Thank you for 10 years… a little early

We are excited to see the many arms of ALL OF US coming together and ready to launch on January 1st. Ticket sales open then for the event happening in the end of May 2018. This is a unique and amazing period for us as Queer Burners hits 10 years of service to our community. Many people have taken advantage of our networking and leadership resources here. Many other people have been critical that our mission creates a bubble around queers at the event. Either way people are talking.

Thank you Scott Burdette for being so awesome.

We have learned over the years that LGBTQ people at Burning Man that are marginalized in the default world can experience the same things on playa. There are real dangers there as well as anywhere else in the world. In 2012 there was a visible shift in the people who were discovering Burning Man. Likely there were points in the past where seasoned burners could also note. Certainly the Queer Burner History portion of this site shows significant points of change on the playa.

Many of us still hold true to the 10 Principles that were created by Burning Man founders. They are dogma. With varying degrees of commitment we hold those principles in our daily lives even beyond the scope of the 5 square miles at Burning Man. In some cases we might have been guilty of building that bubble, but our strength is the ability to reflect and see it and refuse to be captured by it.

The “Gayborhood” has been through some serious transitions over time (also detailed in the history pages). It is a very important space for the safety of some burners who do not feel safe in a largely hetero-centric space with aggressive sexual and misogynist tones. The Placement part of Burning Man has struggled with understanding some needs at the burn and still have a blind eye when it comes to members of the population who need that recognition in order to be part of the rich blanket of diversity it wants to foster so bad.

We lost a valuable ally at the burn and at Placement named Hepkitten who really tried to make the Gayborhood everything we asked for. Not saying Bravo and their team are working against us, but they are not hearing the community and have forced a large spread of queer camps and from my point of view it has somewhat dimmed the light on the 7:30 sector. I am not sure what happen to Answergirl, she left Placement too, but I saw her slowly breaking down and struggling with the conversation with lgbt camp leaders.

Foxy: the voice in my head when I need it.

Anchor camps have taken on a whole new dimension with the 7:30 sector too. Glamcocks have risen to really shine on the playa taking center stage. They have proven themselves as being able to master the art of interactivity and evolution. They bring a pretty amazing setup with their dance club, led art, a speak easy, and a new and amazing bar. This is a camp that has really grown and embraced performance and participation on the playa. They have also made a lot of effort to be engaged in the community as a whole.

Art cars have been the new growth factor among queer camps. BAAAHS is still the super star and it has also innovated and been a real community partner. The energy and visibility of this amazing moving art piece has been the anchor of queer arts. In it’s wake other BAAAHS village camps have also been adding art cars, inspired by there silver balled older sibling. The Salamander car has been around a while based at the Comfort & Joy village. And AstroCats art car made it’s maiden appearance in 2017 which is very exciting. Rumor has it more are coming in 2018!!!! Stay tuned.

Thank you to all the people who help Queer Burners shine. Many of you are listed on the page about leaders who really step up (click here). Thank you toAdam Adam, Justin, Juzten, Pretzel, Foxy, Russ, Jason and more for walking this journey with me. To so many over the past who have also helped Queer Burners get to 10 years.

Site Update

Saratoga Springs Cabin Map
Saratoga Springs Cabin Map

So if you check the feed you will see a few changes to the site including a few pages added to the over all program. Got a little behind as the Burner season was chilling out and started working on other projects. Never too much time to watch mama’s stories and eat bon-bon’s because sissy got stuff to do. Like ALL OF US basic planning along with some of the fine folks already helping to get the wheels turning!

2018 ALL OF US banner

ALL OF US is going to be at the same place this year, which is very exciting. Back to Saratoga Springs Retreat Center we go and tickets are already selling. Wait? What?? Well, the people who are already on the production team are getting their tickets as well as those who pledged some cash flow for us last August during the fund raiser. Check your inboxes or your Eventbrite logins, If nothing there then hits us up through the contact page.

