Ello? Is this the answer for Facebook?

It’s not just jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to the #mynameis movement sweeping Facebook with drag performers and other people trying to use pseudonyms on social media. No! Facebook has been cheating our community for a long time.

Queer Burners on Facebook has had a Page for as many years as it has existed. The Admin followed the rules and created a Page associated with a personal profile so there was a solid chain and a solid respect for their policies.

  • In return, Facebook throttled our posts to 200 to 400 people max out of 2000
  • Deleted photos reported without any cause and limited the account for reasons that were never clear
  • Crammed ads down our throats
  • Gouged for more money at every turn without any return on investment
  • Lied about it or simply showed no interest in anything that ultimately did not line Mark Zuckerburg’s pockets

So the potential of something new and better is exciting. Something more in line with our burner ideology (10 Principles) than corporate greed makes something like Ello.Co [link] look very sexy.

What is Ello doing?

ello.coWe currently hold the i.d. @queerburers on Ello but unless you are invited you cannot see that that means. Ello is by invitation only and is officially in Beta mode but between burners and the fae community battling the #mynameis movement the roles are being flooded with networked  artsy types.

Ello is a simple social networking mechanism with a User Interface that is basic and nothing like Facebook… NOTHING. It’s almost like Tumblr at this stage without the fancy dress. There is a whole list of ideas coming and hitting the site regularly. Ello is the new darling of social networking; not social ad placement networking.



mynameisThe #mynameis campain [link]  is creating a crater or Facebook who snubbed queer royalty (Sister Roma Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) and others who represent voices of the community. Our Queer Community and voices of people who seek anonymity on the web.

Mark Zuckerberg called it “integrity” while the real bottom line is his ability to shove ads at subscribers and gouge for fees as noted above. Thank you pious white mail heterosexual established and entitled.

The End is Nigh

While AOL, Friendster, mySpace and others never thought their day would come their reality is a distant memory for most. AnyBeat.Com almost made something happen many burners remember. Tribe.Net still holds some distant fond memories but has since been bought out by Cisco and was essentially mothballed.

If someone got hold of Tribe.Net and updated the software, defined it’s policies and made it a little safer for public use [gear down the porn] it would be a killer on the social networking scene.

Yet, right now everyone is looking at Ello.Co as a fresh platform with no ads and a fairly liberal platform that really is – so far – conducive to burner thinking as well as fae.

MOOP: the word of the week

Burning Man calls out a camp on one of the first renditions of the MOOP Map published on their blog and it is spawning a lot of discussions that are very important for the future of Burning Man. Is Burning Man devolving into a Coachella? Oh, that there is still icing for that cake!

MOOP: Matter Out Of Place: LNT: Leave No Trace: 1 of the 10 Principles

It does not happen very often, especially in these later Burner years, when the Borg calls someone out for their ultimate fail. Gypsy Flower Camp run by John Moonshine (whose profile says he is from Gerlach but it looks like he was from San Francisco?) left behind one of the largest messes seen on the playa.

Not only with MOOP, but it seems there was some unseemly behavior by the camp coordinator for his bad

Gypsy Flower Power abandoned moop, Burning Man 2014
Gypsy Flower Power abandoned moop, Burning Man 2014

attempt to create a plug and play (pnp) style camp that fell way short of it’s promise to people who bought into the camp.

Failure of the plug and play scenario seemed to be the permission needed for people who ended up camping there to leave the trash and other items behind. Read the comments on the September 19th post from The Hun (a member of the Playa Restoration Team) because there were people who made sincere efforts to make up for the failure of camp leadership but there is a stink going on here that is not just trash.

Poo? Human Poo? In bags left to be picked up by other people? Yes… shocking as hell to think about it. We have used pee-bottles casually enough and a whole new level has been reached.

