People: Pink Pants

12314103_10203922705946830_6916226417254714998_nAdvocate, leader, creator, spark of seemingly endless energy. Ariel is a highly motivated member if our Queer Burner Community.

Ariel ( Pink Pants) is the co-creator of Camp Gender Blender and part of the organizing team. Ariel is a proud gender out-law, decade-long burner, educator, activist, performer, and writer. Ariel loves sparkles, glitter, dancing, making smoothies, and being a rock-star at life. You can find Ariel on playa teaching about gender, leading rituals, hosting play parties, drags shows, and making a queer-fabulous ruckus. Off playa you can find Ariel working to shift the patriarchy, ensure a future of safe healthy non-gmo food, facilitating workshops including gender liberation, overcoming oppression, nonviolence as a life path, team building, and much more. Ariel is currently training to be a Priestess as part of the Kohenet program. Ariel loves to play with gender and uses many different pronouns including unicorn. Ariel is available for speaking engagements, workshop facilitation, and performances. Ariel can be reached on Facebook as “Pink Pants” and by email at ariel@genderblenders.org – from genderblenders.org

While this snippet from the web site for her camp Gender Blender says an awful lot about her she recently returned from a trip to the Middle East where she advocated heavily (see cover image) for American Jews for BDS.

Honoring Trans Day of Resistance by existence – for existing is resisting! So thankful for my community for all my Trans and GQ folks for the world we are creating – I give gratitude and I mourn all the lives lost due to hatred and bigotry. Here is to a better brighter future that we are building with each breath. I’ll be looking for my community tonight in Istanbul Turkey if you know folks here connect me!” – from her Facebook page dated  11/21

When Ariel shows up this person shines so bright. See Ariel in the crowd often will have a bullhorn in hand or maybe a unicorn horn. This person has the energy and vitality we can all appreciate and love.

701 5000 100/day 10% …numbers baby

Queer Burners is meant to be a collaboration. It’s here as a canvas for participants to add to it. Recently someone asked me if this was a one man show and I ‘say’ : “NO” but with few acceptations I am the only one posting articles. As we float into 2016 – 8 years after starting this project – it is really time for this site to either take flight or go away.

As a resource many people have seemed pleased with it. With great anticipation, Cody from Glamcocks might start a series of articles about acculturation. I seriously want more people to dive in and write more about their area of expertise. It’s not always clear as to what those are for some people and we need diversity. Diversity and inclusion is really important.

It is exciting to see 701 people signed up on the site. About 10% of those are completely inactive and about the same number come back to the site a lot and actually sign in. The cool thing is that we are still seeing (even in this off season) about an average of 100 visitors a day. People are watching and paying attention.

With the combination of our regional Facebook pages as well as the main ones (all linked on the Queerdo’s Regional Page) we are reaching on average 5000 people with our posts and information. Some automatically populates to our @queer_burner twitter and to the Page. Our mailing list (linked at the bottom) has about the same number of people on our membership.

Today is Christmas Day and with this post I wish you all a Happy Holiday season.

People: Jessica Allred

b4503fe267951df4bd4662c63770591c-bpfullJessica was one of the first women from Camp Beaverton to reach out to the Queer Burner community at large in an effort to make Camp Beaverton more accessible to any and all genders. She served as camp mayor a few years ago when the Queer Burners project was really getting it’s legs and was one of the community members who helped make it successful.

Around her time as mayor and following the camp began instituting a concierge program that spread through other camps that invited other people into the Beaverton camp.

While Beaverton was founded by a heterosexual white male it became synonymous with being a camp primarily of lesbians. But what some might not know, they provide education for people of all kinds. Jessica was one of the curators of this awesome educational series.

11990607_10204645507006568_2656276238302964434_nLiving in Massachusetts she is one of the many that makes the big trek to Black Rock City and helps keep Camp Beaverton Home for Wayward Girls going. Her support for Queer Burner projects has also been greatly appreciated and among those who helped build bridges between their camp and the many others who love the Beavers so much throughout the community.

Changes to Theme Camp Thinking

What makes a theme camp? What gives some of these staying power while others fade? Who is really making a mark on the culture, while who is just producing a glorified camp with friends? Truth is Burning Man is demanding camps innovate and change. Camps that are not evolving are getting placed less and less.

