The first of 3

The first of 3 major QB events has hit the airwaves today on our Facebook page. This is your chance to discover a Regional event if you have never been to one. Better yet, having a wicked good time with a bunch of queers rep-prez-zentin’! We do have a lot of members and friends in Salt Lake City, which is close to the event, it is their Regional Event after all.

This is the exploration stage to see what kind of steam we can get behind it. Of course we are all amped up being less than a month after Burning Man itself. We have a lot of time to work it out.

What about the 2013 Queer Burner Leadership Summit – you ask??? Yes, that will be announced soon too. Stay tuned! XO

2012 Burning Man Trip Report

While this site continues to be a launching platform for Queer and Queer Adjacent members of the Burner Culture it also has an intent to keep the 10 Principles alive in our day to day living. Whether you also include the 10 commandments, Buddhist beliefs, Kaballah, Torah, or whatever the 10 Principles are merely ideas for community living.

The following is a different kind of trip report and talks about a lot of things. There are criticism but there is also a lot of appreciation for a lot of work people did to achieve something amazing. This is a single person’s point of view and you are encouraged to add comments or write your own trip report with all your exciting stories.

Burning Man (Fertility 2.0)

The theme itself, this year, left us somewhat perplexed at first trying to figure our how the LGBTQ++ community fit into it. We did studies, videos, testimonies and in the end there was very little of the theme in the scope of the event n the delivery. It came across a little 2d unlike recent years like “Rites of Passage” and “Evolution” that had an umbrella of possibilities and translations to art and culture that were represented on the playa.

Keep in mind that there was …WAS an estimation of 70% of ticket sales went to people with no previous affiliation with Burning Man either in theory or pARTticipation who – in all likelihood – did not know how to bring it. Many probably learned while it seemed that many fled early from the event. Fled? Yes, wicked dust storms scared off the less sturdy and left us with a max attendance at one point of 52,000 or so people; less than last year and way short of the 60,000 tickets actually sold.

Bottom line, there was a great deal of success to the event because as the vacationers fled the play ground became a lot more burner-centric; which means experienced burners slowly became a majority again. This also includes de-burgined newbies that embraced the scope of Burning Man principles and will be coming back. Joy.

 Nomenclature

This year we had a very strong Gayborhood thanks to the placement team at Burning Man HQ and (finally) someone listening to some LGBTQ++ concerns with the influx of new people that might further inflame some homophobic issues in the past. So far there has been no direct reports of those problems but we will be seeking feedback from the community moving forward.

The Gayborhood basically started around 7:00 and E in the city stretching back to approximately 7:30 and F; not to exclude anyone just outside that zone. Some of us started calling the surrounding area the Gayburbs. Camps in the Gayborhood included:

  • Comfort & Joy
  • Camp Beaverton
  • Gender Blender
  • Camp Montage
  • Celestial Bodies
  • Dusthaven
  • AstroPups
  • Camp Crack Whore
  • Camp Stella
  • Glamcocks
  • Quixote
  • Camp Blo Pop
  • Down Low Club
  • Poly Asylum

The Gayburbs on the other hand was a little more spread out. This might be a new term coined this year, or recycled, who knows. But there were an awful lot of Queer Pride Rainbow flags out there flying. Some had the word PACE on them which is the Italian word for Peace. Some of those camps included:

  • Motel Paradise
  • Tiny’s Lounge
  • Yes, Please
  • Vietnamese Coffee Camp
  • Camp Conception
  • Area 69
  • Run Free Camp
  • Camp Homoerectus

Wait? Is that all? No… there were a lot of camps, either overt or not, that surrounded the area who were self identified queer camps or queer-adjacent.

Gayburbia was a term that we came to agree to call the far off smaller circle of gay camps on the other side of the city that 2 years ago was coined the Gay Ghetto. The fine folks at the center of that area over near 4:00 and J was Burner Buddies. These were smaller, more clustered groups who camped close to each other for “safety” purposes. That was the exact word used. Queer camps that could look out for each other through the event.

