How to choose where to camp?

Before you go one step further… before reading a single paragraph beyond this ONE… ask yourself if you understand what you are getting yourself into? It is not a matter how many cool things you saw in videos, saw pictures on flckr, or scanned through web sites. As much as Burning Man may be on your Bucket List… do everyone a favor and go through the check list immediately below this… then proceed.

Survival Guide | First Timers Guide | JRS | Recommended Reads

So, now you are ready to gain the title Burner
(without the *irgin)

Before you go head first into the Burner culture educate yourself about what it means. You may not buy into the 10 principles 100% or see the value in them, but better believe a majority of the people around you do. These 10 principles are about community – period.

Without getting into the sacredityness of these concepts and your need to protect what they embody, focus on your survival in the desert. “Piss clear” is a guide and not just a funny annotation. These are things that are covered in the survival guide which – of course – by now you have read.

Solo / With Friends / Theme Camp

What is your choice? Whether a long ranger or not this will give you one hell of an experience. It is very wise to educate yourself before going to Burning Man and the first thing you should do is find out what community there is in your local area. Burning Man has a pretty comprehensive network and a chance to experience a taste of being in the desert through participation in Regional events and Pre-Compressions that go on through the months leading up to the big burn.


Going at it alone is definitely a rite of passage that can be very rewarding. Not only as just having done it … but it also provides you the opportunity of an unwritten script and a chance to be free of any commitments beyond your own LNT and basic survival. Just don’t be a Sparkle Pony, take care of your own shit, and experience all those things that bring joy to your own heart whatever that might be. Leave expectations behind and run with scissors.

With Friends

This can be rewarding and challenging at the same time, too. We love our friends, but can you live with them for X number of days? Will you leave as friends still? Can you count on each other to work as a family on those days out there?

The playa will throw those challenges in front of you and be aware of this before going on and be strong enough to let go.

Bottom line leave those expectation behind in the default world and be prepared to see people do or act in ways they would not when constrained by the rules of the norm. This is a place of expression and shedding of the strains of everyday life.

Theme Camps

Having a community around you can provide a sense of safety and togetherness that has it’s own rewards when on the playa. Often this can stem out of remaining part of the geographic community you are on playa with. This stems out of the relationships you are building locally, but you may want to take part with someone with a really cool concept.

Looking through our Queer Theme Camps section on this site will provide you some great opportunities to be a part of some great concepts and help make these awesome projects come to life. They are like works of art and entertainment unto themselves.

Act now… because you (who are shopping) have a unique chance to join camps that probably would not be welcoming new Burgins. The ticket fiasco wrought by Burning Man HQ this year changed the landscape and a lot of people who might not have normally received tickets have them now.


Leave those at home or outside the fence. Come with a blank slate and do not try to fit in by stressing out over costumes or having a tu-tu for Tu-Tu Tuesday – for example. In your first year, keep it simple.


This and our facebook are great places to post your questions and connect with Queer identified camps. Whether it is with boys, girl or in transition… there is a group of friends waiting to welcome you.

Coming up

With the upcoming Queer Burner Leadership Summit on the horizon and all the crazy uber-anxiety of the general Burner population where do we fit into the scheme of things? It seems a lot of burners never think too much about. Maybe Burning Man is something that exists 8 days a year for you (maybe a few days more?), but within the schema where are we?

For those of us drunk on the Burning Man kool-aide and live this stuff through the year, the perception of the relationship between the queer culture of the burner community varies as much as it is possible. Some blend in nicely  to the masses or are silent participants in the bigger picture while some feel like they exist quite well outside the burner bubble.

Sometimes we blend in and sometimes not. We are in a culture of radical inclusion and to understand that is to see the blurry lines described on this site. Not a single camp at Burning Man is 100% gay, straight, bi or otherwise and if they were (or weren’t) probably most would not know.


In a very un-scientific study it is estimated that nearly a 25% of Burning Man participants are LGBT+ or curious … if a guestimate is scientific then I have a bridge in Arizona for sale. Another blogger/observer/burgin last year estimated us at 30%. Well, some have their doubts.

Without a doubt the Queers of Burning Man are not solely defined by sexual orientation, acknowledged or not, but self identified queer camps can develop a greater impact supporting some of the community and fund raising events put on by each other.

In the end, when we are coming home to BRC there are another 52 weeks of the year where in small pockets we are making an impact on our communities at-large.

The Leadership Conference offers even more than that and we have a chance to unite and engage each other on a new level.

