Getting ready to head to Burning Man? We’ve put together a detailed guide to all the LGBTQIA+ events on playa – at least all the ones we know about! It comes with a map of the Queerborhoods, a guide to your favorite camps, and all the events we could find. We even know where BAAAHS is going to be!
In my fifteen years of burning, I tried a lot of channels. My position has always been to be a person who contributes and supports my community. As you might have noted from previous posts, I talk about my fellow burners a lot. My community focus is the LGBTQIA, but my network and community extends far beyond that. And, also noted in a recent post, I set a clear intention to develop better relationships with women, which I feel successful at. The bonus is, I met and became close to a lot of wonderful humans from all kind of walks of like that became very important to me as well.
The positive side of rangering, from my point of view, is you someone can feel like you have become a co-host for the party. Honestly, you walk around and get to watch people having a great time and when someone is being a jerk, you get to help them walk themselves back into the party in a btter place. Well, hopefully. There are times when people are just going to be assholes and that is not really your problem in the bigger picture.
As a Ranger you are a volunteer on vacation and you get to hang out with like minded people. There is a dizzying amount of ‘kinds’ of ranger you might see at Burning Man, but the most common you might see is the Dirt Ranger who is wandering the event in pairs. They are level one ambassadors and have built a lot of trust. That trust is called “Social Capital” and its really important. Bottom line, Rangers are there to help make things run smoothly.
Let’s go back to Social Capital. I learned a lot about leadership from this model. I wish I learned this in the beginning, like before I started leading camps, because my world might be very different from today. Part of rangering is about learning to listen and not reacting to a situation. Often that means doing nothing. Social Capital lets that happen because very often just being around a Ranger makes people want to do better. As a neighbor or as a citizen of BRC.
Volunteering is what makes Black Rock City tick. It is the major line that defines Burning Man as a cultural event over being a festival. Anyone calling it a festival is missing the point. There are rewards that come with giving your energy and time that make it worth while. Rangering is, IMHO, one of the best things leaders in our community could take on and find themselves much better evolved because:
You learn a lot about conflict resolution
You learn a lot about yourself
It is the perfect chance to leave you camp and self assigned responsibilities to enjoy the event
It is freeing of the ego
Is it too late to jump on ship? Check out the Volunteering form through your burner profile today. There are several layers you have to go through to be a ranger to start off with. Do this with intention.
Complete the Volunteer Form
Complete the online training course (it’s short this year and concise)
Complete in person training (a whole day)
Complete your Alpha Shift on playa (10 Hours)
This is very much worth it with what you will walk away with.
The only negative side of this coin is that there are still some jerks that ruin that social capital that is hard to unsee. Ranger really value that Social Capital and those remaining salty old fuks are a dying breed. Like the Ranger Manual says, sometimes do nothing and move on. Hold on to the intention we talked about in a previous paragraph and use these tools to make you a better leader, community member, and participant. Community is more important than ever these days.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It seems to be too late to become a ranger for 2023. Can’t stop you from learning about it and getting to know some cool rangers. Maybe 2024?
Getting the real Tea will come from watching the recorded video that is published on Burning Man Hive, linked below this paragraph (bloop). There were almost 400 people at the meeting including presenters. Considering the number of camps and mutant vehicles out there, and the importance of the information, there should have been a lot more. But, then again, the powers-that-be and the community are usually good about getting it all out.
TLDR; My quick two cents was that the meeting was great for being packed into a single hour. They can only do so much with a topic a huge as this. Biggest take-aways for me was LNT topics and new sound rules for camps and mutant vehicles. Moreso, while I am glad they verbally acknowledge the Queerborhood, Level had to specifically state that it is not Placements position to officially acknowledge it but a community request to have queer camps together ignoring the topic of why. And when talking about community resources completely ignored queerburners.org as a long standing entity.
Ups of the Meeting – Transparency – Clarified Sound Policy – Awareness of Exodus issues – Changes to Center Camp
Downs of the Meeting – Seeing how people are leaving their shit behind post event (LNT) – Sound Policy (yes, there is plus and minus) – 1 Violation on Mutant Vehicles could get license revoked? – BMorg still has their head buried in the sand over RIDE/Diversity
Note: This is a persons opinion. I am in no way an authority on any of this information. You must find the facts yourself.