Placement

RevBloodshotHuge thanks to Placement for their continued follow up, interaction and support to the queer and queer friendly camps at Burning Man. Rev. Bloodshot was the star player in the placement team who was extremely active in making sure there was support and security included in the placement of the Gayborhood.

The outstanding work and follow up by this team was a topic of discussion among the Queer Burner Leaders and generally agreed that they deserve huge levels of appreciation.

Processes

Without a doubt getting in and getting out of Burning Man was a win-win. A one to three hour max Exodus has not been experienced in nearly a decade and talk about a finely executed ballet. I was traveling with Foxy (Mayor of Camp Beaverton) and we both anticipated a 6 to 8 hour wait along with our newbie Uniboob (just kidding Sarah) and were braced for the long wait and we rolled right out without a single pause or surge.

Streets: Traversing the city, though huge, was very well laid out as usual though the roads were in BAAAAD shape by Friday. The ruts were deep and teeth chattering on most bikes and some art cars.

Toilets: maintained remarkably well and occasionally decorated and left smelling of lavender by wonderful fellow burners.

Center Camp: The strongest and best year of my experience, plus a great haven from the dust.

Law Enforcement

In 2011 with an increase in population there was an increase in Law Enforcement (aka L.E.). With the addition of 10,000 tickets sold for a sold out venue you better believe there was even more police presence out there. If you were paying attention, there ‘seemed‘ to be a lot of police activity. Specifically, they appeared to be searching for illegal substances.

Camp Poly Asylum was raided by police and dogs and apparently little was found. Was this harassment or was this an honest attempt to discover behavior that endangered the camp as a whole?

One member of my camp was stopped at the front gate and was subjected to a dog search of his car even though he has nothing to do with drugs.

However!!!! (Taken right from Burners.Me)

For an event with a peak attendance of 52,385, attended by eagle-eyed Law Enforcement Officers by the hundreds, Burners did incredibly well at keeping the peace, staying out of trouble, and obeying the law.

According to the Associated Press, this year’s scorecard was:

  • 22 Arrests
  • 230 Citations for drug and other violations
  • 441 verbal warnings for everything from speeding to washing their hands and dishes on the playa

Well done Burners – except for 22 of you –  and well done LEOs.

In comparison to previous years, there were more arrests but fewer citations. Here’s some recent statistics regarding arrests and citations at Burning Man 2010 and 2009.

2010- 293 citations; 8 arrests
2009- 287 citations; 9 arrests

I found one site on the Internet claiming that in 2011 is that there were 4 arrests for battery. However this site says:

2011 – 42 citations; 3 arrests – this might only be the BLM though and not include County cops

(end – Burners.Me repost: it was too good not to share. There is more if you will to follow the link in the header of this section.)

Who’s Who

Before the last 10,000 tickets went on sale there was a projection that about 70% of the people attending this year would be people who have never been experienced to Burning Man or it’s culture; 10 Principles and more. Even with the additional 10,000 tickets the event became sold out. Yes – selling out for the 2nd year in a row.

Who actually attended this event that resulted in 52,000 attendees which is way short of the 60,000 tickets sold? It should also be noted that a lot of those bucket list burners could not take the extreme conditions of the dust and wind and went home with their tails tucked.

  • 40% returning and contributing Burners
  • 20% ravers and crackheads looking to party
  • 25% circuit queens
  • 15% posers /  tourists / people abducted

*strictly subjective

The above is all in good fun. It is as accurate as what the Huffington Post published last year from Oscar Remundo’s popular blog.

Enculration: Did it work?

Many camps had processes in place to make sure Burgins staying with them were enlightened with an understanding of the 10 Principles and how they applied to their stay at Burning Man and their camp. Among the toughest to make this culture work for their newbies was Comfort & Joy, Camp Beaverton and AstroPups.