Fertility 2.0

Where does this theme fit in with our culture? Is this an over heterosexual concept that excludes Queers? The answer can be found in an exciting exchange led by Kitten who will bring a whole new dimension to the concept behind a seemingly exclusive concept. There will be an open discussion full of exciting dialog.


Thinking about Radical Self-Reliance and how the LGBT community has struggled for solidarity over the last few decades our culture has been one of self expression and artistry that some are still striving for. United and better networked we can sustain each other more and take advantage of a stronger system that benefits all of us:

  • Support each other with fund raisers
  • Charity participation
  • Regional event participation with queer camps
  • more more more…..

There is a lot of other benefits that will certainly come to light through the course of events. Please see the schedule for the night that will see updates tonight. [schedule]

Post Ticket Drama

Inspired by a recent post by DanNation.Org it was time to do some hindsight into the Burning Man Ticket fiasco and start looking ahead instead of looking backward. @queer_burners on Twitter call this horse-hamburger and that might have been premature. Since then there has been statements by 2 key voices of BMorg (Burning Man Organization) that have come out in recent days.

There was a lot of frustration and anxiety thrown at Burning Man with the announcement of the Lottery and the snarky, bitchy responses to any criticism noted in a previous post on this site a moot now. No, many are busy making excuses for the debacle. They say scarcity was the problem but really, the registration was just too easy and the true believers* would have waited through a queue to get those tickets while the tourists might have fled for an easier choice.


There were a lot of blogs and no shortage of people ready to either complain or swallow the unqualified responses of anxiety riddled believers*. This blog is not going to judge which was which except to say that the opinion of this writer is “scarcity” is a diversion. WITHOUT A DOUBT hindsight is 20/20 and if the Lottery did work the way it was intended there would be something people would be bitching about.


It took a while but it was not an unreasonable amount of time, but 2 people we needed to hear from gave us the voice we needed. There was an acceptance of the situation and ownership of the failure… yet with a solution/answer still pending we as a community have some reasonable expectation that a band-aide is coming.

  • Marian GoodellMarion Goodell (aka MaidMarion) posted a letter out through the JRS and followed up with an interview on NPR. The letter, on first review, reeked of spin and asking the community to be patient (while some translated that as ‘get over it’). Certainly her voice in the interview was a clear acknowledgement of the crisis and the perfect follow up to the letter because she sounded sincere and concerned. [LISTEN]
  • Andie GraceAndie Grace (aka ActionGrl) sent out an announcement that was authentic and true to the character of this caring, compassionate fixture at Burning Man. Her voice and presence in the organization has benefit Queer Burners in the past as an avid supporter of the community as a whole; which we are a part of. See the Andie Grace comments embedded in a blog post by DanNation.Org
  • JRS – Jack Rabbit Speaks news letter is the vein of communication from Burning Man… even more than their Facebook, web site and twitter (@burningman). It is merely a channel and where Marion’s letter appeared days after it was publicly published inviting people to comment on the BurningMan.Com blog pages.

The mystery of this upcoming 2012 Burning Man event called Fertility 2.0 is slowly coming into focus. The viral decomposition of the event with many upon many of it’s participants now without tickets (including this author) and a foreseeable solution that brings it all around. I cannot imagine it not happening.


*Believers are not swayed with this issue and those of us with a full glass of the Burning Man Kool-Aide will be the positive force to an ultimate solution. Yes, this ticket issue shook the faith… but there are signs all over the web where new energy and positive voices are working to make it better. Those who are making excuses… those who are deluding themselves as believers who cannot accept mommy & daddy can be flawed… those who want to turn their back on something they have LONG benefit from … chill out. We hold the powers to be to the fire and the fire is bright, but we know how to play with fire and make it fun.

Queer Burner Leadership Summit

2012 1st of its kind Queer Burner Leadership Summit

Queer camp leaders, community leaders, get together for our own summit before the Burning Man Leadership Summit to talk about issues in our communities (geographically) and with our queer community relationship with the lifestyle.

Dialog is already brewing and some discussions already on the table. It is time to actively reach out to BM Queer participants/leaders. The one VERY IMPORTANT thing to remember is the word Queer before any of these terms is NOT EXCLUSIVE and not derogatory. We have some great hetero or hetero-adjacent friends that are a part of the community of all genders. [AGENDA]

March 16th to the 18th / 2012 in San Francisco

As this year’s Burning Man season starts up, it’s time for queer theme camps, villages, art projects & mutant vehicles to Come Together to…

DISCOVER… which queer projects are coming back for 2012,  how to plug in, and start working together to build amazing Black Rock City gayborhoods!

RECRUIT… new camp members, workers and support for your project!

