People: Cindy Vee

One of the leaders of Gender Blender (Website); the camp name says it all. Cyndi generally runs the camp along with David, Ariel, Katt and have picked up some interesting new leaders and participants along the way seeking a place 11898898_10153046704695814_687867377196457503_nof gender queer and trans folk on the playa.

Gender Blender made its debut in 2009 and the following year joined with Camp Beaverton and then for a few years coexisted as CBGB, but they split in 2012 but remained close friends. Since then they camped directly across the street from each other supporting each of their missions of Sex positive thinking and gender awareness/queerness.

Gender Blender has been the only consistent camp for gender queer people since their inception. Cyndi and her team have been advocates for queer gender issues and education and support.

From the web site:

Cyndi “NoPants” Vee is a decade-long burner and part of the Gender Blender Leadership Team.  Cyndi has been described as a “punk rock mountain femme”.  As a transgender being, Cyndi is as comfortable backpacking, camping, and off-roading, as she is rummaging through vintage clothing shops, cinching corsets, and dancing in five-inch stilleto heels. Cyndi is a techie, professionally and playfully.  To relax, Cyndi practices fire spinning and MFR massage therapy (just not at the same time). 

As an advocate, creator, leader and bringer of education for people of all walks of life, Cindy has been a major contributor to our community at large.

People: just one word “Foxy” nuf said

She was head Beaver from Camp Beaverton Home for Wayward Girls for a couple years. She was also the perfect ambassador that created a lot of bridges to other queer camps. She is an enigmatic member of our Queer Burner community: Foxy.

Flash mob idea. Burners show up all at once in playafied gear goggles bandanas etc. Then a zombie flash mob shows up. The apocalypse starting right before the innocent bystanders eyes.

Thinking back, certainly Jessica Allred was the mayor that really started working hard on making the Beaverton camp more accessible to the other camps, genders and people of the gayborhood outside of gender identified women. Mitch was Mayor for a while before Foxy took the mantel and really made the Beavers so accessible and welcoming.

I’m almost 40, wearing a fox onesie and Fox slippers drinking whiskey at home on a Friday night, after 2 weeks of sheep riding, day time dance parties, riding a carousel horse bike, high speed golf cart chases, and writing on a huge typewriter . It’s only the 40 part that seems ridiculous.

Her unlimited energy and exuberance and willingness to play in other people’s sandbox has made her the darling Lesbian of the community. She is not limited in any form, because she welcomes people and engages with vigor any and all.

12107223_10153647663934431_5443737548542265661_nThis year she has taken on a new title and something of a new journey by becoming a Ranger; that is a Black Rock City Ranger. It is a role of distinction in our community because these are the people we engage and help us in and outside the trash fence. We have seen how passionate she has become in her new role as a Ranger and how it has made her stronger and a better shaker in the community as a whole.

Foxy was one of the founding organizers of the 2015 Queer Burner Retreat called “Spring Retreat” and is planning on joining the production team for 2016.

In 2012 she was in a internationally distributed film called Meet the Beavers where she shared some of what she stands for in the Queer / Lesbian community. The making of the movie was a project she was very proud of, featuring the best parts of her collective, and putting the Beaverton crew as an even more important presence in the Gayborhood at Burning Man.

She loves pussy, in fact hers has a name: Augusta. It’s a kitty cat… with a lot of white fur. With four legs… not a euphemism.



People: They call him Chickpea

Do you know his birth name? For so many years he has been simply known as Chickpea. But in recent years we have been introduced to another persona that stemmed from the soul of the man: Amber Alert; yeas hunty has a drag(ish) persona both lovable and disturbing.

He is one of the leaders in the theme camp Comfort & Joy that started at Burning Man in 2001 (See Burner History X for more) but Chickpea first year was 1996 and he showed up without a tent.

my first year was 1996 i went with my good friend Damien Grey, we didn’t bring much not even tents just a tarp to put over the car to sleep under , sandwiches and popcorn for meals …. its kinda a funny story

He joined Comfort & Joy in 2002 at the encouragement of his close friend and today is the President of the Comfort & Joy board known as the Purple Circle. He is also responsible for all the neon decorations you see on playa and at every Comfort & Joy event including Touch and the Afterglow Parties. Yes, she makes the magic happen.

…my first year was 1996. That was the year Helco happened. When we arrived in the desert we asked a girl where Burning Man was. She said drive six miles that way and turn right, go another 2 miles… we came upon 20 grand pianos stacked together with a guy playing one. We asked if that was Burning Man… he said no, it’s two miles that way…” [paraphrased]

307881_2461318768820_898814095_nThen there is Amber Alert. She came into being around 2013 and family members emerged from dark alleys, cracks in the soil and some place near the bowels of hell. LOL. One of the most disturbing sibling was Playa Hole.

Above all else Chickpea (Brian) is a solid and engaged member of the community with a passion for art and creative endeavors. He has a huge aviary (yes, for real) in his home filled with small birds he cherishes and cares for. He is active with the Radical Faery community and extremely supportive of fellow creatives naturally drawn to him.

People: John Major aka M*J*R

He is one of the many captains of the Giant Sheep roaming several venues from Burning Man, Folsom Street, Palm Springs Pride and more and more and more. The art car came to life in 2013 with M*J*R as one of the guiding 11986487_10208601768028292_4745951768043673427_nwarriors of it’s creation. BAAAHS stands for Bad Ass Awesome Amazing Homosexual Sheep. He is currently featured in Polyglamorous parties and can occasionally be seen with GoBANG, Honey Sound System and has been seen hanging out with Digital Wildlife all based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

M*J*R is a romantic behind this hot, tattoo, leather covered exterior. He has been in a partnered relationship.  He loves San Francisco and lives in the heart of the Mission. In spite of a shitty housing scenario last year he stayed here and continued to be an active member of his community and gives back with his music and art.

Those tattoos M*J*R sports are beautiful and worth a see. Ask him next time you see him.

Above all, M*J*R is a sincere and good soul with passion and heart. Just ask any of the many people he makes music with including Collin Bass and Mark O’Brien. He loves sunsets over the city and sunrises on the playa with a couple hundred dancing friends.

Posted on M*J*R’s Facebook today: I think it says a lot about the man described above and his passion:

“Seeing all of the queer kids (And I mean KIDS… teens and younger) dancing around/on/inside BAAAHS, sliding through the hole over and over, was so heart swellingly beautiful.
This was so worth it.
It’s easy to forget that the impact projects like this can have on people go so far beyond the immediate outcomes one(me in this case) often have of “throw a good party”, “have fun”, blah blah blah.
Touching peoples lives in positive ways (and young’uns!)… **that** is worth enduing working with this often scalding hot cauldron of culture to try and make something transcendent with.
Seriously strong work everyone past&present in BAAAHS.
What an incredible success.”

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