Radical Vulnerability

This post was take from a discussion string on the Burning Man Global Leadership Summit with the written permission of the poster Gustav Josefsson and one of the respondents Jered Floyd. This was an important post of people in leadership roles:

Last year at the GLC I was at the Saturday night dinner, when me and the guy next to me from Oregon coined the term: “radical vulnerability”.

I’ve thought about this concept a lot, context of community leadership, and I would like to find a way to address this at the GLC. I think that vulnerability is a core ability in being able to lead a participatory community such as ours. More than that, I think it is going to be essential in the emergent network based leadership of the 21st century.

1423704446I’m not interested in just talking about this conceptually, but rather to get the opportunity to share the things that I am personally battling with other community leaders and hear and discuss their personal issues as leaders.

For you to understand more what I’m looking for, I’d like to share with you a list of issues that I’m personally battling with. These are just my list, and I’m sure that others will have different ones. In my mind, a session should be a facilitated session of sharing, with little set content. I’m just listing these now to give an idea of what kind of issues I’m trying to get at.

In my role as a community leader, I feel uncomfortable when:
* Everyone knows my name and I feel bad for not knowing theirs.
* People I don’t know come up to me to give me (what I feel is) undeserved credit, projecting the work of others on me.
* I hear of people in the community talking shit about me around my back.
* I have problem feeling connected during the event, because I’m worrying about the well-being of others.
* Some participants have a hard time approaching me, because they think i have better things to do than talk to hem.
* Sometimes I’m tired or lazy and I feel like I don’t contribute, so I try to hide it by pretending to be busy.
* I love being in the center of attention, but at the same time afraid of using my position as a leader to satisfy my ego.
* Someone puts me on a pedestal, making it hard for me to connect with them. When this illusion of a perfect me breaks, I’m met with disappointment.
* When I am stressed out and would need someone to calm me down, I tend to scare people off by seeming “busy”.
* Issues in my personal relationships affect my performance as a leader, and vice versa.

How does these things resonate with you? Would anyone else like to be a part of sharing thoughts and feelings on this? – Gustov

In my capacity with Queer Burners over the years I have tried to provide this service to my community with any fanfare. While I hope to do it and inspire others to help out, I found that I related a lot to the words he wrote and wanted to to share it with Queer Burners.

Boston Area Regional Contact and Queer Burner Jered Floyd [Facebook] posted his reply and I thought it was a really concise and thoughtful response:

The fact that you have these worries shows that, as a leader, your heart is in the right place! These are concerns common to leadership roles, and amplified in ones that are volunteer-oriented.

These feelings are normal and widespread across volunteer leadership, and dealing with them falls squarely in the category of reducing stress and preventing burnout. One key is identifying and following positive coping strategies for volunteerism-related stress, and avoiding negative ones.

1151004_10151507192887315_1201687110_nIt’d be great to have a “community leader support group” session, especially if we can find a facilitator who is trained in positive coping strategies – any volunteers? 🙂

As a start, I’d say that you have excellent self-awareness. For each of your items, look if there’s a way to address it in a positive light. For example:
– People I don’t know come up to me to give me (what I feel is) undeserved credit, projecting the work of others on me.
+ I appreciate being recognized for helping catalyze our community, and have the opportunity to direct attention and appreciation to other makers and doers.

  • Some participants have a hard time approaching me, because they think i have better things to do than talk to them.
  • I work to be approachable and friendly, and talk to new people when I can.
  • Sometimes I’m tired or lazy and I feel like I don’t contribute, so I try to hide it by pretending to be busy.
  • I can’t do everything, and I should keep time for myself for things I want to do, or even nothing at all.

This isn’t about just feel-good affirmations, but rather recognizing your worries as valid, identifying the good things that you do that show why they aren’t serious, and choosing specific steps to take if you want to improve further.

Your list absolutely resonates with me; I’m happy to discuss this further, or at the GLC. – Jered

I have not met a single leader in this community that puts this kind of effort into various projects in order to receive personal recognition. The work I do is sincerely to make events, productions, spaces and more better for all participants. My sense is that it is much the same for all of you.

There was a lot more to the discussion than what was posted above including my own responses. Mostly personal accounts from other Regional Contacts best left there. But at a recent leadership gathering in San Francisco the subject came up in the conversation and there was interest so I thought I would share it here.

