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Your guide to Burning Man, LGBT edition

Elaborate art floats, costumes, leather, neon, minimal clothing, and body paint may sound a lot like your local Pride. But what’s coming up around the corner is a festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. 

Burning Man is famous on the outside for its art, extravagance, drugs, and penchant for all things weird. But for Burners, it’s much more than that—it’s a culture. In its mission statement, the event declares, “Burning Man is radically inclusive,” and that its “intention is to generate society that connects each individual…to participation in community, to the larger realm of civic life.” 

Burning Man is a creative outpost that people around the world flock to come see, and therefore it come as no surprise that it offers many LGBT groups and events. Although it’s futile to claim to be comprehensive guide for such a freewheeling event, here is a rundown of some of the LGBT offerings to be had on the Playa:

 

Comfort & Joy   

7:30 and Frankincense

One of the LGBT collectives, or camps, that you can join at Burning Man is Comfort & Joy. When you are camping for over a week in the desert, and are responsible for bringing in not only all of the water and food you will need to survive, but also an artistic contribution to the community, a camp can be the way to go. This camp’s theme is summed up in its name, and it invites members to create installations that bring them comfort and joy, be that a gym, spoken word, restorative yoga, or hot meals served twice a day, showers, and a communal costume dressing room. 

Like many gayborhoods in the world outside of Burning Man, Comfort & Joy did not always have a gay focus. But by the fall of 2006, Comfort & Joy found that the majority of its campers were gay men, and asked itself, “Would we create more positive change by targeting our efforts more specifically to the needs of gay men, who were are biggest audience?” They decided the answer was yes, and they now include sex positivity and “personal growth in fabulosity” among their core values. Along with a queer temple and workshops on “restorative and celebratory themes,” Comfort & Joy hosts cabaret performances and annual themed parties such as the World Naked Bike Ride and Honey-Dusted Dance Party. This year, among the provisions already acquired for the burn are 150 pounds of bacon and 150 avocados—which should certainly bring comfort and joy to anyone.

Astropups  

7:15 and Gold

The Astropups have been convening at Burning Man for 14 years. The theme of this gay camp involves a lot of play on the words “pups” and “bears,” and the pups pride themselves on being a spot that seems to naturally invite people to congregate. They also pride themselves on their food, saying, “It’s been known for some time now that Astropups Labs has developed the best food technology on the Playa,” which is always a huge plus. Hosted events include reinventing high school prom to better suit pups and greco-roman nude oil wrestling matches.

Camp Beaverton 

7:15 and Ephesus

Called “One of the biggest sexual playpens in the world,” Camp Beaverton opens its arms to all lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, and heteroflexible women who voyage to Burning Man. Camp Beaverton is the only all-woman camp on the Playa, and its famous clot-tail social hours, play parties, and Strap-on-a-thon have gained attention in the documentary “Meet the Beavers,” http://meetthebeavers.com which has gone on to win the Official Special Jury Award in the Rio Gay Film Festival. 

If that sounds too fun to be educational, director Beth Nelsen can emphasize. However, she changed her mind after her first Burn. Nelsen said, “They taught me a lot. Which I wasn’t expecting. I thought, ‘I’ve seen it all. I’ve been out for 18 years, what haven’t I seen? But they really emphasized communication, and I think it’s great, because I feel that the people here at Beaverton really take ownership of themselves, their sex lives, their bodies—which, I feel like there’s not enough of that happening, especially for women.”

Camp Gender Blender 

7:15 and Ephesus

Camp Gender Blender invites everyone who is “shape-shifting the gender binary.” This camp partners with Camp Beaverton every year, which means that they share a kitchen, shade, and showers. It also means that you’re a stone’s throw away a whole other set of parties at any given time, and can capitalize on the offerings of both. The Gender Blenders host events for participants to share the personal stories and honor their lineage, to explore healing, to drink smoothies and spin the rabbit wheel of bar fortune, or to partake in Trans Tea Time.

Camp Stella 

This camp caters to LGBT and LGBT-friendly people who are looking for a community to stay clean sober with throughout the duration of the festival. They offer a calendar of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings throughout the festival, as well as the Plain Ordinary Whoopie Party with music, dancing, and mingling without any of the drugs or alcohol.

 

Events 

Monday

4:00PM at Gender Blender: Make-out Monday

8:00PM at the Down Low Club: Official Queer Burner Meet & Greet

9:00PM at Dickstracted Camp: Jazz Night

9:00PM at BloAsis Village: Queeravansary

9:00PM at GlamCocks: Furry Fantasia

 

Tuesday

1:00PM at Gender Blender: Your Own Silk-Road Ritual: Celebrate Caravansary

2:00PM at Camp Conception: Detox/Retox

2:30PM at Gender Blender: Sticks & Stones: Words that Hurt, Words that Heal

5:00PM at Paradise Motel: I dream of Jeannie Party

7:00PM at Camp Beaverton: Clit-Tail Lesbian/Queer Mixer

9:00PM at Camp Run Free: Roaring ‘20s (Sober Party)

 

Wednesday

12:00PM at Comfort & Joy: Healthy Friction Circle Jerk

1:00PM at Camp Beaverton: Boning Babes: an Introduction

2:30PM at BloAsis Village: Beard Care

3:30PM at Camp Conception: Beard Spa

5:30PM at Camp Conception: Miss Conception Pageant

6:00PM at Gender Blender: Blender Bar

7:00PM at Sun Guardians Camp: Monk Fetish Camp Party

7:30PM at FUR Camp: Homo Depot Party

9:00PM at Gender Blender: Sexploration! A Gender Blender Play Party

9:00PM at Comfort & Joy: Crisco Disco: Cowboy Cocksucker Night

 

Thursday

11:00AM at Sun Guardians Camp: Heart Circle

11:00AM at Gender Blender: Talking Trans with Tea

1:00PM at Camp Beaverton: Female/FTM Ejaculation

2:00PM at BloAsis Village: Sirius Happy Hour

2:00PM at Gender Blender: Trans Tea Time

7:00PM at Camp Beaverton: Clit-Tail Lesbian/Queer Mixer

8:30PM at Camp Conception: Ultrasound/BAAHS

9:00PM at Camp Beaverton: The Strap-on-a-thon

 

Friday

12:00PM at Comfort & Joy: BRC Gay Pride

1:00PM at Camp Beaverton: Fisting Workshop

2:00PM at Burner Buddies: Gay Pride After Party

3:00PM at Camp Conception: CC’s Women’s T-Dance

4:00PM at BloAsis Village: Beard Contest

6:00PM at Gender Blender: Caravan of Smoothies—The Gayborhood Party!

10:00PM at Comfort & Joy: Honey Dusted with BAAAHS

10:00PM at Comfort & Joy: Blitzy’s Full Moon Fire Conclave

 

Saturday

11:00AM at Sun Guardians Camp: Heart Circle

11:00AM at Comfort & Joy: Crack is Whack Party

11:00AM at Beaverton: Oval Ascension (Female Masturbation Party)

1:30PM at Comfort & Joy: Meditation Workshop

Post Burn at Camp Conception: Closing Party: It’s Over When It’s Over

 

Sunday

Post Burn at Comfort and Joy: Temple Burn After Party

Written By:
Rebecca Ann Schuetz
Rebecca Ann Schuetz
Mon, Aug 18, 2014
Comments
2 months ago

Great listing of events! I'll definitely make use of this next week.

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