Meeting Notes (from Toaster)
The meeting started at 10am PDT on 7/22/2023 on a Zoom Call
BM Collaborators Meeting
The opening was couched By Charlie Dolman as something new to loop in the community on changes to Burning Man for 2023
2022 MOOP was a huge problem
eBikes another huge issue
Government Regulations in some cases have changed
D.A. on MOOP
Biggest MOOP problem was tent stakes, lag bolts, rebar
There was so much more captured in his slide deck
Magpie talked about Exodus
Wants to make it NOT SUCK in 2023
GARS is coming back 95.1 on the radio dial / BMIR Traffic every 30 mins
On playa parked vehicles outside DMZ limited to 3 hours with Sound Limits
On playa parked in DMZ no limits
Limits around all events and art installations for Mutant Vehicles
Quiet time in city 2AM to 10AM
A single violation COULD get your license pulled
Max 300 db GONE, 90 db CHANGED!
All speakers in a camp must be pointed internally
60db @ border of neighbors camp or center of the street (except Esplanade)
100 db to open playa
Case Levels need to be negotiated with neighbors – be a good neighbor
Cory and Tinker about Center Camp
Camps can bring their vibe to Center Camp (sorta like Golden Guy works: IMO)
SWIFT Team can help you schedule time and space
e.g. Blood Mary Bacon Bar and more will be setup there…. stay tuned!
Level and Shaye about Vending
“Mistakes are the best place to start”
IMO: this was a great way to start because it allows people to make mistakes and learn from them
Reporting violations to Placement @burningman.org
doingitwrong@ or ip@ for intellectual property violations or placement@ or oss@
These usually make sense to those in the know
Help the community
Keeps us in scope of the 10 Principles
Marnee and Katie from Government Relations
LNT and Environmental Protection
Earth Guardians / Black Rock Rangers / Playa Restoration
Addresses Leaks and Fluids on the Playa
Look out for your neighbors
LE (Law Enforcement)
BLM / Pershing County Sherriff Office (PCSO) – on playa
Unified Command / Emergency Response
Decommodification – Katie
BLM has strict requirement
Venders MUST be part of the OSS program
Housing for payment is Eliminated
Plug n Play, Mobile Homes Delivered, etc
Traffic Safety – Katie
Speed limits are very important
NO VENDORS at EMPIRE in 2023
Starchild on Sustainability
There was a lot about fuel and solar ideas
Harley and Level on RIDE
New dimension this year goes to Sign Language and Blind Burners
There were a lot of stats and a strong focus on BIPOC that they say made up 13% of the population based on the Census
LGBT burners got an honorable mention with notes that the Queerborhoods are at 4:30 and 7:30
Like I said, there was a lot to cram into a one hour meeting. And there was a lot missing in the conversation. The RIDE message from the BMorg has never sat well with me, because their focus seems to be on the visible spectrum of Diversity. With 13% BIPOC as a statistic and a desperation to get those numbers up over everyone else it is because those are accountable stats because every picture taken at Burning Man is not all white CIS people. Even having Blind and Deaf participants getting recognition, it is still a visible commodity to be used in the sale of Burning Man as an event and an ideology.
ALERT!!!! Burning Man Placement has removed the LGBTQAI option on their events submissions and replaced it with “Diversity…” which sounds great on paper, but that step backwards in the promotion of queer events is not going to deter us. In the interest of Radical Self Reliance, please edit/add #LGBT in your event writeup to guarantee (as much as we can) being placed in our own version of the What Where When for Queer Camps as a focus. AND it will help the person writing the Time to Burn Ap as well. Otherwise, we no longer have a way of noting specific LGBT events that we might not already know of… our first source for sourcing queer camps will be the Queerburners Directory at www.queerburners.org/directory
Like, c’mon… who are they talking to on decisions like this? It’s like adding Queer to the census and suddenly every hippie on the playa wanted to be queer to be a part of the story of the outsider. Flag waiving is not cutting it anymore. Actions over words. This change was a bad choice.
The people that end up really screwed are people new to the burn looking for their tribe and might feel really alone when it comes to getting a gay fix of human interaction. I’ve seen this so many times. It is not always obvious where the queers are. And, there are still a lot of clueless people who have no idea that the Queerborhood is there. Any way you look at it, Burning Man is still a very hetero streamed event and diversity is still lacking in many many ways. (Rant completed)
If you are planning an event for Burning Man that will be of interest to LGBTQIA+ burners, you’ll want to know about this. This year, Queerburners will be distributing a downloadable, printable guide to all the queer events and camps on playa.