Have you seen this land yet? Maybe you did not make it last year, but it is so beautiful and plush. The land is owned by radical faeries who are an amazing community with principles much like our 10 Principles. They are also radical, queer and have an amazing positive world view. You can see even more on the event page (linked here) and not to be confused with the official web site link here www.allofusevent.com.

TICKET SALES: Jan 1, 2018

Prices are going up a little from last year, but we will make it well worth your while. This space is super amazing and just refreshing on all levels. We see people coming in from all over the world to join us here and that in itself is exciting. To join in and be a part of the production team please fill out the questionaire: including art installations, work shops, or whatever you think will make this event even more exciting.

Ticketing Link: Eventbrite Link (https://allofusevent.eventbrite.com)

Production Team / Art / Performance Application: Google Form Link

This is a 18+ event. No pets. No children. All ticket sales are final.

We’re doing it…

We are blessed and we are working to make this magic every year. As queer people going to the playa we have a specific goal : let’s do it again next year but better. Some of us the execution of those ideas is easier than others. Find the right people around that are the right “coo” to your coo.

Queer Burners [dot] Com

Is getting a redo right now, if you have not noticed all the changes slowly taking shape on it. This should be a resource for you. This is not political, but there are some discussions and notes about some shitty things. But mostly it is about great things and doing super cool things to make Burning Man better for you, your friends and your community.

LAWeekly Article
Tom and Pretzel are genius (click to see better)

Tom and Pretzel are FAMOUS!

Both boys hail out of the Glamcocks now. Tom used to be more with BAAAHS but I think he has gone full poly-camping. Both are vivacious and spirited young men who I have seen work themselves into a stupor to make a project go well whether it was their own or helping with someone else’s success.

They got a nice pat and on the tushie from www.LAWeekly.com this week because of a piece of art they created at Burning Man. The art piece will also be seen at the upcoming San Francisco Decompression at Pier 70 where, thanks to the same two wunderkinds there will be a recreation of the Gayborhood at this usually very hetero-centric event.

Decom 2017 in San Francisco

Several camps have banded together to create a mini Gaybohood at the event in San Francsico with BAAAHS (the Big Ass Awesome Amazing Homosexual Sheep) or better Pearl (the bus that is the shaven version of the sheep, will be the center of the attraction. camps participating include but not limited to:

  • BAAAHS
  • Glamcocks
  • Sun Guardians
  • Mystopia
  • Camp Beaverton/Gender Blender
  • AstroPups
  • Vietnamese Iced Coffee Experience
  • Paradise Motel

Come join us at Pier 70 on October 14th. Link to Facebook spiel. (link) Ticket prices are kinda high but they are at a new venue that sounds very exciting.

October 2017

Its been a busy past couple months and I want to thank everyone who has been sticking around. Joining and registering on this site should mean something and I have been hoping to make it worth everyones while for a long time. #1 is that you can come here and get information about what is going on out there. That includes:

  • Links to camp information
  • Links to local information
  • What Queer Burners is up to near or far from you
  • …and more to come.

The bimonthly news letter we started last year has been put away for lack of interest. We gave it a shot a while so we are back to this and Facebook. The Facebook gets A LOT of attention and all those links are here for your use. Stay turned, more to come.

May Bi Monthly News Letter P2


It’s mid may and we are heading deep into Festival Season and Gay Pride. The year passes at such a high velocity some times it is hard to keep up with the latest and the greatest. Here is our quick and dirty attempt.

In this issue of the monthly news letter:

  • All Of Us Update
  • 2017 Queer Camps List
  • Events
  • The Mechanics: How this email works

All Of Us

Many thanks to the many people who bought the many tickets to the most amazing event we have ever produced. Literally, we have a catalog of things for the weekend that are beyond the anything we could have imagined over the last couple years. We will miss Groundswell for sure, but this new area is larger and wider with more amenities. Not quite surviving in the desert, but why not treat yourself before that happens… right?

