Burner + Virgin = Birgin

General Burning Man Image

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:

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.

Image from tamalerocks.com

Preparation

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


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In Closing

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.

Principles and Blurry Lines

Chuck-WeirdAmericaHelcoAtBurningMan1996905

With a recent discussion of monetization on the site and this author possible getting a gift from someone who wanted to post an ad on the site I thought it important to expand on at least one of 10 points in the ideology we opted in to when we joined the Burning Man community and decided to participate.

Let me start by saying that I will be receiving nothing from the person who wanted to advertise here. The policy will remain the same unless the community (you guys) say differently. That is: Create a New Post from the Dashboard menu at the top of the screen after you login. Only verified members can do this. Email me if there is a question on what that is.

10 Principles

Of the 10 Principles the one that came under fire here is about monetary gain under the entity that is Burning Man or by using any logos or representations of the organization. Gay Burners is not in any way an officially sanctioned or official part of the organization. This amounts to being a fan-site supporting a sub-culture of Burning Man itself. And yes, I can say they appreciate what this site is and who we are catering to.

Decommodification: In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience. [source]

On a recent trip to gather with Burners one of the topics of discussion was about money. Certainly we all see that Burning Man could not exist unless they raised money and paid salaries. I hear people jabbing their fingers at coffee and ice at Burning Man, but that money goes to some important causes. Have you seen the financial reports Burning Man posts publicly on how much it costs to put the whole thing on?

Things cost money. People make money and that money goes into their tickets, camping equipment, gas to get to Burning Man so reality is that money is more often turning around and going right back into the machine anyway.

There are some seriously blurry lines in this space because the cost of local events beside our individual journeys is getting more and more expensive.

Gay Burners Site

It costs me almost nothing to have this site and manage it. I paid for hosting and I paid for the domain name and annually that is about 20$. Yes, you see AdSence on the bottom of the pages, but there has been no revenue from that in all the time I had the account. And this is actually on a few of the sites I manage. I want people to have resources and options but not some namby-pamby corporate hoo-hah wanting to come on here to take advantage our audience.

We have about 150 members right now on this site plus 162 on the Facebook as of this posting.

The same person who criticized me in email made a dismissing remark about the population of this site and whatever anger or frustration that came from it was hurtful. What you guys don’t see are the analytics of the site. We actually are getting more than a thousand people a month looking at this site! Wanna see some of that? Look at the link in the left column in the section that says “Who’s On Line”.

[source of cover image featuring Hellco]

Playmates: Wearable Art

Hey Guys! I’m Booka, the mastermind and lone workhorse for “PlayaMates.

I’ve been a Artist all my life. Recently, I really needed to find a new outlet for my talents, AND find a way to fund my Burn. I got the idea to create outfits (mostly from faux fur, which is sorta traditional) that were really finely crafted, luxurious, and original Art pieces on their own. For the past 8 months I have done little other than sew! Mind you, the majority of what I have been doing is entirely stitched by hand (I do the linings by machine). It takes a number of weeks with each piece to work out the design, and all those little details that make them something special and unique.

Hand sheared fur, inlaid differant furs, “Horse hoof cuffs”, satin linings, alot of pockets, a little military styling all go towards makeing sure that each piece can stand on it’s own as a original little work of Art. I don’t do duplicates, who would want what anyone else is wearing anyway? Alot of love and attention has gone into this collection, and I’m proud of it. The feedback from the pieces I have sold has been really encouraging; mostly how luxurious they feel, and how cool they make people look. So please check it out, see if something has your name on it. I try to be as flexible as I can, so don’t be shy. Enjoy.

Love, Booka

Check out the site at: playamates.com/

I am also on facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/PlayaMates/198701076830348?ref=ts

King’s Royal Robes

Hello I am called King. The King of faux fur! I make custom, made to order Royal Robes and Light Up Coats. This will be my 8th burn this year and after my experience last year as the Nookie Monster (Cookies older brother). I decided the playa needs more Monster/ Animals. So I have come up with my new line “Scary Monsters & Super Freaks” . Available at www.lightupcoats.etsy.com and my website is:
Proceeds from lightupcoats go to funding  my Mutant Vehicle , Theme Camp and every thing it takes to get the King back to the desert he calls home. Thank You King

Decommodification on GB

I got some rather harsh feedback on the last email from a particular member that gave me some food for thought. There was some issue with the question I put on there about the request to place an ad and some remuneration to me for doing so. There is a reason I put the question out there.

Although the reaction was a bit over the top I understand the point of view and am willing to concede. I did not create this site with expectation of personal gain. Not a penny. Not a singe thing. So were all good on those notes I am stating it clearly.

When we look at the 10 principles even the people running Burning Man admit there are some seriously blurry lines on those principles and for everyone they blur on different levels.

So, we will just continue to put links as they are provided. Any member that wants to shout out on a favorite vendor or their own product you can have one posting page for it. Myself or any other Admins on the site can help post links as well.

Thanks for your understanding.

 

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