You might have seen the version that was available in hardcopy at the Future Turtles camp bar in 2022. This year, it will be expanded and made available to everyone, with the goal of including all the scheduled LGBTQIA+ programming. There are some requirements and deadlines for all of that detailed below.
First step, if you haven’t already, please register your theme camp at the Queerburners Camp Directory on www.queerburners.org/directory ASAP. This is a great resource for people looking to connect with Queer camps and find their tribes while burning. It will lead to new and amazing campers you might not have found otherwise, because Queerburners is the #1 resource that shows up on any search when people look up Burning Man and LGBT.
What defines an LGBTQIA+ Camp or an Ally Camp?
LGBTQIA+ Camps have a majority of these marginalized groups that include, but are not limited to, the letters of this age-old acronym. They are often part of the Queerborhoods of Black Rock City. LGBTQAI Camps are camps where a majority of the camp identifies as LGBTQAI or similar marginalized people. These camps exist for safety and community representation and are all radically inclusive agents of the Burning Man Culture as a whole.
Ally Camps are camps that are community partners and might have Queer people represented however do not create events that represent queer culture as a focus of their mission. Ally camps will provide shelter and Safe Space for marginalized people in need of safety. How do I submit my events to get into the guide?
Although most events submitted there will not make it into the What Where When printed guide, due to lack of space, we will publish all LGBTQIA+ events that you submit in the Queerburners Events Guide.
How do we know what’s an LGBTQIA+ event? We will include events that are at any camp in the Queerburners Directory, but not at an “Ally” camps because those events are probably not queer focused. In addition, any event that is marked as an LGBTQIA2S event in Playa Events, no matter where it is held, will be included.
Behind the scenes, Burning Man has a cool API that we use to get a complete listing of all events, and this is where we’ll get your event information from. This is the same data that the Time to Burn app uses.
Where do you get a copy of this guide?
The Queerburners Event Guide will be distributed publicly as a PDF that you can print at your convenience. This will happen in August. Watch for our August newsletter for the announcement.
What about the fancy Queerburner Map I have been seeing around?
The Map will be included in the guide. There will be a chance for you to download the full color version and print it separately as well. How do you get listed on the map? Get in the directory!
I was recently reminded that I used to write out a whole trip report about what I saw at the burn and about this community that I am so passionate about. To that end, this was the strangest burn I ever had because I did things I never did before. This post is not about me, but as seen through my eyes for 2022 that is disconnected from my usual experience because this is my first year NOT camping in either of the Queerborhoods. I spent most of my time visiting friends at Comfort & Joy. And when I needed shelter and down time, I also went to C&J. But in the end I ended up leaving on Friday before burn night on my seventh day in Black Rock City.
As noted above, I left the event days earlier than planned because I was not really prepared for the 2022 burn. Consider that I started in 2008 and have been to Black Rock City quite a few times, but each time I was part of, or running, a theme camp. This time I was basically on my own. I should have done better, but it seems I was not the only one who forgot how to burn.
My take on the city was that it was as beautiful as ever. This year we had 2 Queerborhoods that were intentionally set and dubbed East Village and West Village. The road to making those villages happen was interesting to watch from the sidelines. And operating in the shadow of the Cultural Direction Setting project by burning man in 2020 and 2021, it made that evolution even more interesting to watch from a certain point of view. My POV was that there was a lot of bigger, better, and more.
Any of those things mentioned in the above confusing? If not, skip to the next paragraph. In 2019 I was recruited into a group called the Cultural Direction Setting Team started by Burning Man with a mission to better define expectations of camps and our community. A big part of that was dealing with the troublesome big money camps that had no connection to the Burning Man ethos. But, another part of that was asking current camp leaders to get current and new camp leadership to up their game.
East Village was a Queerborhood space at 4:30 and D +/- with BAAAHS as the anchor camp.
West Village was the Queerborhood at 7:30 and D +/- with Comfort & Joy as the anchor camp.
2022 was my first year as a Ranger. It was my first year not being a camp lead. I got out to the city more than usual. And, in the course of rangering I got to directly engage tons of people and exploring on a level I never have before. The city was alive, thriving, and though I know a lot of people had a hard time it seems there were a lot of successes. But, a lot of people left about the same time I did. Sadly, I missed the burn on Saturday and Sunday that I wanted really bad to be a part of.