 

What was formerly the Queer Burner Retreat is now All Of Us event. It is the only regional style event in the world focused on LGBTQ++ participants in the Burning Man culture. It is a 10 Principles based event with a mission of fostering Community & Leadership. We also seek to see others rise into their own in whatever forms they take that goes to the next level of participation and doing.

  • ALL PARTICIPANTS must have legal identification when checking in at the gate showing they are at least 18 years or older.
  • Everyone will have to complete a waiver agreement when coming in. It would be really helpful if you had it printed and filled out before you came – LINKED HERE
  • Need a ride or can offer one? Sign-up on the Carpool – LINKED HERE
  • Sign up early for your volunteer role – LINKED HERE
  • Sign up for workshops – LINKED HERE
  • Housing / Food Needs – LINKED HERE

The waiver has some language in it that is very important. Please look it over carefully. And yes, in order to come into the event it must be completed with your identification. All participants will have to wear a colored bracelet upon check in:

  • 1 color if under 21
  • another color if 21 plus
  • and/or another if you do not want to appear in photos or video

We want everyone to feel safe and welcome.

Some quick facts:

  • IF you are in a bed you MUST have bedding. There is a place to order it on the Eventbrite. Or, you may be required to buy it when you arrive unless you have your own.
  • Bring your own towels, toiletries, cup … just like going to Burning Man
  • SCREEN PRINTING at ALL OF US!!! Bring a t-shirt or garment for large screen prints
    “The Journey” is printing art logo prints and the All Of Us Official Logo
    You can bring t-shirts, coats, anything that can take screen printing
  • There are 2 meals a day : 10 am Brunch & 6:30 Dinner : & snacks
  • There is a lot of activities from amazing hiking to pool and jacuzzi space
  • This is a clothing optional event (except in dining room and kitchen)
  • NO GLASS is allowed in the pool area at any time
  • SMOKING IN DESIGNATED AREAS ONLY
  • Bring your favorite bottle(s) for you and to share with your fellow campers along with any desired mixers. There is no open bar… but I bet someone will share. But… radical self reliance… BRING A CUP makes it a lot easier
    *anyone giving persons under 21 alcohol will be asked to leave *

2017 Queer Burners Camp List

The list is taking shape and camps are seriously gearing up to get ready for “Radical Ritual” Burning Man 2017. Do not be one of those people who wait til the last minute to commit because you WILL be left out. Check out the 2017 Queer Burners Page on our web site. 

Events

This is a list of events we know about:

Submit your events for the news letter in the link below.

The Mechanics

Thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped keep this network thriving. As we get closer to event season there is room for more people to play in this garden. If you sign up on the Queer Burners web site and are verified, then you too can write posts and continue conversations relevant to the community at large. Thank you to so many of you.

ALL OF US IMPORTANT EMAIL

So this list of important things went out on 5/16 for All Of Us and only got 63% opens. While that is good for 1 day everyone must have this information for when they arrive. It is extremely helpful if the clicks are there before you arrive for classes, volunteering and the other stuff… all very important. Please take a looksie:

All Of Us event 2017

UPPER LAKE, CALIFORNIA

This email has links and information about many important factors when preparing for the event. This includes ride share and getting involved through the week. This is a 10 principle event which means everyone is expected to help out a little each day for:
1. Community Engagement
2. Immediacy
3. LNT – Leave No Trace
4. Radical Self Reliance
5. Radical Inclusion
So help us out by being prepared mentally and physically so we can present an amazing event designed with you in mind.

In just a matter of days it all happens once again. What was formerly the Queer Burner Retreat is now All Of Us event. It is the only regional style event in the world focused on LGBTQ++ participants in the Burning Man culture. It is a 10 Principles based event with a mission of fostering Community & Leadership. We also seek to see others rise into their own in whatever forms they take that goes to the next level of participation and doing.