MOOP: There was still a lot of MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) out there; basically littering. However, it seemed that there was generally less crap blowing around this year than I saw last year.

pARTticipation: There was the usual great participation out there that makes the city what it is. It did seem, from personal observation, that there was a little more active recruiting to help out between experienced burners.

Art: There was a notable lack of creativity on the playa save the amazing CORE projects out there on some level. While a few pieces really stood out: (note: this is a personal observation)

  • Shipwreck w/ The Pier
  • Mumuration (Queer Project)
  • Aztec Calendar
  • …and the new Orbitron*

*from the people who brought you Cubitron in previous years.

Theme Camps

New standards were breached on amazing camps! There was some definitely excellent work that went into many of them. Although we are a world of radical inclusion, non-judgyness,some should genuinely be rewarded for their amazing work:

Most Welcoming Ambiance

  • Comfort & Joy
  • Beaverton/Gender Blender
  • AstroPups
  • Celestial Bodies

Best Construction

  • Comfort & Joy
  • Glamcocks
  • BaalMart
  • Celestial Bodies
  • Motel Paradise

Most Chillin at Home Vibe

  • Yes,Please
  • Camp Conception

Best Entertainment

  • Comfort & Joy: Friday’s Full Moon & AfterGlow Party
  • Burner Buddies: post Gay Pride celebration
  • Camp Conception: Thursday’s Dance party with DJ Dan
  • AstroPups: Wednesday Night feat. Rocket Collective
  • Down Low Club: Monday Official Meet & Greet
  • Celestial Bodies… every night

Radical Inclusion and Intimidation

One of the best camps for creating a welcome atmosphere, certainly the most successful depending on your point of view, has been Comfort & Joy. I witnessed people from all corners come into their camp and structures because they provide such a secure and safe space.

This could be said very much the same for a camp like Celestial Bodies who attract a very eclectic crowd and have a loving and special atmosphere; AstroPups and Down Low Club were very open.

While some camps are not open to street traffic through the week it is usually relatively clear who those were. Camp Conception hosted an amazing party on Thursday night and were raffling off some amazing art pieces; but visiting the camp felt awkward.

Glamcocks had this amazing open structure, they hosted and published some top notch parties, but in my 3 visits there it never felt welcome. I observed a lot while visiting and it felt very cliquish.

PLEASE DO NOT BE OFFENDED… this is a perception and one held from a removed point of view. I have and had no agenda other than working on networking camps so be can be supportive with each other and develop a better leadership collective.

Flow is important for a camp setup and clear boundaries for what is welcome space versus private space. Nectar Village is very good at defining these boundaries. A host or an active engagement with people visiting the camp can mean a world of difference if you have the people in your camp that flower in this area.

On another note: I received an email from a recognizable member of our community who complained he went to one of the above mentioned camps and was ignored; C&J. Upon reflection I realized I feel the same in some camps, but it is up to me to engage people in order to socialize. This is radical Self-Reliance in motion.

A host can be a great tool, but sometimes you (the individual) have to make the first step. As much as one can feel like they are not welcome at a camp, the camp and the individual each have the power to embrace someone new into their world.

THE BURNING MAN EVENT

Finally, with all the blah blah blah above we get into talking about Burning Man (Fertility 2.0) 2012. As this trip report it concludes with a solid thumbs up. The Gayborhood was a huge success to itself, but it is one element of the whole city. The Gayborhood was really a village that was larger than any other with Comfort & Joy and Beverton/GB at the nucleus of it.

Although the art was not quite up to par as years before there were some memorable pieces that includes the Pier with Shipwreck and a queer project called Murmuration. Yet, the CORE project (all 34 of them) were the best ever seen before (it is only the 2nd year for CORE).

Socially, queer camps really brought it big time and in pockets and in the Gayborhood we had branches that constantly reached into the city and welcomed anyone and everyone to participate along with us including the Gay Pride parade and a Naked Pub Crawl; which totally rocked. OMG Duck Pond was a hoot with their giant slip ‘n Slide.