I made a map of the city before I left and shared it with a lot of people. I am about to start the new one for 2023. And it seemed a lot of people really liked it, so I am going to make it bigger and better for the future. Queerburners has some exciting plans for a new queer guide in 2023 and everyone will see it in living color.
This is a topic that is of the highest importance to me, personally. It is one of the 10 Principles that is the reason I am a part of this idea of Burning Man. The importance of coming together is a human need. Watching some of these amazing and successful things people have created with the support of the community fills my soul. Specifically, and most recently, The Afterlife art that was on the playa in 2022 and elements of it will be at the BAAAHS campout this coming weekend.
That speaks with a focus on out LGBTQIA participants, which is important to me because there is a marked lack of safety for queer people. We have the Queerborhood for a lot of reasons that have been hashed out in this blog over and over. Collaborations are the pinnacle of success in my opinion. One of my favorite was the party that Mudskippers did featuring Whitney Houston* that grew in popularity over the years.
Another space usually close to the Queerborhood is Golden Guy Alley. This concept is the future of Burning Man, crating small vignettes you can only get to on foot based on the Japanese Golden Gui Alley, but more fun. Last year Tom’s Bar made its debut featuring the art and style of Tom Of Finland. When I walked in I was gagged (not that way) to see the bartenders were all burners I knew from all the corners of the Burnerverse COLLABAPORATION and COMMUNTIY!!!!
Being a Ranger
So, 2022 saw a lot of new rangers on playa and I was one of them. It was obsoletely one of the best choices I made. I would encourage more queer people to submit on the Burning Man Volunteer page as a ranger and go through the training. It will improve you life. I am not kidding. I get your toaster pin … for obvious reasons! Ha ha ha ha ha.
On a more serious note…
One of my initial goals with joining this community was to better my relationships with women. Over time I found a lot of women in this community as strong, brilliant, bright lights that were supportive and made really good friends. My learning curve was a very wide arch and I am still learning. Yes I made mistakes but the only way to improve is by actively listening and doing better through my actions and my words.
This evolving I mentioned gave me stronger ties to people who are trans, non-binary, and many still figuring things out. I have fully embraced people in a more loving way, though again, I am still growing.
What is your intention? Go to the burn with an intention and a promise to honor the ten principles. Throw yourselves into a project, a camp, or some kind of service outside yourself. Yes, there is an amazing party going on, but making it better for someone else will raise your own social credit and happiness is catchy.
The biggest elephant in the room right now is Covid. The current strain is causing havoc in the world right now but thankfully the serious nature of the infection is reduced that, many people have received the vaccine. Not to make the situation sound less than it is, but it is important we honor our own care and the safety and health of our community.
Be up to date on Covid vaccinations and be prepared to show if asked for it*
Take and show a negative over the counter Covid test before heading to the burn*
Bring up to 4 over the counter tests with you. Camps are working on policies to handle surprise positive tests*
thank you queer camp leads from AstroPups, Gaylactic Village, Future Turtles and more.
*these are not Burning Man policies, but camp leads are talking and sharing policies on how to approach these health issues facing all of us right now.
There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding the vaccine. One of the biggest ones is where to get it. Slowly those resources are opening but, they are extremely slow. Here are some resources that might be useful for people looking for anything they can find. The CDC has some guidelines.
“Compelling data from monkey and human studies suggest a single dose of the vaccine—produced by Bavarian Nordic and sold under three different brand names—solidly protects against monkeypox, and that the second dose mainly serves to extend the durability of protection.”
There are still mixed reviews by professionals about the viability of the single dose theory. This article is not offering any facts, medical advice or knowledge of these issues. Use the resources in our community and talk to your leadership about the steps they will take for your community, camp, or other group well-being.
Camps with Policies
Astropups, according to Russ, will be releasing a new policy next week we will post here. According to Russ: “What’s in it? Guidance for our campers for (Before the Burn, Travel to Playa, On Playa, and Return Travel, as appropriate) with regard to Covid19, MPX, Consent, STI, and Food Handling.” “Note: we are requiring everyone to be vaxxed for C19, and are encouraging (and assisting where possible) MPX vaccination.”
