback. I encourage everyone to read back and see what was written by community members and share those feelings. Be honest. Be true.

 

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