  • ALL PARTICIPANTS must have legal identification when checking in at the gate showing they are at least 18 years or older.
  • Everyone will have to complete a waiver agreement when coming in. It would be really helpful if you had it printed and filled out before you cameLINKED HERE
  • Need a ride or can offer one? Sign-up on the Carpool – LINKED HERE
  • Sign up early for your volunteer role – LINKED HERE
  • Sign up for workshops – LINKED HERE
  • Housing / Food Needs – LINKED HERE

The waiver has some language in it that is very important. Please look it over carefully. And yes, in order to come into the event it must be completed with your identification. All participants will have to wear a colored bracelet upon check in:

  • 1 color if under 21
  • another color if 21 plus
  • and/or another if you do not want to appear in photos or video

We want everyone to feel safe and welcome.

Some quick facts:

  • IF you are in a bed you MUST have bedding. There is a place to order it on the Eventbrite. Or, you may be required to buy it when you arrive unless you have your own.
  • Bring your own towels, toiletries, cup … just like going to Burning Man
  • SCREEN PRINTING at ALL OF US!!! Bring a t-shirt or garment for large screen prints
    “The Journey” is printing art logo prints and the All Of Us Official Logo
    You can bring t-shirts, coats, anything that can take screen printing
  • There are 2 meals a day : 10 am Brunch & 6:30 Dinner : & snacks
  • There is a lot of activities from amazing hiking to pool and jacuzzi space
  • This is a clothing optional event (except in dining room and kitchen)
  • NO GLASS is allowed in the pool area at any time
  • SMOKING IN DESIGNATED AREAS ONLY
  • Bring your favorite bottle(s) for you and to share with your fellow campers along with any desired mixers. There is no open bar… but I bet someone will share. But… radical self reliance… BRING A CUP makes it a lot easier
    *anyone giving persons under 21 alcohol will be asked to leave *

May 2017 News Letter

It’s already a week into May and this news letter is just getting out. That’s right, it’s a busy month for all of us. Speaking of which: ALL OF US is just days away! I bet you are dying to know how you can get out there and get tickets to this amazing thing! Keep reading …

In this issue of the monthly news letter:

  • All Of Us Update
  • 2017 Queer Camps List
  • Events
  • The Mechanics: How this email works

All Of Us

An email is coming out in a few days to the attendees of the event with some important information. There are the usual event like things in it, but events like this are very rare. As for hype, the truth is there is no other 10 Principles event that is made for LGBTQ people specifically. It is an extension of community and gathering that will hopefully inspire others to carry that flag further.

Yes, there will be limited ticket sales at the gate, but we need advance sales so we can adequately plan for food and services.

 

2017 Queer Burners Camp List

The list is taking shape and camps are seriously gearing up to get ready for “Radical Ritual” Burning Man 2017. Do not be one of those people who wait til the last minute to commit because you WILL be left out. Check out the 2017 Queer Burners Page on our web site. 

Events

This is a list of events we know about:

Submit your events for the news letter in the link below.

The Mechanics

Thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped keep this network thriving. As we get closer to event season there is room for more people to play in this garden. If you sign up on the Queer Burners web site and are verified, then you too can write posts and continue conversations relevant to the community at large. Thank you to so many of you.

April 2017 Part 2 News Letter

There is a new voice to the posts on Queer Burners and soon some new looks. Check out some of the latests posts and be sure to consider one of your own. Just let the admin know you are posting so we can make sure it gets out there. Posts only, please.

In this issue of the monthly news letter:

  • All Of Us Update
  • Burning Man Global Leadership Event in Oakland
  • 2017 Queer Camps List
  • Events
  • The Mechanics: How this email works

All Of Us

Full steam ahead. Don’t wait too long to get your tickets. And, stay in touch to see all the super mazing things that are happening [click] with all our banners for all the cool stuff!

Burning Man Global Leadership Event in Oakland

Want to know a wee bit more about the GLC and the Gayborhood. How are we responsible for our own future? Here is a nice follow up from the previous post [click].

2017 Queer Burners Camp List

The list is taking shape and camps are seriously gearing up to get ready for “Radical Ritual” Burning Man 2017. Do not be one of those people who wait til the last minute to commit because you WILL be left out. Check out the 2017 Queer Burners Page on our web site. 