2014 Queer Burner Survey

The 1st ever survey just about the resources offered on our web site and on Facebook; which are abundant! While the site is maintained for the community part of the idea behind it was that the community would add to it to keep it current and relevant. The Facebook pages have really become that with a feed to twitter for people not on the Fbook. Here are all the resources:

Gay Burners (Master Page) | Queer Burners Group | Quire: QBLN | Google+
QB Regionals: Bay Area | SoCal | ATL | Las Vegas

Never ask a question you do not want the answer for, right? Well, feedback on this 5 year old project is good. If things are prospering then that is a win. If things are stifling, then it is time to change it up.

chart_1Here is what you said:

We asked about the web site and clicked through a variety of the resources we offered. While the 29 people out of 3000 that answered the survey were not aware of some resources there seemed to be some strong opinions about what they knew of.

(if you see an error message here it is okay, it will be fixed soon. To get out of the gallery preview use Esc or click in the gray area around the image.)

While not all the responses made it you the pretty graphics above there was some requests. What would you like to see more of. Ironically, half the items listed and a majority of answers were things that already exist on the site; which means maybe we need to demonstrate that better. Here is what was asked for:

  • Perhaps more academic or queer theory articles or original blog posts.
  • merp? [author note: I have no idea what that is]
  • Camps Events
  • Naked pics of Toaster 🙂 [author note: already there! It’s true.]
  • Keep it up to date and timely I stopped using it as a resource a couple years ago because it was never up to date to have timely information. As a camp organizer I could never post our events or provide information directly on the site so it was not useful to communicate to the community
  • More info for newbies, maybe some kind of 1 on 1 sponcered / mentor type relationship.
  • Need more visibility and scholarships to helps those without funds to be able to travel to leadership conferences.

 

Trip Report: GLC 2014 by Toaster

Burning Man Global Leadership Summit #bmglc14 happened April 3rd-6th in San Francisco and Inside CELL Space for GLScould not be contained a single space. It was in three large buildings with 300+ attendees with a mass of workshops and meeting spaces. This includes Burning Man HQ and the infamous CELL Space.

My name is Toaster and though it is my policy (with the exception of 3 previous posts) not to make posts in the first person; so apologies by a slightly more personalized position of this particular trip report. I am hoping that Gloria and Bobby will also give in depth reports from their perspective.

Day 1: April 4

10168035_820639437950897_1230827200_nI skipped the pre-conference schtuff at the BMHQ for a variety of reasons mostly due to the fact I had to go to work after the daily meetings and wanted to minimize the stress on my weekend. So, I opted to come in Friday and had a rather interesting day.

After meeting some queer community partners like Bobby, Jim from Atlanta and more, I dug in to listen and hear about all the changes happening at Burning Man and the welcoming of so many leaders from all over of the world.

Changes:

  • Larry Harvey & Micheal Mikel are effectually retired.
  • Marian Goodell is the Burning Man CEO
  • Burning Man is almost completely transferred over to Burning Man Project; a non-profit

Day 2: April 5

We got a great sneak peek of the temple and a variety of other art projects, community regionals events and more being produced all around the world. There were many workshops, deeper conversations, and a party later that evening. But, Larry and Marian talked to the crowd, too.

Day 3: April 6

The wrapping up… the slow cumbersome completion of the event that some people had to flee in the middle of in order to catch flights all over.

Is that it? No…

Starting off, this is my 3rd Burning Man Global Leadership Conference (2011, 2012) and each year has been vastly different. This year cam with some baggage so note or ignore the items in italics. Having skipped 2013 and just came out of the Queer Burner Leadership Summit a week ago I came with something of an agenda to help positively promote the Gayborhood and other queer camps.

Side Note: I was also dealing with some real issues still pending with the Regional Network of Burning Man where there have been a number of challenges. Seeing Meghan R, Marian and others have been a challenge.

Major Topics

There always seems to be some vein of topics people want to know more about each year and come up at these events. This is beside the normal topics of discussion like getting people motivated and whatever ticket drama is going on.

Conflict /  Physical & Sexual Assault: There were two sessions on this subject. I attended the second and ease dropped on the first one for a bit. Part 1 seemed to be filled with a lot of emotion while the second was more focused on processes and mechanisms in place combating this issue.

