I am looking for a camp!

So, you are looking for a camp to hang with at Burning Man? How do you know which is the right one and where do you begin? Some of us who have been doing this a while point to the 10 principles which most, if not all, camp leaders will direct you to. Immediacy, community and so much more are components of the 10 principles that are about getting involved.

Radical inclusion applies to us all, but some camps have a core of people who are ‘like’ in some way. Is like another word for a ‘click’? Not at all, because you will find most camps I have interacted with have some really open ideas about the mixture of people in their camps.

While many camps are eclectic in nature’ let’s be honest, some camps have a ‘type’.

  • AstroPups is known for the bears, cubs and sexy otters and such. According to Russ Smith; “the Astropups are that group of pups and cubs and otters and bears you love to shower with in the dust”. Maybe these guys are your cup-of-tea but they are a tight group who have been burning a long time together. You have to be sponsored in to join them by a member who has already camped with them. Their Facebook
  • Glamcocks has a lot of twinkie goodness; rich in cream filling (just kidding). They do have an amazing camp unlike many at the TTITD and have a younger demographic. While they are a lot of fun they too have a strong core. Check out their web site and maybe their movie and maybe you have that something special to join their ranks.
  • Drag queens and radical self-expression personified are what you might find at Comfort & Joy. This is an elective crew and very welcoming for civic minded boy-girls. They are typically part of the nexus of the Gayborhood along with the Beavers and the smaller camps inside their borders. Check out their web site and Facebook pages too. I think they are looking for new people, by the way.
  • Did someone say Beaver? This Beaver has a Tale. While having been paired with Gender Blender and are separating themselves but this is a great group.

We do have the QUEER CAMP LIST right here on the site, but things are always changing. While we asked people to help keep these posts alive and updated people are busy.

REALITY CHECK

Few camps are going to let you waltz in without investing in getting to know them, their culture, their principles and their interpretation and implementation of the Burning Man 10 Principles.  No one wants  an unknown variable in their midst.

Getting involved is the key to success: Participation.

Resources

Check out these links… many of them you have to be logged in to access.

 

Queer and Burning Man

We have been fighting a battle that may have reared it’s ugly head in 2001 when a protest over a Jiffy Lube sign on the playa caused an uproar on the playa. Even Larry Harvey had to go speak at this protest on the playa… that is a little burner history.

Burning Man Organization (BMorg)

Burning Man has changed a lot over the last couple years as they transition to a non-profit and less about running a giant festival in  the desert. Yes, I called it a festival. That Thing in the Desert (TTITD) reels when called a festival. By virtue of existence of the Gayborhood we have been accused of being divisive; in the sense that we are keeping people out and keeping people in.

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I got word about this last year from the home office. We are not affiliated with BMorg (Burning Man or the Burning Man Project), but in the 2013 Queer Burner Leadership Summit we attacked this question directly. Were we acting against the principles of Burning Man by creating this neighborhood that seemed to cater to a specific demographic of the experience? Collectively and through a great deal of discussion we determined the answer was a resounding “no”.

We have multiple events inviting people in to participate in this amazing community.

  • The Gaybohood has 2 stops on the Naked Pup Crawl.
  • Camp Beaverton: Workshops for everyone
  • Comfort & Joy: Fantastic workshops and shared space
  • Celestial Bodies: a hub of the playa with Playa Cosmos
  • AstroPups: Naked Showers
  • Camp Conception & GlamCocks: Amazing parties

We are looked at as being exclusionary. We are looked at as being divisive. We are simply misunderstood. While Burning Man wants it’s citizens to be integrated, the level of homophobia at Burning Man and in the community is always surprising to people exposed to it.

BMorg members and leadership camp in an area called First Camp which is positioned just outside center camp. They actually have a wall around their camp. Anyone can walk in and engage people but how many feel welcome?

Visitors stream into the Gayborhood sometimes aware of the principle demographic or not. They run through the silver streamers in front of Comfort & Joy or just enjoy the art and welcoming, open spaces of our community.

The Gayborhood

We went through a lot this year. We had some people within the LGBT community attempt to tear us down from within and we had people looking in from outside making huge assumptions about what this neighborhood represents.

Our leadership has converged and came to a conclusion; we are here and we are queer. We provide to the Burner Community and we have a neighborhood that is a community in every sense of the word. We provide a safe island for some who stay a long while or just a quick visit.

This rich space is filled with art, faeries, sex positive support and expression and so much love it is hard to fathom. We are always welcoming and we are always giving back.

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