The vibe was very different and though it might have felt a little foreign at the beginning of the week it felt very familiar by the end. Huge thanks to Placement at BMorg and the Exodus team. No no no… the whole freaking outfit!!!! Recovering from the ticket explosion in January to such a successful finale was sheer brilliance.

Camps are bringing it!

Pink Mammoth is one of the icons on the playa with – without a doubt – one of the hottest spots to be at on the playa. They published their DJ lineup on Facebook and want you to join them! It should be noted that international DJ and hottie potattie DJ Dan will be rocking it at Camp Conception on Thursday night along with a whole evening of bitchin entertainment. There is just soooo much that could be listed. The entertainment at The Comfort & Joy Village CANNOT be missed; see our friends The Rocket Collective and Honey Sound System spinning some mad beats out there, lovers! MORE TO COME!!!

Time To Burn App (2012!)

Hey folks,

If you are an iPhone user, and want a quick way to track down LGBT events at the burn, grab my (free) “Time To Burn” app from the Apple store.  There is an event search shortcut that finds all the events that seem to be LGBT, LGBT friendly, or hosted by LGBT camps.

The app is in the process of being ported to Android.  That should be out in a week or two.

Terry

Events and Stuff

A lot of people have asked, but this is the first year no one has taken it upon themselves to help us compile a list of queer events going on in the BRC. Not to mention camps! Speaking for myself, I have started a full time job and have a relationship that has taken a lot of my time away from the site and I apologize that I have not been able to give my all. If you can help… you can do it. All member can update the calendar on the site with events listed here.

Yes, site registration has been temporarily closed, but almost all resources are here for your immediate access. Use the contact form for any unanswered questions. Or get registed by sending me your name, desired login name, and I will set you up manually.

How to choose where to camp?

Before you go one step further… before reading a single paragraph beyond this ONE… ask yourself if you understand what you are getting yourself into? It is not a matter how many cool things you saw in videos, saw pictures on flckr, or scanned through web sites. As much as Burning Man may be on your Bucket List… do everyone a favor and go through the check list immediately below this… then proceed.

Survival Guide | First Timers Guide | JRS | Recommended Reads

So, now you are ready to gain the title Burner
(without the *irgin)

Before you go head first into the Burner culture educate yourself about what it means. You may not buy into the 10 principles 100% or see the value in them, but better believe a majority of the people around you do. These 10 principles are about community – period.

Without getting into the sacredityness of these concepts and your need to protect what they embody, focus on your survival in the desert. “Piss clear” is a guide and not just a funny annotation. These are things that are covered in the survival guide which – of course – by now you have read.

Solo / With Friends / Theme Camp

What is your choice? Whether a long ranger or not this will give you one hell of an experience. It is very wise to educate yourself before going to Burning Man and the first thing you should do is find out what community there is in your local area. Burning Man has a pretty comprehensive network and a chance to experience a taste of being in the desert through participation in Regional events and Pre-Compressions that go on through the months leading up to the big burn.

Solo

Going at it alone is definitely a rite of passage that can be very rewarding. Not only as just having done it … but it also provides you the opportunity of an unwritten script and a chance to be free of any commitments beyond your own LNT and basic survival. Just don’t be a Sparkle Pony, take care of your own shit, and experience all those things that bring joy to your own heart whatever that might be. Leave expectations behind and run with scissors.

With Friends

This can be rewarding and challenging at the same time, too. We love our friends, but can you live with them for X number of days? Will you leave as friends still? Can you count on each other to work as a family on those days out there?

The playa will throw those challenges in front of you and be aware of this before going on and be strong enough to let go.

Bottom line leave those expectation behind in the default world and be prepared to see people do or act in ways they would not when constrained by the rules of the norm. This is a place of expression and shedding of the strains of everyday life.

Theme Camps

Having a community around you can provide a sense of safety and togetherness that has it’s own rewards when on the playa. Often this can stem out of remaining part of the geographic community you are on playa with. This stems out of the relationships you are building locally, but you may want to take part with someone with a really cool concept.

