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.
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.
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.
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.