So many people lately have told me they have never been to Burning Man and always wanted to go. The ones who are not blowing smoke out their asses sometimes ask questions about it. It’s definitely not all naked people and drugs! It is so much more.
The question often asked: what is Burning Man? Anyone who thinks they can answer that question and do it successfully should have a Pulitzer. The experience at Burning Man is so personal, so individual, and not dependent on anyone else. Even if you go with your best buddies, the only person that can screw your burn or make it the best ever is YOU.
Burning Man Survival
Burning Man has resources for you on their web site for what to prepare for that are an absolute necessity to read. There are any number of members out there sharing their experiences and their variations of survival out there. Do me and every other burner a favor before going out at a minimum:
- Read and digest on some level the 10 Principles
- Read the survival guide
- Meet people who attend and spend some time with a veteran of the burn
- Go with an open mind and an open heart, but be smart about it.
Respect the world you are going into and respect the people ahead of you as well. Don’t get caught up in the party and miss out on the art and performances that are mind blowing, inspiring, and life changing.
Besides and the resources above there is some evaluation you need to consider and this too shall help shape your burn. Where are you camping and with whom? Our Queer Camp list here on GB will get an update soon of the Gay / Lesbian / Queer / Trans friendly camps of which there are many. You are not limited to a Gayborhood / Gay Ghetto (areas where gay camps have collected) because they still span the width of the city. While some are private and some require a camp fee.
Maybe you want to go it alone and camp on the outer rim? A lot of people do that with a lot of success. All you have to do is arrive and plop your butt down in any free space. Often I hear the benefit of that is you may have access to cleaner toilets through the event.
A Personal Note
This coming year will be my 3rd year on the playa while we have many members on the site who have many more. Burning Man has changed over the years. I have managed to spend some time reading and learning the history of Burning Man to what it was before the Opulent Temple, before Root Society and Distrikt. It is a value to know where this sprang from and what started it.
Contribute in the way that works for you or dabble in the different things you can do because if you go as a spectator for the event it will be very different than if you participate and add yourself to the machinery that makes the city work. I found my passion in the art of Burning Man while I know a lot of people who find their passion as a Greeter, or as a Front Gate attendant and Ranger. Working at the ARTery, the DMV or the Cafe is all rewarding, but that depends on what gets your vibe going.
And finally get involved with a local Burner Community. Stay out of politics if you can and let your relationship with the local community grow naturally and with the idea that you are there to support the concept of community. COMMUNITY! This is the big word that I think some people gloss over. Being a member of a/several communities means you are a part of that element. YOU are one of the neurons of that atom. Without you that atom is incomplete.
I am going to "Rites of Passage" and staying:
- With a Gay themed camp (45%, 46 Votes)
- With any camp that will take me (26%, 27 Votes)
- ...on the outer rim (17%, 17 Votes)
- With them Beavers (7%, 7 Votes)
- Comfort & Joy (5%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 102
Gay Burners has a place in the culture of Burning Man because when it comes to Radical Self Expression and Radical Self Reliance it is definitely something we queers have been doing for generations. Some times just to survive in a world hostile to us.
In my observation I have seen people exploring their concepts of sexuality, sexual identity and the boundaries of their body image. Some of us from the older generations can appreciate that and maybe rural gays. We can support and honor not only our queer identity as Burners, but the exploring blurry lines of all the other Burners.