Looking through our Queer Theme Camps section on this site will provide you some great opportunities to be a part of some great concepts and help make these awesome projects come to life. They are like works of art and entertainment unto themselves.

Act now… because you (who are shopping) have a unique chance to join camps that probably would not be welcoming new Burgins. The ticket fiasco wrought by Burning Man HQ this year changed the landscape and a lot of people who might not have normally received tickets have them now.

Expectations

Leave those at home or outside the fence. Come with a blank slate and do not try to fit in by stressing out over costumes or having a tu-tu for Tu-Tu Tuesday – for example. In your first year, keep it simple.

Conclusion

This and our facebook are great places to post your questions and connect with Queer identified camps. Whether it is with boys, girl or in transition… there is a group of friends waiting to welcome you.

Queer Burner Leadership Summit

2012 1st of its kind Queer Burner Leadership Summit

Queer camp leaders, community leaders, get together for our own summit before the Burning Man Leadership Summit to talk about issues in our communities (geographically) and with our queer community relationship with the lifestyle.

Dialog is already brewing and some discussions already on the table. It is time to actively reach out to BM Queer participants/leaders. The one VERY IMPORTANT thing to remember is the word Queer before any of these terms is NOT EXCLUSIVE and not derogatory. We have some great hetero or hetero-adjacent friends that are a part of the community of all genders. [AGENDA]

March 16th to the 18th / 2012 in San Francisco

As this year’s Burning Man season starts up, it’s time for queer theme camps, villages, art projects & mutant vehicles to Come Together to…

DISCOVER… which queer projects are coming back for 2012,  how to plug in, and start working together to build amazing Black Rock City gayborhoods!

RECRUIT… new camp members, workers and support for your project!

LEARN… from your queer burner peers… and share your insights too…

DISCUSS… Hot Topics, like applying Ten Principles to your collective’s efforts, and how the Fertility theme relates to Gay Camps?

POLISH… your camps anti-MOOP efforts… with tried & true LNT best practices that can help you earn the coveted post-burn Green rating

BECOME… Part of the queer playa community!

Cosponsored by queer theme camps:
+ Camp Beaverton / Gender Blender
+ Comfort & Joy
+ Sun Guardians
+ The Pink Gym
+ Astropups
+ Poly Asylum
+ …and more!

Cost: Sliding scale will be asking for $25.00 / attendee for food and event expenses. No one who wishes to participate will be turned away for lack of funds.

If you can make it to the city we can help you with housing and food. You can chose to stay in a hotel on your own dime, but we are a community and have a lot of members in the SFO area that are there for you, too.

VENUE: TBA but will be centrally located and easily accessible by train and bus. It is not recommended that you rent a car as parking in this city is hell and expensive.

PLEASE RSVP ON FACEBOOK IF YOU CAN [LINK] TOO

Leadership Summit Attendance Form and Fee Payment

[contact-form-7 id=”1759″ title=”Summit”]


See payment in right side bar… Thanks!

Healthy Friction, 2nd Annual Group Masturbation!

Masturbation Workshop

After you have ridden in the Naked Bike Ride and Pub Crawl, you’ll end up at Comfort and Joy where we will be waiting for your arrival with Celebration of Your Erection and Man-Hood, yeah like a Group Bate Event! (JO Party).

Healthy Friction returns for the 2nd Annual Afternoon dedicated to Masturbation!

Burning Man locater map: (Facebook App created by Burners)
http://burnermap.com/map.php

 

WED, 31AUG 12 Noon until 3pm at Comfort and Joy.
7 O’clock and Engagement, Black Rock City.

http://playaevents.burningman.com/2011/playa_event/4900/

Healthy Friction brings the joy of group Masturbation experience to the Playa for the 2nd year. Come celebrate your maleness, and show off your Proud Penis with Erections in a group setting, under the big top at Comfort and Joy. It’s Safe, it’s Sexual, and it’s MALE!