LEARN… from your queer burner peers… and share your insights too…

DISCUSS… Hot Topics, like applying Ten Principles to your collective’s efforts, and how the Fertility theme relates to Gay Camps?

POLISH… your camps anti-MOOP efforts… with tried & true LNT best practices that can help you earn the coveted post-burn Green rating

BECOME… Part of the queer playa community!

Cosponsored by queer theme camps:
+ Camp Beaverton / Gender Blender
+ Comfort & Joy
+ Sun Guardians
+ The Pink Gym
+ Astropups
+ Poly Asylum
+ …and more!

Cost: Sliding scale will be asking for $25.00 / attendee for food and event expenses. No one who wishes to participate will be turned away for lack of funds.

If you can make it to the city we can help you with housing and food. You can chose to stay in a hotel on your own dime, but we are a community and have a lot of members in the SFO area that are there for you, too.

VENUE: TBA but will be centrally located and easily accessible by train and bus. It is not recommended that you rent a car as parking in this city is hell and expensive.


Leadership Summit Attendance Form and Fee Payment

[contact-form-7 id=”1759″ title=”Summit”]

See payment in right side bar… Thanks!

Ethnicity at Burning Man

It can be said that Burning Man is a very white washed event. For some the overwhelming presence is the sexually charged atmosphere that is also prevalent, but not dominant.

Burning Man is what a person brings to it and the experience taken from it is individual. However, the participants around you in this experimental city (it’s citizens) are more Caucasian/Heterosexual than anything else. Many seem to be affluent but that data is less scientific than personal experience; really about 50/50.

Ethnicity at Burning Man, was recently discussed and a blog writer who posted on noted the distince lack of African American, Asian and Hispanic people out there.

“…according to the 2010 Black Rock Census only 13% of event attendees consider themselves to be a person of color – noticeably lower than the national population of 28% (according to 2010 census data – although it’s not entirely comparing apples to apples).” -quote from post

White people in America have a working assumption that they can go anywhere and be reasonably safe. Historically, that has not been a realistic assumption for minorities. For too many of them, for too many generations, it has been essential that they avoid dangerous environments and heed warning signs.

“White people expect that they’re going to be okay,” I was told. “Black people think that they need to be prepared for something extremely bad to happen. That means differences in behavior.” – another quote from post

On the other hand, in the same reasons given by the writer, the quickly growing queer population, seems to be much more diverse in color and economic reality. Camp Dickstracted for example is an almost all Hispanic population.

“This might be coming form a different mindset in another discussion similar or close to this one as the demographic I see that is more diverse is the queer population. It is growing out there… more diverse… and often plays in their own burner reality out there. “ – quote from comment made

Please feel free to check out this great post: [click here]

– Authors note: I looked for relative images through google image search for this piece and not a single person of ethnicity of than Caucasian showed up.

  • black people at burning man
  • asian burning man
  • people at burning man


Ticket Oblivion

Where o’ where will your tickets appear…. or where or where will it be? So the mystery deepens and thought ticket say went relatively smoothly the aftermath is something we may or may not need to suffer with.

Someone on the list said: “Stop bitchin’, it works for Flipside…“* Newsflash flower girl, this ticket feeding frenzy is not the same thing. If there were a million or so hits on the ticket site and hundreds of thousands registered because Burning Man was on their bucket list… or gee it sounds so neato… where does it leave the returning members of the community?

Admittedly, changing to the lottery system was scary and the answers missing… many within the community are still staring wide-eyed into their email boxes waiting.

Unfortunately your chances have been greatly reduced. Due to so much attention brought to our fair city via the timely release on the day of ticket lottery opening of “oh the places we’ll go” (over 1 million hits during the ticket registration) the release of a televised Burning Man story in Europe, countless sites & people touting “GET YOUR TICKETS NOW” all over the interweb. This facebook page alone gained over 8,000 new people during the two week registration period. No one but BMorg will ever know the exact number of registrants, but with all the buzz put out there at the exact time the ticket lottery was open, yours and my chances of getting our cherrished ticket went down significantly. Still keeping my fingers crossed I WIN the opportunity to BUY a ticket!

– Posting on the Burning Man Facebook page

There was an interesting survey leading into the registration that one might hope will give weight to whomever gets the golden ticket. While eagerly waiting for “Fertility 2.0” some have already resigned themselves from going because of this ticket nightmare.

Some have resigned themselves to seeing what they could get in the final 10,000 tickets at $420 each.

The best thing is a wait and see attitude and not take this as a smack in the face by BMorg. Be positive and hope for the best. Burners don’t do conflict or drama.

When the Lottery was announced there was fear and loathing… we have yet to see if it was all worth it.

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