Burning Man 2014 Highway CleanupThe article posted today sites trends of found items. They track these things in order to address them in future conversations:

  • bags of poop. That’s human feces, in bags, undoubtedly left behind by the people who were forced to camp along the embankments [quote]
  • arge numbers of broken hexayurt panels wound up littering the highway, scattering little bits of styrofoam through the sage. [quote]

180 miles of Deluge

garbage_final1Leaving the Burn every year there was clearly abandoned bundles of garbage left all along 447 heading into Wadsworth, running through Gerlach, Empire, Nixon that made one’s stomach turn. In our minds we may chose to believe that these were accidental, but the deluge was shocking.

Highway cleanup reports picking up “24 pickup beds’ worth of roadside detritus”. While the blogs give out props to some people for making strong efforts the results of humans invading the desert are creating an impact that is disastrous.

“My truck alone picked up 64 contractor bags of trash, 30 tires, 20 yurt panels and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff,” Ninjalina says.

~ Leaving No Trace ~
The Burning Man community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.


Leave No Trace is one of the fundamentals that allow us access to the Black Rock Desert and if it were not for the playa restoration team our access would have been withdrawn a long time ago. Seems like in 2014 patience was running thin, at least according to the Sept 20th blog post by The Hun, when “Highway Cleanup began out of respect for local communities, who were tired of their environment being littered with Burner detritus” and with good reason.

The argument of PnP camps impact on the community is an argument for another post. The failures at Gypsy Flower Camp is not especially shocking in the scope of things though the September 19th blog post seems to imply it was the most shocking ever seen. Witnesses in the comments section share similar failings of other camps, but anyone who stayed late on the playa will tell you (including this author) that Leave No Trace and self responsibility is waning.


What is your decompression? Starting from the moment of Exodus in anticipation of that 6 to 8 hour wait to get to 447? Seeing Gerlach ahead, the steaming hot springs in the tall grass along the road, a dead Gypsum Mine in the distance? The Default World was just ahead, past the curve in the road and down a long path dotted with rabbit and squirrel poop.

Before the playa dust has completely settled and our heads have stopped spinning, many gather in the months after Burning Man to “decompress” by taking one more communal plunge into the depths of what we found so affirming and memorable at Burning Man, sharing playa art, performances, theme camps, photos, videos and stories from the playa. We re-connect with family and friends, and collaborate to create new art. Decompression is, at its simplest, a reunion. But more significantly, it is a powerful way to bring Burning Man inspiration to our home towns!

– quote: Burning Man Home Page

There are a lot of ways locally and the the BMorg to make your decompression even better. Regional events will pepper the world and there is the wing-doodle big ass decom  in San Francisco in October.

How was your burn?

That depends on your level of responsibility with the burn. From Theme Camp Organizers to Sparkle Ponies. A theme camp leader is someone to be appreciated if that person was successful and led a camp that lasted the whole week without chaos let alone a single argument. 628x471Camp mates who appreciate that and are knowledgeable of the 10 Principles are ideal to that mini-community.

Burgins and Sparkle Ponies are the special spices in the pot and their success or failure really ends up being a reflection of their support network. While each person is responsible for themselves, we intentionally want our Burgins to succeed. Sparkle Ponies – well let’s just do our best to keep them alive.

And who watches out for “all the above”? Rangers and LEO have to decompress too. While Queer Burners has a lot of Rangers in it’s ranks it seems we added a lot of more swept into their ranks this year. So exciting!

So was yours the highs or the lows?

Where does it start?

Does it begin in the Grilled Ham and Cheese at Bruno’s in Gerlach? The Wigwam in Wadsworth? The Sand Hotel and Casino in Reno? Or is it after the long journey to wherever your reside in the world?

Burning-Man-ClosedSome us have an official chance, at least by Burning Man’s definition, soon. San Francisco Queer Burners are hooking up Monday the Lookout September 21st and there is the big one by BMorg October 12.



*Header image is the Comfort & Joy breakdown team.

Queer Camps Directory

The AstroPups in front of BAAAHS 2014
The AstroPups in front of BAAAHS 2014

The Queer Camps list have been updated. With some reservation there are things about it that I struggled with when making it. The camps listed were from any list of any year I made in the past, BUT the landscape changes quite a bit:

  • not all the camps listed identify as queer
  • I know very little about some
  • and some are brand new

check out the new listing here at this link

If you have a camp you would like to have listed please use the contact form. Please include the name of your camp, some details and your social networking links.