RSVP on the Healthy Friction Yahoogroup:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HealthyFriction/surveys?id=3060524

RSVP on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177985372269612

Healthy Friction is going to South Florida in October for a Weekend of Tropical Masturbation!
Ft Lauderdale, FL 14-17 OCT, 2011

http://healthyfriction.blogspot.com/2011/05/healthy-friction-goes-to-ft-lauderdale.html

MAP OF THE WORLD

2011 Black Rock City

ROUGHLY speaking, and without any authority to claim one way or another, for those asking here is the general Queer Spread. There are a couple concentrations of gay camps.

The Gayborhood usually contains but not limited to:

  • Comfort & Joy
  • Camp Beaverton Home for Wayward Girls
  • Gender Blender
  • Dickstracted

The Gay Ghetto usually contains but not limited to:

  • Moonbow
  • Tiny’s Lounge

Like I said this is generally rough. Be sure and check out all the postings including the Events Page where great things are going on. The Beavers and Gender Blender have some amazing classes and events, but they post on their Google Group of which I will add to the links section to the right.

Now, there are camps that might be “queer” that have not participated with Gay Burners yet, but given Radical Inclusion everyone is a little Queer out there… just get into the Downlow Club and see. HA HA HA… Some of the camps that threw down and have a very queer vibe include:

  • Pink Mammoth
  • Mal-Mart [www.mal-mart.org]
  • Pink Heart Camp

 

Camping 101

I am not the authority on camping at Burning Man. There is a whole survival guide available for the ‘how to’ and ‘how not’. This week I was talking to some people about their camping choices and it got me thinking about if any of our members were asking themselves the same questions.

Burning Man still has not released the official camp list, but they have changed the criteria for becoming a “theme camp”. The number of people as a minimum was greatly reduced so as many as 3 people can have a theme camp. The idea is to open the door to creativity and interactivity as much as possible.

Really some of the Queer Camps have done really well in this area and some of the new ones are looking pretty impressive. Everyone knows ‘Comfort and Joy‘; or at least you heard of them (see the Queer Camp page to get more details on these camps mentioned). They have things going on through most of the not the least of which are fully produced shows and the pink gym for those heavenly workouts.

The Camp Beaverton Home for Wayward Girls and their sister/brother camp Gender Blender have some great workshops you will find listed in the what where when.

These are just the big names while there is a whole bunch of camps with varying events to entertain and delight. BUT, what would make you camp with an established camp? Why? And why pay camp fees?

Well, you get the chance to be part of the machine that makes the camp work and your donated time along with your camp fee support the infrastructure of the camp. It’s like working for Disneyland and buying your own lunch at the cafeteria. Maybe you hate Disneyland and want to play alone on the Teacups???

One friend of mine on his first year had every opportunity dangled in front of him to become a part of any of a number of theme camps from the mega to the small and intimate. Yet, he chose to camp alone on something like J and 8:30… on the outer rim. He set up his camp and came home only when he was done playing. He went out to the quiet and sometimes neighborly outskirts.

I suppose that has been the complaint of some people camping much closer to the Esplanade, the lack of quiet. Rather the thump-thump-thump of roving art cars and sound camps. But I personally have spent my last two years just off the Esplanade and never had those problems. In 2009 I camped with Sin City Village on 7:30 and Esplanade. In 2010 I camped with Journeys at 5:30 and A.

That might be another alternative to Queer Camps is spending time with your region like I did.

Whatever choices you make for your burn do what you want to do. Here is some advice from other members for new and veteran burners that you too can participate in!

The City: “Rites of Passage”

Have you seen the new map of the city? 16 new streets this year! Sold out ticket sales!?!?! WTF? Check out these street names:

  • Esplanade
  • Anniversary
  • Birthday
  • Coming Out
  • Divorce
  • Engagement
  • Funeral
  • Graduation
  • Hajj
  • Initiation
  • Journey
  • Kindergarten
  • Liminal
I may not know what a couple of them are, but I love them all!
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