In the wake of Orlando, many of us are just stunned. It is probably more surprising that something as bad as that did not happen before. Every week it seems we are hearing about some horrible tragedy with guns in the world, but Orlando hit close to home for all of us. Queers have been targets for years by zealots.

In recent weeks we have been talking to BMorg about safety on the playa and in the Queer parts of the city and how it is important. That reason exploded this week. Believe it or not: many BMorg leaders and community participants have this misshapen view that Burning Man is all hippies and hugs which is not true.

Safety everywhere is a real issue. Listen to our older members of the community; to those who grew up in rural, scary places, to those who could not come out of the closet. Gay marriage was not the golden rainbow bridge that made us all equal. The things we did to survive in a hostile world in a country where all people were never really equal.

When the BMorg asked us if the flood of 7:30 Sector requests was queer camps we figure out the answer was no. Camps want the 7:30 sector because of alleged reasons such as better weather, streets in good condition, energy and more entertainment. While queer camps coalesced for safety, we hear BMorg uttering the dull roar of breaking it up again. We can’t have that. Now more than ever we need to safety and security of a united community.

Does that exclude non-queer community members? Not at all. We are a radically inclusive community but we have not always felt that inclusivity. Many see themselves and have experienced clear and defined marginalism. Our strength is in our perseverance and our chosen family and our community pride.

NOTE: BMorg Placement has not said they are breaking up the area typically known as the Gayborhood. But they are talking about making two distinct spaces in future events. This year it looks like we are going to see a Rainbow Road scenario and many of us are excited for that. But as Placement is taking on new leadership this year we need to be vigilant that the dialog of integrating queer camps through the city simply does not happen to dissolute the magic we bring as an attraction year after year.

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