Report from Love Burn 2024

[Editor’s Note: We just got back from a terrific regional burn in Miami called Love Burn. With over 8500 participants this year, it’s already the biggest North American regional and has a huge and growing Queer presence. This blog post was contributed by Hammer from the Banana Hammocks theme camp.]

I’ve been burning since 2014 with Midwest burners. My home burn started out with about 50 people and today has grown to about 350. Unfortunately I haven’t been around them since 2018. I have a great mix of Festival, rainbow traveler family gatherings and attend all the burner sanctioned and burner-like events I’m able to.

Last year I joined a small camp at Love Burn hoping to make some good queer connections here in South Florida. I originally came to Love Burn in 2023 with a camp named Gaysayers. At that time certain political figures were pushing unfortunate laws through. So I joined this camp and hope to learn and give awareness to the current issue. This was my first queer and inclusive burn camp.

I came out as pansexual in the middle of 2020. I separated from my ex-wife on mutual terms for the new path of self-discovery. I definitely got to say that I feel like a whole different person and wish I would have been my authentic self years ago. Love Burn and South Florida has really helped me become who I am today. As well as many individuals over my lifetime have also been a great influence.

This year I was fortunate enough to make the connections to be able to join camp Banana Hammocks. While I’m an introvert by nature and had struggled in the first few days talking to others, by the end of the event I almost seemed as if my flow was only keeping me around those who were queer tolerant. But the zero judgment of the event from others of all walks of life really made me feel safe to be my authentic self.

I take great pride in being a part of a theme camp. I’m the type who likes to be there before anything starts: helping with the build, helping with little things people may forget about, chipping in or even organizing camp meals. Obviously I do love enjoying some down time and cutting loose and maybe even getting a little reckless. But when it’s all said and done I enjoy being around other like-minded folks like myself.

I’ve been nomadic for about 4 years now and enjoy the travels that present themself as a vanlifer. However seeing so many happy couples within our camp really made me wish I had someone to experience everything with. They may have even made it easier for me to be able just to walk up into welcoming theme camps or just start conversations with unknown individuals.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming years and returning to this camp or possibly joining other queer friendly camps at Regional Burns and hopefully make it back to the big burn in Black Rock City hopefully in 2025 if not by 2030.

This summer I turn 40 and my birthday falls on the Lakes of Fire Burn regional event in Michigan in mid July. I’m keeping in communication with my friends from banana hammocks and hoping a good portion meet up and join me in my celebrations with my Midwest Family of burners.

I try to live by the motto “Live positive, and keep true connection close to the heart.”

It truly is a mindset that things will always work out when you focus on the positive and push out all the negative that surrounds oneself.

Instagram: @outdoorshammer
Facebook: EmBARKingwithMig / 2024exploration

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