Queer Burner History Updated

One of our projects for 2014 pre-burn was to write a detailed history about LGBT Burners and how the Gayborhood came into creation. Along with it is some sordid history with the BMorg. It is all very illuminating and we find that some of those people who started the earliest incarnations of the Gayborhood in 1993 are still going.

Have something to add?

Feel free to contact the admins of this site through the contact form with your updates. Of course information with be verified and as soon as we can we will publish it.

Follow this link for the whole article!


The site is undergoing a bit of a fluffing right now and you may have noticed some significant changes. In order to get more viable mobile access the group features and membership side had to be dropped for now. All the information is right here for you to see.

Members can still sign on and edit or add as desired. If you want access contact an Admin through the Contact Page.

If you have input use the Contact Form too or hit Toaster up and let him know you want to be part of the vision.

2014 Caravansary Trip Report

2014 came to the playa with a lot of ceremony as a late released theme for the year seemed to come with a forced luster and lack of promise in the shadow of 2013’s Cargo Cult. But that would be wrong. Caravansary delivered and the Souk was a shining ring of light around the biggest Man to date.

14_theme_pavilionThe big winners!!!

Here here to an organization that is taking it’s growing pains and making them work for them. While the popularity of Burning Man and it’s accessibility have definitely become more mainstream, it has driven a more diverse audience into the annual festival. The coffers of Burning Man must be ringing jingle bells.

While many burners see it simply as a drunken, naked drug fest in the desert the massive presence of Burning Man was nothing to scoff at. Embrace did not live up to it’s promise. The star on that desert floor was the souk and the man hands down.

On the other hand…

The returning burners who were picking up moop and scoffing at the pee bottles, beer cans and other oddities left in – on – around porta potties. Frat boys dropping beer cans in the street and the growing plug-n-play loosers on their Segway’s with 1000$ cape jackets and a distinct lack of personal lighting.

Nothing too new, but it cannot go without notation that the douche-baggery level was up. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Fonzie is on the water skis and the shark has been jumped indeed.

All bitching aside…

The event was produced really well and in spite of rain and huge delays at the gate the shifting demographic and newly minted “burners” has led to shorter exodus times and a chance to evolve. It was uniquely beautiful in spite of a few things and the love of the event was still present in so many eyes.

Art: so much beauty and imagination out there this year with very few out shining the Man. There seemed to be a lot of repeat pieces from previous years but another… another zoetrope … that was pretty cool looking.

20130827_002032Art Cars: Lots of beauties out there; new ones and some old favorites. Although in the Queer Burner mind a favorite of the playa is Crisco Disco, another star this year was an Mayan Warrior looking art car with a sound system that rivaled even Robot Heart.

Theme Camps: Once again Comfort & Joy was the crown jewel of the Gayborhood even though they had 100 feet less than what they wanted they managed to make it work. Adorned with the new Queer Temple the camp really raised the bar once again even though they have been doing this for something around 15 years.

7:30 Corridor: The location of the Gayborhood was piled fill of amazing camps and capped with a giant purple penis. This was the most alive passage in the city at all hours of the day and still a main attraction of the city that really never sleeps. The “Red Light Corridor” was apparently placed next to the Gayborhood starting with Playfully Yours.

08282012_burn-303Gayborhood: One of the brightest centers of the city from Comfort & Joy, BloAsis, Beaverton and Gender Blender; a lot of old favorites. Wasabi Kisses, Sun Guardians and a few others were new kids in the block that put on a good show. Too many amazing camps to mention just take a look at the 2014 camp listing page.

Gay Pride Parade: Another change to the structure of the parade this year allowed participants to stop in queer and queer-friendly camps on the way to Burner Buddies. We started at Crisco Disco home camp inside Comfort & Joy then bounced over to BloAsis, then Party Naked Tiki Bar, Champagne Lounge and finished at all amazing Burner Buddies for everyone to get a chance to get their Gay Card!

Aerial footage of The Burn, Burning Man 2014 from Eric Cheng on Vimeo.

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