  • Transformus: North Carolina Burners have an acculturated process already in place for their Regional Event; it has virtually eliminated these problems and given them the mechanism to confront these issues quickly as a community. (web site)
  • Secure Sanctuary: New project looking for people to start jumping on board. It seeks to add a new layer of acculturation for camps to provide a very temporary safe space for people in trouble while on the playa and speed them into whatever services they need: EMS, Rangers, Etc… (Facebook front page / Facebook group work project page)

There is some genuine concern on this issue and it seems that the Boston and N.C. community have made huge strides into this subject on their own local levels.

Secure Sanctuary is a bit of shameless self promotion as it is something that a group of us started to visualize out of a recent burner meetup. Although I have been the loud voice on it so far I am hoping to see this get wings.

Getting the Burning Man Project Word Out

The word of the day is Art and Community. If someone were counting the repetition of words out 10009317_820639474617560_2124767676_nthere those two might have seen themselves more than any.

According to Harley K. DuBois, Burning Man is coming to the fruition of many changes this year and is almost fully migrated to the Burning Man Project as a Non-Profit. Her core expression was about the Community of Burning Man. This project will help promote art in every way possible.

While Harley spoke about Community “…in any form…” we are still missing something important to this writer; an acknowledgement of LGBTQ++ needs and the realization that part of the physical threat on playa includes homophobia.

This is a capital concern for me and something the Regional Network does not seem to be able to wrap their heads around. They refuse to deal with the LGBTQ community stating our needs are really the same as any member of the community and are not special; that from a group of stright white people.

The Regional Network, with all it’s flaws and successes, falls under that new non-profit. Regional Contacts (R.C.’s) are all volunteer liaisons to their communities and guardians of the Burning Man brand.

Jim “Ron John” Graham – Burning Man PR Guru

“Larry Harvey is interested in community and all the manifestations that it brings…”

Burning Man Regional Network

There are some new and old faces at the wheel for the this part of Burning Man that is an active doorway to the Burning Man communities. They have official representatives called Regional Contacts and they represent geographical locations and 1 cyberspace location of Burners.

For most of my engagement with the Regional Network there has been this passive denial of right to exist from the Regional Network for the LGBTQ community within Burning Man like the one created with Queer Burners. It has been quite frustrating as their occasional support would be helpful in the building of this community. Network Guru: Sauce spent a lot of time with me at the GLS promising to renew this relationship in a positive way and let see what happens.

While Marian Goodell is now CEO it seems like the Regional Network has become the project for Meghan Rutigiano (aka Megs). Since she is is the remaining voice of the network since Marian and Andie Grace moved on (another story) it comes with a lot of hope that the future will be brighter.

What could the Regional Network offer that is important? There are a number of things including resources and support that are generally helpful in building community. Tools for leadership and the occasional voice of reason.

  • An LGBTQ set of regionals? Why not?
  • A channel into their closed off network?

Our own Kitten has been a voice for me more often than I can count. He is of the feeling that we really do not need the Regional Network anyway. I feel that this community is a self evolved and important service to LGBTQ++ people. We do not deserve anything. We do, however, deserve the same respect as the other communities in the Burning Man culture and not to be discounted just because LGBTQ++ is attached to the name.

This network also helps keep community leaders above board with Regional Events like Lakes of Fire, Element-11, Apogea, and Forgotten City. Check these out on your own.

Conclusion

Along with the new Burning Man (Project) there is still a lot of the old Burning Man people still around. Harley spoke of those so in love with their roles that they refuse to leave and it makes the flow of growth stagnant. Some people have been pushed along while some remain steadfast in their places.

We cannot so easily brush off the dust and cast out the ghosts. There are A LOT OF Burning Man Regional Contacts who hang on the network and get the perks but do nothing to advance it.

Change has made an impact on the Burning Man culture, but the many of the same people at the GLS were the same people from 2 and 3 years ago in the same outfits, same hair, same ideals. Many are in the same clicks with all their fame wrapped up in their burner personality. How creative is that?

We cannot evolve without change. Burning Man itself is radically evolving right now and faced with having to be more commercial and maintaining their identity and commitment to the 10 Principles. The Org (Burning Man Organization) is doing a pretty good job overall. The GLS and local leadership events springing up all over the world are proof of that. However, we have to get them to be more sensitive to people needs even if they do not fit perfectly into a utopian dream where we all are one loving culture. Because, there is homophobia and hate out there and some come to Burning Man.