There are 5 standards for present and future camps need to meet (from April 2014 news letter from Placement)

  1. Theme Camps should be visually stimulating, have an inviting design and a plan for bike parking and crowd management.
  2. Theme Camps must be interactive. They should include activities, events or services within their camps that must be available to the entire Burning Man community.
  3. Theme Camps must be neighbourly. This includes keeping sound within set limits, controlling where camp generators vent exhaust, and easily resolving any boundary disputes that may arise.
  4. Theme Camps must have a good previous MOOP record (for returning camps).
  5. Theme Camps must follow safety protocols designed by the organization (this includes traffic management on the streets, proper handling of fuels, and any other areas defined by the organization’s production team including alternatives to RV lined streets).

Gayborhood camps might think they have a better chance of placement without innovation or evolution because they are a staple of the area. Some camps have been really setting the bar in their presentation. Another area of note is the friendly nature of the camp; is that is inviting – engaging – interactive? Some camps have made remarkable steps in that area as well.

“Community is the successful result of people coming together for a common goal”**

comfort__joy_2006Comfort & Joy has been the epicenter of the Gayborhood for a number of years now. Their neon courtyard created by Chickpea and art pieces by Neon suck people into their space and do not require a lot of direct engagement to make people feel welcome when visiting. They do have fluffers who keep their space refreshed which is an additional welcoming factor of their space.

Over the last few years the camps that have made strong presentations:

  • Comfort & Joy – Glamcocks – BloAsis – Barbie Death Camp – Paradise Motel – Celestial Bodies – Mystopia

Most improved process of making people feel welcome in their camps:

  • Glamcocks – Camp Beaverton  – Gender Blender

Camps to watch grow in recent years:

  • Hanging Gardens – Disco Chateau – Peterson’s Pink Pagoda – Sun Guardians

Exciting new camps that brought a lot of fun to the playa:

  • Cub House -Gaylactic Village (now including Homojitoville)

Gone are the days when the Borg are willing to let camps stay the same. Theme camps have to become more interactive or provide services that make the city more inviting. They can come in many forms from Snow Cones, to Super Hero Parties to Oil Wresting (3 camps had this in 2015).

There are some new subjects coming to light in the 2016 season that have yet to officially be directed, but you can look forward to seeing:

  • Frontage lighting for camps including day oriented camps
  • More rules on sound: sound camps in the city
  • … and more I am sure

Want some help with your camp infrastructure or plans for 2016. Well, we have news! There is going to be a Camp Creator summit coming to the Bay Area in 2016 where camp leaders, vendors and builders can get together. It will be called LiSP 2016: Leadership in Silly Places. Stay tuned for announcements and ticket sales.

Working together and networking is a good way to up your game for 2016. The baseline is higher now. The good thing is that Placement is keeping us all on the ball with their mailing list. Get on it by contacting Placement through the web site or emailing placment@burningman.org. You will be automatically added if you submit your Placement Application in April 2016.

**source quote unknown
Banneer Image from Toaster
2nd inset image for Comfort & Joy unknown

People: Cody Chance Enicke

Cody is a champion in his community. It is certainly not contained to his camp at Burning Man every year. He is a leader with the Glamcocks and their voice for the newbies with acculturation. In 2015 his efforts really helped make the Queer Burner glamcocks9Retreat a success with all the volunteering and support. Along with Shane, Yogen and other members of the Glamcocks they are making a whole new bold statement for theme camps at the Burn.

The Glamcocks first appeared on the playa not that long ago, but have made such an impact that they are hard to emulate. Cody was there from the beginning; with others but this is a thank you letter to Cody for his impact and influence with the success of this community.

In 2016 Cody will be starting a series here writing articles about acculturation appearing regularly. His insights and growing success with the Glamcocks is worth noting. He has been one of the champions of successful integration of his fellow camp mates into the culture of Burning Man and the Queer Burner community. It especially noteworthy as we have seen this camp grow into a diamond on the crown of the Gayborhood.

People: Scott Burdette

12038216_10205277181506000_6886993824055867021_nAin’t she a pretty girl? This is Scott. He does a lot in the community, perhaps more than you know, not just in the LGBTQ sector. He is one of the founders of Camp Conception out of Seattle. He admins several burning man boards including the Burning Man group (73k members) and Burning Man Classifieds.

Meet this guy and meet one a the biggest, sweetest personalities you will ever have the chance to meet.

He is leader in the Seattle community and a big voice. This is a man that will help you when called when it comes to being a true community leader. He has stepped up to help support and manage some of the many Queer Burner boards has been a great supporter.

 

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