Events

This is a list of events we know about:

Submit your events for the news letter in the link below.

The Mechanics

Thank you to everyone who has contributed and helped keep this network thriving. As we get closer to event season there is room for more people to play in this garden. If you sign up on the Queer Burners web site and are verified, then you too can write posts and continue conversations relevant to the community at large. Thank you to so many of you.

GLC: What about it?

The Global Leadership Conference hosted by Burning Man in Oakland at the beginning of the month was an amazing experience. This was my 5th or 6th one. When one starts forgetting those details then it feels like maybe it’s time to slow down? IDK… but I was super grateful to see so many people there.

People have since asked regarding the last post: “GLC: Gayborhood Broken Up?” questions like where is the queer representation at BMorg? With the Census showing an LGBTQ population hovering about 30% [2016 Report] of Black Rock City are we represented in the org the same way? When it comes to Ethnic Diversity and other populations anyone can ask the same question.

After my experience at the GLC and my interactions with BMorg there is a resounding yes (regarding representation), but there are some consistent problems with the BMorg as far as being able to react to Sexual Identity and Ethnic needs in the community that are slowly getting the recognition they have sorely needed over the years.

This is my 9th year in the community and when I tell you I have seen some real shit hit the fan, I have. BUT, I have also seen certain bodies of the BMorg really bounce right back to save the moment. There are some heroes up there.

The Conference

Let’s focus on some of the positives. This year there were more community leaders brought into the fold than ever before. This also included Theme Camp leaders and more diverse community leaders with various agendas. While some of these agendas were Ethnic, some were about Disability Access, and others were about creating new space to commune and make community.

Not to harp on myself, but my first GLC was as a Community Leader for the Las Vegas community and then each year following I went to talk about the Gayborhood. I also talked vigorously about safety for queers and women which is already documented well in the scope of this site.

There were queer leaders from all over the country. Many of whom lead Queer Burner regional message boards listed here on this site. It is also fair to say, without outing anyone who is not ready to be outed, that there are top level people who identify as LGBTQ.

We have many many allies, but that does not mean we have a free pass. Queer Burners as a community has to toil and resolve issues like everyone else in the community. There are issues we have to fight against but that is minutia compared to the scope of what we do for a week out of the year and how we bring Burning Man ideology to our communities.

And that is the key! Burning Man mission statement has been pared down to something very simple about bringing the 10 Principles to the world and creating community with that. Burners Without Boards and the Burning Man Project have been the pivot point on all that.

Us v. Them

Thinking there is an ‘us versus them mentality’ is not really conducive to a positive outcome. There is no such thing. If we want something from this community, we have to ask or demand it. If it happens through our Theme Camp Applications or where we spend our money then those are strong voices.

  • Going back to the Gayborhood question: Radical Self Reliance means we have to put in our applications who we want to be camped near and where.
  • If queers feel unsafe at Burning Man because of dangers growing out of a surging tourist culture then there are other places to spend and get value from that $425 dollar ticket.
  • If the dissolution of 10 Principles ideology is making it hard to be part of the burn, then become an activist and use Immediacy to start your own – thing.

As with any institution there are ways to work within the scope of the community or with our freedom; we can make our own. For many of us Burning Man is something we cherish. We might see some scars but the bigger picture is the value of those few days a year we get to create something amazing.

Schedules

The GLC had a lot of sessions that were very valuable. If you can go next year then by all means go. As this was my 5th or 6th year it has become almost a 2nd Burning Man trip for me… without the dust. I have allies that are there as well as people who would see my work torn apart.

I will post about the workshops and some feedback about them in my next post.

Conclusion

Sorry about the brevity and lack of content in this post. I wanted to share some thoughts about what I perceive as our individual responsibilities in this community to our goals in the Burning Man Community. Queer Burners comes in behind that somewhere as well as your Theme Camp and Yourself in any order that works for you.

We get what we petition for. If this is a chorus rather than one guy shouting like a crazy guy in the street that is very different. If we want the Gayborhood then we have to ask for it. We have to find our strategic partner camps and unite with them and put that in the application.