I arrived at the GLS and kept largely to myself burdened with a feeling of being spurned largely by the community because I want LGBTQ++ needs heard. Safety is important. Plus, I personally want the community at large to know the Gayborhood has an important role for people. There have been a few incidents where leadership withing Burning Man has been disparaging of LGBTQ people and derogatory about the Gayborhood and the people in it. Making them understand it is a place of safety and a part of the city the really dives back is important. If not to quell snide remarks by calling it the Gay Ghetto, but to be just a bright part of the city with neon flags at the center of it all.

Trip Report: 2014 QBLS

This was the third year for the QBLS and it was amazing. See details on previous years, including trip reports at the library of links below. Special thanks to all who came and those who traveled to be a part of it.

2012 | 2013 | 2014

The event was held at The Box Factory in San Francisco; the Box Factory is run by Bernadette Bohan who is a great friend to the community and has been very generous about letting projects use her art/living space.

Who is Queer Burners?

2014 QBLSQueer Burners is a 5 year old project designed to provide a network for LGBTQ++ burners a means of communicating and is also dedicated to promoting the Gayborhood at Black Rock City,  Nevada. We are not political and we are not a whipping post. This is a 10 principles based idea system who seeks to promote those idea on and off the playa.

Starting off…

There was a lot to be said and a lot of feeling expressed at this year’s event the spun off the agenda items and started right out of the gate when everyone introduced themselves and talks about their individual projects. A couple highlights included:

  • Terry Goodman’s Time To Burn App on Android and iPhone
  • Camp Beaverton & Gender Blender’s amicable separation
  • A new system to help the community at-large in personal safety

The Past

Toaster went over some of the key items from previous QBLS including a break down of ways of getting people motivated to be part of camp activities; see the who story from the 2012 QBLS and the amazing TED video posted there.

We also highlighted past discussions of the Gayborhood  and why we feel it is a very important service to the community; safety, awareness, and it has become an attraction.

Social Networking / Fund Raising

Cam Brochu cam in from EBB asking about social networking while Glo from Beaverton was asking about fund raising. While we talked about a lot of things here were the quick highlights:

  • Social Networking: Facebook is the media of choice right now that can networking with twitter.com, pintertrest.com, tumblr.com and more. SnapChat is popular but not always ideal. Always embed, use #tags, call out partners using @name (name or twitter name). More
  • Fund Raising: Few people have the remarkable success of C&J. We all need to find the right niche for those goals. C&J has a captive audience; who is your audience? With that, is crowd fund the right channel for you: kickstarter.com, indiegogo.com and more. More

Intense Feelings

There were a lot of intense feelings over various issues including, but not limited to, what is perceived to be BMorg’s general view of the LGBTQ++ community; which very much seems to be a hands over the eyes approach. Keeping something very important in mind: BMorg ideology as best as we can interpret seems to be that we are all part on one melting pot.

LGBTQ Issues: Theoretically: So, women issues, racial issues, spiritual issues, sexual orientation issues don’t fall on their radar because those are personal and not community issues.

Personal Safety: while the Regional Team has emphasized personal responsibility (as stated on the back of the ticket as an agreement); sexual assault, homophobia and other issues like that still fall on community members for their individual choices.

  • Self Care: Someone asked why these were BMorg problems they had to deal with. What do we as a community do to combat it? A project was discussed called Secure Sanctuary that is in the first stages of development answering all the above.

Feelings were frequently intense as people share beliefs that came from deeply felt positions on the above mentioned items.

Tension Relief

Special thanks to some people who really shined:

  • Theo (aka Turtle) for coming and talking to us about the Cafe in Center Camp. Who also helped out with a lot of history information that will be seen on this site soon.
  • Jean-Jaques who was our chief volunteer and who helped everything around the summit work smoothly.
  • Bradley (aka Badger) for making an amazing lunch!

And on a special note! There was an energizing surprise set up for the late afternoon that would allow us to start shutting down for the day. SF CHEER camp to liven up the scene and wow, did they!

Final Session

After SF Cheer left the scene we were all blown away and excited! The video will tell all. But we managed to get back on track and jump back into the agenda where we hit on Queer Burner History. A page was on this site with a short chronology that was pulled down until a lot of information could be changed or updated.

What was different this year?

Not a whole lot, but it was also very different. We had a lot of new people who came out to play and be involved. We had some strong personalities but our focus was making what we do better and helping each other in the process.

