11/16 News Letter

To get this news letter in your mail box sign in at the bottom of the page. There is a form in the footer to get on the mailing list. Everyone who signs up on the web site is automatically added to the list.

November

How exciting it is that 2016 is finally coming to an end. Politics…. media non-sense… now we can look ahead to the holiday season and enjoy family and friends. People in the U.S. are getting ready for a very prolific holiday (especially this year) called Thanksgiving. This is when we take a moment to stop and evaluate the things we are genuinely thankful for. We focus on the positive and the genuine. The 11th Principle: Gratitude.


We made a t-shirt for our community to share and encourage personal strength the leadership in the community. The money derived from this sale will only go to support Queer Burner properties like the web site, patches and stickers. BUT THIS TIME: we will donate all proceeds of this shirt through the end of the year to:

Community Shout Out: Kitten from Comfort & Joy

One of the early supporters of Queer Burners and a #queerburnerperson who played an important role in the community is trying to make himself a new life. Please help us send some love and support. ALL UNITE T-SHIRT SALES WILL GO TO KITTEN’s GoFundMe. But you can donate directly to:
https://www.gofundme.com/kittencalfee

Upcoming Events to Note

The “All Of Us” Event 2016 is about to be announced. You can still be part of the machine that makes it all work. We have just started meeting and have some great roles to fill. Some of our leads need helpers and many more roles. This is an unofficial regional style event with a remarkable new management team working with the old one to bring something super amazing. Fill out this form (link) to talk to the leads about joining in. A volunteer sheet will be out in 2017, but ticket sales will start soon.


And much more on the December 1st news letter! Share this and tell your friends! Help us make Queer Burners the best and richest resource for queer camps going to the burn.

Community Bulletin Board

A burner wrote QB asking… are there any queer burners in Chicago and so we asked. We posted a poll asking where people are at and then we can see if we can get resources in that area.

Are you a camp leader and on Facebook? There are several resources you should know about. This is for camp leaders now and future:

AND…. 2017 Camp Listing: this year we are asking camps to submit their entries for the web site so there are fewer assumptions from the producers of Queer Burners. You need to be part of the current leadership team of a camp to submit and please submit only once to this link (embeded).

Camps already submitted include: (if you see your camp submitted and want are not sure if this was done correctly there will be a chance to correct it before published):

  • Glamcocks (submitted and confirmed)
  • Sun Guardians (submitted and confirmed)
  • Down Low Club (submitted and confirmed)

Gay Pride at Burning Man

The last big post we shared got less attention than hoped, especially about a huge subject like this. Your feedback and input is really needed right now. Please take a look at this post about Pride & Burning Man.

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.

Web Site Administrata

Side ImageSo, while working on the site and getting it all hammered back out to there it is today (which was a lot of hours of work), the site still gets hit with a lot of spam that I try not to let you all see.

I am very open to anyone who wishes to help out with the maintenance of the site – or even other general administration.

ALL members can submit articles right from the site! All you have to do is log in and add a new Post. It will be held for moderation and might get some visual editing. Please make it a complete story and all is good.

Spam is Bad

I had to shut off new member registration for a bit while I deal with a nasty spam attack. I am getting hit with 150 spam accounts a day. Meanwhile, I will try and open up more pages and am still looking for someone to help compile a list of queer events for the big event. Keep watching the twitter @queer_burners which feeds off the Facebook, too. On Facebook we are listed as “Gay Burners”.

Queer Burner Community

There has been a lot of talk from Queer Burners: Toaster (me) about what this web site is meant to accomplish. There is a mission statement that anchors its meaning. At the 2012: Queer Burner Leadership Summit where there was a deliberate attempt to get Queer identified and Queer friendly camps to work together and support each other.

To rally our culture inside a community inside a city of like minded (BRC) to strengthen our participation by uniting and overcoming challenges that might come our way. Uniting Queer Burners for their creative and proactive efforts in the BRC and beyond the trash fence.

Our community does not end at a blue flag at the end of a dirt patch in the Black Rock desert. We are layers and layers of titles, identities and passions and aspirations that put something like this somewhere in the wide matrix of our individual lives.

That was the intent and at the beginning of 2012 there was an effort to start taking that a step further with Quire.

The Leadership Summit (QBLS)

In it’s first year there was a degree of success getting leaders to talk to each other and on some levels has sustained. Not everyone has opted into this network an no official membership has emerged to keep leaders active with each other with the exception of the Facebook page. That does get a lot of the cross-posting.

There is no reason why a bunch of people who are camping in the desert 7 days a year should sustain a network that:

  • helps cross-promote community service events
  • fund raisers
  • member support
  • individual and groups special projects

We are not those people. We have adopted a lifestyle based around the 10 principles and have merged that into a life of self expression that in some ways is different than many of our counterparts out there. (I will explain more about this, but trust me it is a perception*)

Quire

In the agenda for the QBLS this subject was listed as the “Queer Burner Fund, llc” and presented to the attendees as a proposal to create a legal entity that will let Queer Burners [dot] Com do new things. Those ‘things’ continue the points made above but also:

  • create a window for funding artists connected to the community
  • create a channel for a financed civic project
  • sponsor and insure our own events
  • create an emergency fund

Why do we need something like Quire for the above points? We can do all of these things without it, but creating a legal entity named Quire provides the community the ability to produce using a limited liability structure and a financial format that does not put an individual or persons at risk while working to do those things.

Quire also lives beyond an individual like me who would be trying to manage people, money and resources while hoping to avoid being sued if someone got hurt on any endeavor. That could have included the QBLS!!! If someone got hurt or food poisoning over lunch I could have been sued and there would have been nothing I could have done about it.

Quire, beyond the legal crap, is a good platform for Queer Burner leadership to engage. Use the web site (linked to Queer Burners [dot Com) to help cross promote and seek resources. Leaders will have a private registration with a lot of control on the data exchanged on the site.

Conclusion

There has been some (SOME) criticism against what this site is. It usually comes from people in the burner community that have not bothered to really engage what is here – OR – have no use for it. We invest in what we think is missing. From my point of view we have this world or amazing queer people unlike any other demographic that talk to each other 7 days a year.

At the Burning Man Leadership Summit this year I met three queer Regional Contacts with very different points of view on this project (queerburners.com). One was supportive but had a hard time grasping why this was ‘needed’. Another gave me the impression that I was just off the mark. The third was extremely supportive.

Fact is there are many queers who are burners; they blend in and engage the community as a whole feeling no different than the others. There are burners that are queers, loud and proud, and project life through EXTREME radical self expression.

Queer Burners Project (queerburners.com) is not unlike it’s own theme camp with a lot of couches and a posting board in the desert. We have leaders and followers. Since we are all over the world (literally!) and have leaders in all these places, let’s help each other along the way.

Quire allows for a network inside the Queer Burner structure to help with all those lovely points above and protects those who do. We as a community are still leaves on the branches of another community to the trunk of another.

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