Thank You, David Bowie

Long before I learned about Burning Man, David Bowie taught me about Radical Self Expression.

He was gay. He was bi. He was married to Iman. He dressed like a man, like a woman, like an alien. He was whatever the fuck he wanted to be. “Fuck you, labels, I’ve got a creative vision to listen to!”

I am so grateful that I now have a massive community of artists and weirdos (aka Burners) to connect with, but at one time, David Bowie was the shining freak example that made me feel better about being outside the box.
I know I am not alone is having my life impacted by his to-the-hilt expression of “Life as Art.”
(I predict a whole lotta Ziggy Stardust in the Temple this year.)

David Bowie has always been a constellation. Now his body has joined his spirit.

“The stars look very different today…

David Bowie

About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn


Halcyon is a 21-year Burning Man participant and co-founder of Pink Heart camp. He is author of "Love more. Fear less." and producer of the Burning Man short film, "The Pink Path." He's won Webby awards for his over-the-top personal site & his "Love On Demand" video podcast Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and coaches people how to be radically self expressed in the default world. You can find his full Playa Tips & Tricks series at

6 Comments on “Thank You, David Bowie

  • JustinSane says:

    I’m so glad this is just one man’s interpretation and opinion.

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  • tinydancer says:

    Thank you, Halcyon, for posting this. If our tribe lived in a traditional manner, we would be together right now, mourning and celebrating the loss of this beautiful, creative, and charismatic spirit. But since we live in this age, your posting regarding the passing of David is important to me as I look for other tribe members to help me articulate my feelings and share my sense of loss. Be well.

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  • Dr.K says:

    Thanks John for articulating this. The first time (and every other time) that I went to Burning Man, I had this joyous feeling of relief. “My People!!” It is the same feeling I had when Bowie came on the scene. That permission was granted.

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  • Thanks so much for your appreciation, Halcyon. Bowie allowed those of us on the fringe to be comfortable in our skin and to thrive. In thinking about why so many of us deeply mourn Him, a person we’ve never met…

    We don’t cry because we knew him; we cry because he helped us know ourselves.

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