11/16 News Letter

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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:

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.

People: Puck

2b96c9106b94c0ad577d7008d33029ed-bpfullHe was one of the earliest Queers to land on the playa and be queer. Not just weird queer but freak fag flag waving homo with other homos making an impact on this new thing called Burning Man in 1993. He was a part a of a new wave of people coming to the playa and making a bold new statement. That group would eventually start the first version of the Gayborhood when queer camps began networking.


Puck (Nathan) wrote an amazing piece recounting burner history from when a group of guys wandered out to the playa way back when and laid the foundation that would one day become Mudskippers Urban Decay Cafe and even AstroPups and more. And eventually Avalon Village that became the Gayborhood.

Read Nathan’s piece LINKED HERE


People: Mario

Mario CisnerosMario was a lead for a camp called Moonbow Camp that was, when I started my burner adventure, a special place on the playa. They were at 3:30 and A when I first went to their camp for the Official Gay Burner Meetup in its day. He brought us the official gay meetup and the Gay Pride Parade that started at the man.

Up there to the far left is Mario with the bullhorn. This to the right is also him in his better days. He was a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration for me in the work I have done to make Queer Burners into something. Because of him and a parcel of other people it is why I am determined to make this project a success.

I put a link to the picture above, taken by another amazing human in our community from Burner Buddies. It shows the first Gay Pride parade at Burning Man orchestrated by Mario and his friends in 2008.

When Mario passed in 2012 it was a deeply felt shock. I wish people could appreciate that someone like him had such a brief and profound impact on me in the community. We spoke a matter of days before he passed on the phone and he cheered me on. I had no idea how sick he was. He cheered me on and spoke words of encouragement. Then I left memories of him at the temple and tried to carry the torch he carried a few more years longer.

  • The previous posts talking about our burner leaders was posted under the collective name. This one is more personal. This one is from me.   Toaster


People: Pink Pants

12314103_10203922705946830_6916226417254714998_nAdvocate, leader, creator, spark of seemingly endless energy. Ariel is a highly motivated member if our Queer Burner Community.

Ariel ( Pink Pants) is the co-creator of Camp Gender Blender and part of the organizing team. Ariel is a proud gender out-law, decade-long burner, educator, activist, performer, and writer. Ariel loves sparkles, glitter, dancing, making smoothies, and being a rock-star at life. You can find Ariel on playa teaching about gender, leading rituals, hosting play parties, drags shows, and making a queer-fabulous ruckus. Off playa you can find Ariel working to shift the patriarchy, ensure a future of safe healthy non-gmo food, facilitating workshops including gender liberation, overcoming oppression, nonviolence as a life path, team building, and much more. Ariel is currently training to be a Priestess as part of the Kohenet program. Ariel loves to play with gender and uses many different pronouns including unicorn. Ariel is available for speaking engagements, workshop facilitation, and performances. Ariel can be reached on Facebook as “Pink Pants” and by email at ariel@genderblenders.org – from genderblenders.org

While this snippet from the web site for her camp Gender Blender says an awful lot about her she recently returned from a trip to the Middle East where she advocated heavily (see cover image) for American Jews for BDS.

Honoring Trans Day of Resistance by existence – for existing is resisting! So thankful for my community for all my Trans and GQ folks for the world we are creating – I give gratitude and I mourn all the lives lost due to hatred and bigotry. Here is to a better brighter future that we are building with each breath. I’ll be looking for my community tonight in Istanbul Turkey if you know folks here connect me!” – from her Facebook page dated  11/21

When Ariel shows up this person shines so bright. See Ariel in the crowd often will have a bullhorn in hand or maybe a unicorn horn. This person has the energy and vitality we can all appreciate and love.

People: Jessica Allred

b4503fe267951df4bd4662c63770591c-bpfullJessica was one of the first women from Camp Beaverton to reach out to the Queer Burner community at large in an effort to make Camp Beaverton more accessible to any and all genders. She served as camp mayor a few years ago when the Queer Burners project was really getting it’s legs and was one of the community members who helped make it successful.

Around her time as mayor and following the camp began instituting a concierge program that spread through other camps that invited other people into the Beaverton camp.

While Beaverton was founded by a heterosexual white male it became synonymous with being a camp primarily of lesbians. But what some might not know, they provide education for people of all kinds. Jessica was one of the curators of this awesome educational series.

11990607_10204645507006568_2656276238302964434_nLiving in Massachusetts she is one of the many that makes the big trek to Black Rock City and helps keep Camp Beaverton Home for Wayward Girls going. Her support for Queer Burner projects has also been greatly appreciated and among those who helped build bridges between their camp and the many others who love the Beavers so much throughout the community.

People: Cody Chance Enicke

Cody is a champion in his community. It is certainly not contained to his camp at Burning Man every year. He is a leader with the Glamcocks and their voice for the newbies with acculturation. In 2015 his efforts really helped make the Queer Burner glamcocks9Retreat a success with all the volunteering and support. Along with Shane, Yogen and other members of the Glamcocks they are making a whole new bold statement for theme camps at the Burn.

The Glamcocks first appeared on the playa not that long ago, but have made such an impact that they are hard to emulate. Cody was there from the beginning; with others but this is a thank you letter to Cody for his impact and influence with the success of this community.

In 2016 Cody will be starting a series here writing articles about acculturation appearing regularly. His insights and growing success with the Glamcocks is worth noting. He has been one of the champions of successful integration of his fellow camp mates into the culture of Burning Man and the Queer Burner community. It especially noteworthy as we have seen this camp grow into a diamond on the crown of the Gayborhood.