As far as who is representing us at Burning Man we have a lot of strong voices. For every twenty people there is maybe 1 neigh-sayer. We really do have more allies than not. The only thing I would like to discourage is letting other people be your voice… be your own voice and be heard.

Where are we that….?

Over the years that I have been doing things under the banner of Queer Burner (formerly Gay Burners) it has taken many forms. As the primary voice on this project it has been my chief goal to unite queer burners and make a fun play space for all those who would like to play in this amazing sand box.

Like on any playground, there are bullies. There are people who would thrust their point of view on other around them in spite of facts or truths. We do live in an age where there is “truthiness” and “alt-truths” and revisionist history that seek to drive a narrative that is increasingly questioned by some and ignored by others.

In the scope of that, calling out white privilege has been a big subject. At the Burning Man Global Leadership Conference this April 2017 in Oakland, California there was a 2 hour discussion from a black woman to a widely mixed audience. The smartest thing a white male could do was to listen and observe, but that was too much for some of us. You can imagine the results.

This week we put a survey on one of our Facebook Groups : Queer Burners Global Social Network :

  • Patience. Calm. Honesty. Maybe reflect a moment before answering. There is a reasonable expectation that the Gayborhood / Rainbow Road is going to be very different in 2017. If the Queer Neighborhood is decentralized will this effect your burn?

The feedback has been amazing. The ability to answer in the scope of the poll was limited. Read through the comments and see some of what happen, because it is awesome. However, a lot of people had no problem with the dissolution of the Gayborhood. BTW: they were mostly white and male (as of last check).

Some battles have been strange and interesting. If you read the trip report from the 2016 Burn there was a meeting with Placement at a queer camp (Sun Guardians) where in mostly queer camps came to meet with Placement and have a conversation about being neighborly: this was not a meeting about Queer Camps.

There were two attendees that highjacked the meeting and tried to make it about the merits of the Gayborhood, but we were able to steer it away. Among them was a person with a complex and strong voice from the White Ocean camp who clearly was dealing with his own demons.

The second person was a member of the temple crew  whose partner wanted nothing to do with the direction of the conversation.

This week someone named Tom Steward posted publicly his feelings about the Gayborhood and this submission was an echo of sentiment from other voices in the minority about the Gayborhood:

  • Gays are in no more danger than anyone else at burning man. No need for a gayborhood unless you want easy cruising. Gays should be sprinkled lightly over the entire city. We are a gay camp and have never felt threatened and dislike that gays are segregated.” – Tom posted this with his email address and IP. It was a public submission through the feedback form and he had some feelings to share.

Tom reflects the feelings of some other burners; most often it is a voice of people who feel rejected by the Gayborhood and it’s residents. In my 9 years burning I have seen an amazing evolution of queer camps who have worked very very very hard to make their camps and residents more inclusive and welcoming. We have evolved and ask to see if your perception can evolve with us.

Even if the Gayborhood is broken into 2, if it is dissolute, it will evolve and survive. But with that, people who find a sense of safety with it are the people Burning Man is trying to reach. It’s not just an ethnic loss, it’s the loss of diversity on another level.

E very person I have seen asking for the breakup of the Gayborhood was a gay white male sharing a point of view that excluded anyone else in the scope of what they proposed to be destroyed. Objectively these people are missing a lot of facts.

  • we conducted surveys of the community and found clear data that there were significant threats to personal safety against gender ambiguous, trans and specifically female identified people in the scope of the survey sent to Queer Burner members.  The results are on this site from last year.
  • his expression of “we” seems to be limited to his white, gay camp mates of a mysterious camp yet unidentified.

Queers and people of color do not move through community like everyone. We (they) are usually aware of their environments for specific safety reasons. We do not walk through a neighborhood assuming safety. It is the same in the world and the same at Burning Man. With the commercialization of Burning Man, with the Bucket List thinking, we have to step up our game for safety and community support more and more.

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