Mystopia folks have a very flushed out policy guide they are leading with and have published <click here to see in google docs<. Accrording to James: “Our goal is to keep rapidly spreading infectious issues to a minimum. While we are concerned about COVID and MonkeyPox, the regular stomach flu and common colds are of concern and actually more common. A LOT of symptoms can feel… well… just like Burning Man, so pay attention to yourself and others. Checking in on campmates is a huge component of camp health.”
Every burn year since …. way back… I produced a map placing camps based on the addresses camps published after they were released from Placement. A few people asked about it and I was very glad to do it again. Here is version 1!
It is all done in fun. There are probably more details that camps might have, but this shows how we are distributed in the city. It is important for a variety of reasons.
Where are the queers at? How do we find out own. As radically inclusive as we are, there are a lot of queer people who want (even temporarily) to be among like people. And part of the whole deal is we also welcome the un-like people.
The Queerborhood provides a valuable service and brings a unique energy to Black Rock City. It is vital to protect and nurture that. It is vital to curate and welcome new participants.
A 2015 survey from Black Rock Census showed us that a third of the city identified as queer, which is telling in a lot of ways. Whether it is a population who is actually non-straight or a co-opting of the word queer because cultural norms have shifted.
Updated should be made at www.blog.queerburners.org/directory with a camp submission. The next update will come out within a week.
Where: Online only When: April 21, from 8pm to 9pm or later as needed How: Register for direct access on Eventbrite Who: As of 4/10 leads from BAAAHS, C&J, GlamCocks, Camp Beaverton, Gender Blender (Queerdome)
I invited select leaders in the community from some of the most known camps to speak about the Queerborhood in recent history and share ideas for the new age we have entered post covid (an assumption and maybe an unrealistic view). How can we help open a path to better collaboration and presentation without curating ourselves into a corner away from intrinsically inspired content that is spontaneous and inviting.
Register on Eventbrite to get direct access through ZOOM: Eventbrite Link (Donations will help us fund this and future projects)
The Queerborhood in 7:30 has gone through a lot of evolution over time and continues to shapeshift. The splitting of Queerborhoods in 2019 was the first major change.
The 4:30 Queerborhood anchored by BAAAHS was not the only Queerborhood that emerged over the years. Users have often generated spaces grown and fostered out of a need for safety and community. This includes Burner Buddies and others over time.
On Thursday on April 21 8pm, I am inviting a panel to talk about Burning Man 2022. What are the needs of th Queer community and how do leaders in those sectors want to inspire, enrich and mentor our community into more enriching and accountable space.
Burning Man has given us a taste of 2022 and we are living for it. It is exciting they have committed to the BRC in 2022 and there are a lot of people into it. Thankfully, through many lessons learned through these pandemic times, we also learned a lot of lessons on how to do it better. That is just how PlanB opened a lot of eyes to the burning desire of our community to collaborate and make our culture thrive.
PlanB was not a shit show. Well, it gave a lot of people a really amazing experience while some of us (like me) was too uncomfortable to go out there. But, I will say that I have not heard a single bad thing. I watched the live feeds. I saw SO MANY of my friends posting pictures and sharing stories. I was in major FOMO, but I was also not in a place mentally or physically to go out there. So, I did it from home this year.
What have we learned from 2021? Certainly, that there are a lot of people who capable and responsible and willing to sacrifice a lot to commune. It is vital to us as humans. Without a doubt, these kinds of community gatherings in their various sizes are fundamental to community. I would encourage you to read “Dancing in the Streets” by Barbara Ehrenreich.
Some have mentioned that: “Who needs the BMorg anymore if we can do it on their own?” There is a much bigger picture happening than some of those people may realize and there might have been a lot of help out there people did not directly see to make sure things went well. But, as mentioned before, the reviews have been amazing.
What was missing?
Art: the feedback was that we missed a lot of the art that would have normally been out there. Some of those pieces can be awe-inspiring.
Services: Someone left a porto filled… nasty.
And how will the Cultural Direction Setting Team’s work from 2019 to 2020 impact the future of the event? Was that all a waste? I was a part of that team and though my personal involvement I saw where there was a lot of good intentions in it, but with 2 years of no-event what will the future hold. It had a lot to do with camps and what expectations were. But, where will the bar fall on TCO’s for 2022 now?
I am excited about what could be happening and I am trying to figure out WHAT my role is for the burn. I am wondering what yours is if it is different. Feel free to comment here and/or on social media.