Promoting social justice in Black Rock City
 
Each year, the freaks of the world unite in the Black Rock Desert outside Reno, NV for Burning Man. For a week (and longer, for those who kick in time to build the city), tens of thousands of people from around the world share space, connection, unforgettable experiences, and some of the best conversations one's likely to have anywhere.

This year, I wrote an article for the Burning Man Journal hyping a few camps whose programming reflected social justice principles. Que Viva brought together activists in the movement for black lives, Red Lightning included indigenous elders and activists from Standing Rock, and TransFOAMation (my camp) joined forces with Gender Blender to give thousands of burners an intro to gender expression and the history of trans resistance.

In the few days since returning home, I've heard several former burners explain that they stepped away from burner communities because their hedonism seemed self-indulgent. To that, I would simply remind anyone that life in general, or any experience--including Burning Man--is entirely what you make it.

Here's a rhyme I spit on the TransFOAMation sound system during my set on Saturday afternoon:

Party people, come together.
We can together achieve whatever
we desire. We can fly higher,
climb any spire, house any choir

throw out of office any powerful liar
put out any conflagration, a fire
burning in the heart of every nation: dire
consequences if we don't act soon.

The deadline was yesterday afternoon.
Rest easy, y'all: there's no spoon.
But the planet will force
a reckoning soon.