5 Years of Queer Burners

One of the best pieces of advice I got when in the first half of this project came from Kitten was that the posts and so forth from this site were not written in “I” statements. This project is not about me. It is about a community of people inside a community in side… etc. Why is this project to important to me and what am I asking people to do with it? This is more of an “I” entry…

Here I come!My name is Scott. On playa I am known as Toaster. I am a queer male who loves people of all genders and joined the Burning Man community to grow and I did. One of my early specific goals was to improve my relationship with women. I since then learned to accept and relate to people of all gender identities and am so blessed for it.

2008/2009: the beginning

When I became involved with my first Burning Man collective it was the Las Vegas Burning Man group. I arrived on a beach on Lake Meade one night and met Debbie and Mike; older wild ass couple you would fall in love with immediately. The Vegas community was in a huge transition at the Me and the girlstime with identity and base. I quickly became deeply involved and at some point along the way was being considered for a Regional Contact (R.C.) role.

At the time Cameron Grant was the core R.C. and his girlfriend Melissa were real heroes in keeping the community on track. Captain Bill and his wife Amber were also strong leaders in the community and I did great things will all of them.

  • Fact: there was a true embrace of people from all walks of life in this community. The lines between LGBTQ++ and other burners was never an issue. There were a lot of blurry lines.

So Why?

It became clear after my first year to Burning Man in 2009 that there was a huge presence of LGBTQ++ people. The Gayborhood was established and Comfort & Joy was the jewel of the crown. There was the last ember of “Stiffy Lube” in the shadow (history). I met a shining star under the mylar rain out front… and I wondered how could it be possible to make this amazing feeling last.

While queer burners had their own camps, clicks and factions there was no single unifying presence that understood LGBTQ++ needs. And, there was something clearly missing from the burner culture at large. There was direct and indirect homophobia. Not to mention on the onslaught of trolls on message boards; ePlaya etc….

This project is designed to provide safe space for people to network from. This is the space to get camp information and general information from the community within and without the LGBTQ part of it.

The web site

It started off as Gay Burners [dot] Com. An accident by a member who called it Queer Burners got me wondering… “who is looking at this site and who is the audience?” After all, this is for every person regardless of gender of orientation with a focus on the LGBTQ++ population.

It is about a place for community. While Burning Man [dot] Com is the premiere source for all things Burning Man there is a bevvy of sites out there for the pockets of communities out there. This is just another one. This speaks to the fastest growing segment of the Burning Man demographic.

Burning Man is not a gay event and many LGBTQ people who attend never go near the Gayborhood. But, the Gayborhood is so vital and important as an entity. Why? If you cannot see that now it simply cannot be explained any more than explaining Burning Man to normal people.

Keywords to note: safety, security, sanctuary, familiarity.

Bottom Line

I hope with all my heart that people see the value in this project and embrace it. We have groups to make us feel safe. Many of us queers have CHOSEN our families and made new and unconventional ones. We have our queer neighborhoods at home cities. We have groups of friends. We have so much and asking you to see the pride and community that blooms from queer burners inspires passion and more. It’s about community. It’s about a pocket of light that wants to shine back on all of you.

Queer Burner Leadership: Announcement

Today we announced the 2014 Queer Burner Leadership Summit and Community Building Conference to be held at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco March 30th, 2014.

This is the 3rd annual event and will celebrate 5 years of Queer Burners [dot] Com as a service working to network the LGBTQ++ (LGBTQS and more) members of the Burning Man community that identity as Queer Burners. We are also greatly focused on the health and well being of the Gayborhood as an important presence at Burning Man.

The Leadership Summit is:

QBLS: The Queer Burner Leadership Network linking leaders / project managers / do’ers to others of the same ilk to network and supportive. Talking to each other in an open forum and carrying that connection away is invaluable.

Community Building Conference: Team building and inspiring people to carry the health, well-being and success of the camp / project /  community (Gayborhood) / city (BRC).

Join us March 30th in San Francisco. Tickets on sale soon, sliding scale, NOTAFLOF*.

————————————-

*NOTAFLOF: No one turned away for lack of funds is a philosophy inspired by the Radical Faery community to assure that all people in our community have a chance to participate.

Admin Notice: Membership and a Toaster

Membership is back open now that Burning Man 2013 is finished. This Toaster is back and while I was there in the desert I was working it. Yes, I  talk to people and I try to continue build on this idea that this is an important community.

manAndEdQueer Burners is a project I started at the end of 2008 / beginning of 2009 as a static web site as a place for LGBTQ burners to connect. It had nothing to do with the Gayborhood or creating leadership.