People: Scott Burdette

12038216_10205277181506000_6886993824055867021_nAin’t she a pretty girl? This is Scott. He does a lot in the community, perhaps more than you know, not just in the LGBTQ sector. He is one of the founders of Camp Conception out of Seattle. He admins several burning man boards including the Burning Man group (73k members) and Burning Man Classifieds.

Meet this guy and meet one a the biggest, sweetest personalities you will ever have the chance to meet.

He is leader in the Seattle community and a big voice. This is a man that will help you when called when it comes to being a true community leader. He has stepped up to help support and manage some of the many Queer Burner boards has been a great supporter.


People: Cindy Vee

One of the leaders of Gender Blender (Website); the camp name says it all. Cyndi generally runs the camp along with David, Ariel, Katt and have picked up some interesting new leaders and participants along the way seeking a place 11898898_10153046704695814_687867377196457503_nof gender queer and trans folk on the playa.

Gender Blender made its debut in 2009 and the following year joined with Camp Beaverton and then for a few years coexisted as CBGB, but they split in 2012 but remained close friends. Since then they camped directly across the street from each other supporting each of their missions of Sex positive thinking and gender awareness/queerness.

Gender Blender has been the only consistent camp for gender queer people since their inception. Cyndi and her team have been advocates for queer gender issues and education and support.

From the web site:

Cyndi “NoPants” Vee is a decade-long burner and part of the Gender Blender Leadership Team.  Cyndi has been described as a “punk rock mountain femme”.  As a transgender being, Cyndi is as comfortable backpacking, camping, and off-roading, as she is rummaging through vintage clothing shops, cinching corsets, and dancing in five-inch stilleto heels. Cyndi is a techie, professionally and playfully.  To relax, Cyndi practices fire spinning and MFR massage therapy (just not at the same time). 

As an advocate, creator, leader and bringer of education for people of all walks of life, Cindy has been a major contributor to our community at large.

People: just one word “Foxy” nuf said

She was head Beaver from Camp Beaverton Home for Wayward Girls for a couple years. She was also the perfect ambassador that created a lot of bridges to other queer camps. She is an enigmatic member of our Queer Burner community: Foxy.

Flash mob idea. Burners show up all at once in playafied gear goggles bandanas etc. Then a zombie flash mob shows up. The apocalypse starting right before the innocent bystanders eyes.

Thinking back, certainly Jessica Allred was the mayor that really started working hard on making the Beaverton camp more accessible to the other camps, genders and people of the gayborhood outside of gender identified women. Mitch was Mayor for a while before Foxy took the mantel and really made the Beavers so accessible and welcoming.

I’m almost 40, wearing a fox onesie and Fox slippers drinking whiskey at home on a Friday night, after 2 weeks of sheep riding, day time dance parties, riding a carousel horse bike, high speed golf cart chases, and writing on a huge typewriter . It’s only the 40 part that seems ridiculous.

Her unlimited energy and exuberance and willingness to play in other people’s sandbox has made her the darling Lesbian of the community. She is not limited in any form, because she welcomes people and engages with vigor any and all.

12107223_10153647663934431_5443737548542265661_nThis year she has taken on a new title and something of a new journey by becoming a Ranger; that is a Black Rock City Ranger. It is a role of distinction in our community because these are the people we engage and help us in and outside the trash fence. We have seen how passionate she has become in her new role as a Ranger and how it has made her stronger and a better shaker in the community as a whole.

Foxy was one of the founding organizers of the 2015 Queer Burner Retreat called “Spring Retreat” and is planning on joining the production team for 2016.

In 2012 she was in a internationally distributed film called Meet the Beavers where she shared some of what she stands for in the Queer / Lesbian community. The making of the movie was a project she was very proud of, featuring the best parts of her collective, and putting the Beaverton crew as an even more important presence in the Gayborhood at Burning Man.

She loves pussy, in fact hers has a name: Augusta. It’s a kitty cat… with a lot of white fur. With four legs… not a euphemism.



People: They call him Chickpea

Do you know his birth name? For so many years he has been simply known as Chickpea. But in recent years we have been introduced to another persona that stemmed from the soul of the man: Amber Alert; yeas hunty has a drag(ish) persona both lovable and disturbing.

He is one of the leaders in the theme camp Comfort & Joy that started at Burning Man in 2001 (See Burner History X for more) but Chickpea first year was 1996 and he showed up without a tent.

my first year was 1996 i went with my good friend Damien Grey, we didn’t bring much not even tents just a tarp to put over the car to sleep under , sandwiches and popcorn for meals …. its kinda a funny story

He joined Comfort & Joy in 2002 at the encouragement of his close friend and today is the President of the Comfort & Joy board known as the Purple Circle. He is also responsible for all the neon decorations you see on playa and at every Comfort & Joy event including Touch and the Afterglow Parties. Yes, she makes the magic happen.

…my first year was 1996. That was the year Helco happened. When we arrived in the desert we asked a girl where Burning Man was. She said drive six miles that way and turn right, go another 2 miles… we came upon 20 grand pianos stacked together with a guy playing one. We asked if that was Burning Man… he said no, it’s two miles that way…” [paraphrased]

307881_2461318768820_898814095_nThen there is Amber Alert. She came into being around 2013 and family members emerged from dark alleys, cracks in the soil and some place near the bowels of hell. LOL. One of the most disturbing sibling was Playa Hole.

Above all else Chickpea (Brian) is a solid and engaged member of the community with a passion for art and creative endeavors. He has a huge aviary (yes, for real) in his home filled with small birds he cherishes and cares for. He is active with the Radical Faery community and extremely supportive of fellow creatives naturally drawn to him.