Pride + Principles = Perfection

Immediately following the San Diego Pride Parade, there is a two-day Pride Music Festival in Balboa Park. Multiple stages filled with divas and dance beats are spread out among food booths and businesses vying for gay dollars.

This year the festival added a “Burner Village” section. It housed “The Journey Project,” a large interactive art piece headed to Black Rock City, Russel the Electric Giraffe, a giant Scrabble game, Burner artists, and a travel-sized version of my camp, Pink Heart. Plus, at the entrance of the festival, the Scarab mutant vehicle shared music and smiles.

Pink Heart Set Up at Balboa Park

Local Burners have marched in the parade for years, but this was the first time we were represented in the festival. Initially, the inclusion seemed a little forced to me. But after spending two days walking around and talking to Burn-curious folks, my attitude changed. Like an arranged marriage that grows into an epic love, the pairing of Pride and the Principles was perfection.

San Diego Burner Pride Float photo by Nestor Velochi

There is far more overlap than originally occurred to me. Pride is a celebration of people’s natural selves. It is a chance to boldly express one’s inner truth.
So is Burning Man! Pride is focussed on one’s sexual or gender truth, while Burning Man is more broad and art-based.
In Black Rock City, like Pride, we celebrate people’s authentic expressions.

“The Journey” photo by Annie Dunlop

 

For many people, becoming a “Burner” is a process of “coming out” from a socialized lifestyle and stepping into an artistic, creative, liberated path more in-line with their truth.

Someone who is going through (or has gone through) the courageous process of coming out with their sexual identity is in a perfect place to KEEP GOING! Once one has stepped into their true sexual selves, what other treasures are hidden inside? What other authentic expressions have been repressed? Your natural sexuality is beautiful. Just like every authentic thing about you.

It sounded like event organizers and participants were both thrilled by the Burning Man addition. In fact, talk of expansion and next year’s plans were on everyone’s tongues. Not only was it an honor to be a part of the festival, It made me proud.

About the author: John "Halcyon" Styn

John

Halcyon is a 20-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 HugNation.com. He hosted the defunct NBC.com web series "Fears. Regrets. Desires." and frequently speaks about Gratitude & Gifting. In 2010, Halcyon co-founded the San Diego based "1st Saturdays" homeless outreach program based on Burning Man Principles and the idea of "Service Without Sacrifice." You can find his digital home at www.Halcyon.pink

6 Comments on “Pride + Principles = Perfection

  • Nai`a NEWLIGHT says:

    Lovely and inspiring!

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  • lee e hemingway says:

    Nicely done! It was a joy and a love this year. My first time as a gay man of really enjoying gay pride and I am 56 y/o.

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  • Mike Ellis says:

    This year was Awesome! I always thought the Festival was a beer garden with a street fair. It lacked personality to me. I’m So happy to see more of an interactive and perfectly inclusive village for people to enjoy. Burningman for me IS a coming out experience. I feel safe there not only in my sexuality but artistically. I hope to see Pink Heart and more camps there next year! Maybe a sleep over! And Halcyon. Thanks for the advice video I watched in 2007 before my first burn. A new pair of socks for each day!

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  • Popeye says:

    Edit to add GENDER. Otherwise a good article.
    “Someone who is going through (or has gone through) the courageous process of coming out with their GENDER and sexual identity is in a perfect place to KEEP GOING! Once one has stepped into their true sexual and GENDER selves, what other treasures are hidden inside? What other authentic expressions have been repressed? Your natural sexuality is beautiful. Just like every authentic thing about you.”

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  • Pronto says:

    Burner Village brought a welcome reprieve and experiential outlet to SD Pride Festival! The grassy and tree shaded grotto provided an awesome place to chill, to be and to explore. Loved hanging with new friends at Scrabble Camp and Pink Heart. And how awesome it was to watch giggling children, packs of ‘Puppies’, stilt-walkers, seniors temporarily abandoning their walkers, and hordes of revelers experience The Journey Project during the day and especially at night. I hope Burner Village returns next year <3

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