I explained my actions to a camp mate and their reactions was, ‘wow, you are mister popular‘. It’s not about that. I talk about Queer Burners because it is important that we stay united. I am forced to defend my belief that the Gayborhood is vital and that uniting camps and people in the community is as important as community leaders in the Castro, Boys Town or any other community inside a city.

The QBLN: Queer Burner Leadership Network is just the next level in this project and has resulted in the Queer Burner Leadership Summit over the last 2 years. These have been very inspiring and community strengthening exercises.

Nobody appointed me to do this just as much as no one tells you to do the right thing when you know it is what should be done. I do not do this for ego or to be the coolest kid on the block. I would gladly have someone just as committed to this community right there helping out. So far there has been limited inspiration from anyone to help manage this project, but I am getting help and I appreciate it.

For all the people who have thanked me for this work, I cannot share enough appreciation in return. The important thing to remember is that this is community driven.

Fund Raising Season

We are seeing a lot of camps promoting their agendas and asking members of the community to come and support the infrastructure of their camp. It comes with an amazing evening with other burners who fly under their banner and help make the experience at TTITD* whole. We all know that it takes the community, the people that bring their own infrastructure, that make Burning Man happen.

When we look at a camp like Opulent Temple (who unfortunately is not coming out for 2013’s Cargo Cult) is takes upward of $50,000 to make that camp happen. Comfort & Joy have a pretty steep budget but are driven by an amazing core of volunteers; much is the same for many other camps within the LGBTQ Burner Community.

Who is funding these ventures?

While we see successful Kickstarter campaigns and events positioned throughout the world who is really dropping coin? From my perspective it is a lot of money coming from outside the community while successful campaigns (generally speaking) have come from public events drawing in dollars from the general public.

Opulent Temple and Pink Mammoth for example run major shows through their production teams all around the country. In San Francisco OT recently held an amazing successful party at the Endup (at 6th and Harrison). Comfort & Joy holds a series of event called Touch and Afterglow through the year that drawl people in like flies.

Look around at these events and count how many burners are actually there. While C&J have a strong burner audience half or more people attending are from the secular community. These are non-burners.

Community Fund Raising

Over the last year camps that have been in the scope of the Queer Burner mission have done some amazing work. Last year, the things the Rocket Collective did to support the camps in this community was landmark. The Rocket Collective, consisting of members of the AstroPups (DJ’s Brian Maher, Trevor Sigler, Mathew Dos Santos and David Sternsky), raised money for other camps as well as their own and was really well attended at first.

Comfort & Joy have their monthly Touch parties to resounding success every time. The next event is March 30th.

Just recently the GlamCocks held a beer bust at the Midnight Sun in San Francisco while their brothers/sisters in New York and Los Angeles hold their own events.

Camp Beaverton just announced their next fund raiser is on April 24th.

The question is still out there… who is funding these ventures?

The Question

To find success are fund raisers reaching the demographic of successful funding or anticipating that the community itself is going to step in and be there? Cash cows seem to have come from reaching people outside the community (outside the queer burner demographic) and making their target audience more general; e.g. Pink Mammoth and Comfort & Joy.

Is there enough people within your group (cliche, demographic, or camp membership) to fund your venture?

…and where were you when those other camps were asking for support?

An Observation

I have made every effort to attend and support any event thrown by burners in and outside of my community. Yes, I was entertained and partied my socks off, but I was there either in spirit or in force. Yet, I looked around and saw almost no one from the community at-large.

For example, at the recent GlamCocks beer bust there was a smattering of Queer Burners that showed up. It was at a gay bar in the Castro and the handful of people outside of GlamCocks camp that were there came because of Facebook and Twitter posting that I made; these were also friends of mine from the community as well; as far as the people I knew and recognized were concerned.

Not calling anyone out or not putting anyone on the spot, but when it is time to put the honey pot out what did you do to support the people you are now asking for? This is one of the reasons that I have been talking a lot about “Community”. We are LGBTQ Burners and while Burning Man IS NOT a gay event our community brings a very important personality to the mix.

A Conclusion

Events put on by Queer Burners and camps from the community are chances to embrace our unique culture and support each other in our projects. It is a way to stay connected and draw on energy as we spread our wings into the year when things get a little quieter… it is also a chance to stay energized as the season begins accelerating.

Coming Soon… UPDATES!

Since the last post there have been some cool things going in with some of the do’ers here on Queer Burners. The Quire: QUEER BURNER LEADERSHIP NETWORK and a lot of the dialog does take place on Facebook. It does seem to provide the easiest access for the general population. You will see many of those posts in the Twitter feed in the side column.

Quire is a space for the people who are willing to invest themselves on some level to help make the things that go on here happen. If this is not you, then enjoy the Gay Burners page (5 years old in 2013) and the Queer Burners Group (more social).

Enough of that! Let’s talk about some of the fun stuff coming up!!!!

Well, and some of the other stuff too!

With the upcoming 5 year anniversary goals for 2013 include: (Events Page on QB.Com)

  • Queer Burner Leadership Summit (TBD before April)
  • “Sweet Thing” Queer Burner Camp-Out /  Retreat
  • San Francisco Gay Pride Parade
  • “The Village Q” @ Element-11 in July 2013

For now that is it and this is an update to the previous posting.

Quire; Queer+Fire

There is a link to the Quire web site above in the tool bar. Be a part of it if you want to make great things happen. Yes… I said mutha-f’kin great!

BMorg (Burning Man Headquarters)

We have been described by some burners as isolating ourselves frim the rest of the Burner community which I feel is really a misconception. So I have taken steps to try and address this with the powers that be to show ourselves as a pro-active force when it comes to community and the 10 principles. Here is a letter I am working on that will be going out this coming week:

This is Scott K aka Toaster from QueerBurners [dot] Com also known as GayBurners [dot] Com … I have been in touch with the Regionals contacts in the past a few times and have at one time been a candidate for a Regional Contact role when I lived in Las Vegas. I created a network for LGBTQ+ Burners because there was a need I discovered to provide a resource for this segment of the Burner Culture.

I am writing hoping to engage in a dialog that will help us be a better part of the community at large. It has come to my attention there is an idea in the Burning Man Organization (BMorg) that the network I started, then let grow, is an attempt to segregate ourselves from the rest of the Burner community as a whole. I hope to show you and anyone inside the construct of Burning Man that this is as far from the truth as possible.

This notion that we were segregating ourselves came to me from a trustworthy and reliable source who heard this at Burning Man main office. We are interested in suggestions of what we can bring to the table to improve our relationship. This is not someone I would like to see exposed for passing this information on but I am thankful for providing insight into how we can improve our mutual understanding.

I did post this concern on one of our boards and got some very interesting feedback… it is on the Gay Burners Facebook Page and I invite anyone to look at it at their convenience.

We (yes, we) want to:

  • show that we art partners in the application of the 10 principles in every way possible
  • help convey the message from BMorg and other lateral communities into our community
  • be a part of the future of the culture and whatever direction that takes

On a side note from me personally (Scott aka Toaster): if there is a history that has affected our ability to develop projects together I would like to ask if we can suspend that and start over.

Expectations

None. By reaching out we hope to erase the idea that we are attempting to operate outside of the Burning Man principle Radical Inclusion. In fact, we have been striving to do the opposite.

What we bring to the table

  • maintaining our mailing list of 2000 people and network of more than twice that
    holding regular events with open invitations on our list and other burner networks of all camps and orientations
  • bringing our unique culture to the burner community much as the “Gayborhood” and other Queer pockets at Burning Man have done over the years

in 2013 we are looking at our 5 year anniversary and will be planning events of our own and will be going to support and participate in other regional events including Element-11; all detailed on our main Facebook; and a 2013 Queer Burner Leadership Summit

3 facebook groups, 1 facebook page and our web site

What we hope to convey

the Queer-Burner project is really no different than any of the regional communities out there with participants

  • the members of this community bring a lot to the table every year without need or desire for any special recognition because it is simply what we do to participate and gift when we can to the community.

Conclusion

Just on the few bullet points above and before the season starts making us all nuts can we arrange a meeting at BMorg with the Regionals Office, Placement and anyone else with an interest. I would like to bring Kitten from Comfort & Joy and Foxy from Camp Beaverton Home for Wayward Girls with myself. We come to listen and share with the effort to build a better relationship with the organization that started what we have adopted in our lives within our collective as part of the over all Burner Culture.

Burning Man Regional Conference / Regional Conference

I would like to attend this year again representing my community and bring some of my strongest partners including Kitten and Foxy. Thank you.

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