What did they say...

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FaeTora
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What did they say...

Post by FaeTora » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:47 pm

I'm just curious and by no means is this meant meanly at all. I'm just curious how people responded when/if you told them you went/go to BM? I ask because I know at least in some minds there is a stigma attached because they think it's just a "big party in the desert."

I haven't told my sisters (the only family I have) or my job. Personally I think all my job only needs to know is the basics: I am going to Nevada to go camping and I'll be back in little over a week. It's not a lie and I don't think beyond that it's any of their business.

On the other hand, my little sister would probably freak out. She's struggling to wrap her mind around this world with her belief of God. ::sighs:: She really is trying to accept me as I am (her non-perfect lesbian sister) but I also know its a struggle for her. My older sister would just tell me to she loves me even if she doesn't understand and to be safe. Though if it is what I think BM might be, I think it would be a great trip for all three of us to take to connect and to experience alone or apart. My older sister and I are very close and both of us feel bad that we are not nearly as close to my little sister. So I want to wait till after I come back to figure out when/if I will tell them.

I honestly don't care what any of them think though. I support them even if I don't agree or understand what they do, and I expect the same in return. But I also know with my little sister I will be using kitten gloves as usual.

Thank you and sorry for the long post.
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ygmir
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Post by ygmir » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:56 pm

no one is surprised I go.........they just smile and shake their heads.
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existential_renewal
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Post by existential_renewal » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:18 pm

I told some people the other day and yesterday I heard the rumor that apparently I'm selling all my possessions to go on a pilgrimage in the desert.

But generally, the response I've received is very positive, with only those with big religious hangups questioning my sanity.

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FIGJAM
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Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:25 pm

Please try to be open and honest with your sisters. Be diplomatic, but honest. Otherwise you are denieing them the freedom to accept you for who you are. I believe that love IS acceptance. There are people that I love that I dissagree strongly with, but accept them for who they are.
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mudpuppy000
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Post by mudpuppy000 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:05 pm

I told my family when I first started planning, and they were really cool with it. My sister is actually the one that talked me into going, even though she hasn't been yet, lol.

It took me a while to tell coworkers as I thought it would be pretty shocking to a bunch of engineers. (I still don't think they have any clue what it is, I just explain it as a big art festival out in the desert)

It's kind of funny now that I've been I don't give a shit what anyone thinks, before I went I was really uptight about it and nervous about what people would think. :)

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pizzamancer
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Post by pizzamancer » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:21 pm

I didn't tell anyone I was going my first year. I grew up in the states, but lived in Japan for the past decade, and didn't want to deal with everyone asking why I didn't come and see them on a trip back to the US.

I was 'outed' in 2009 though. Why the hell does BMORG require a US address and then actually mail shit there??!!

I am almost 40, the last thing I need is a call from my dad asking what the hell I am doing going to Burning Man.
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TomServo
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Post by TomServo » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:24 pm

The last trucking company I worked for, said "sure! Take your tractor!" I was with a new company, two weeks after Burning Man.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Elliot
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Post by Elliot » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:54 pm

:D
I'm careful not to gush enthusiasm at people. Mostly, I start with "First of all, the Burning Man Art Festival is not for everyone." That seems to work well -- seem to put folks on notice that they are about to hear a rational description of things -- which make them more receptive to precicely that.

As for religion, I noticed one year that a group of Quakers held a church service at the Man. Of course, Quakers are usually quite rational citizens -- at least the few I know. At the other extreme, a religious fanatic would struggle with what she sees around her whereever she goes. Let's hope your younger sister outgrows that.
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swampdog
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Post by swampdog » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:23 pm

I used to be pretty much in the closet about Burning Man. I figured people would think I was a freak. Turns out they already know I'm a freak. Now I neither avoid nor go out of my way to mention it. If I mention it and people show interest, I'll expound a little. I like to tell a story that I know will light up my face so they can maybe get a little of the feel. The burning of Crude Awakening in 07 is always a good one.

But that probably doesn't help you much, does it? You're mostly concerned about your sister the god-botherer. If she's dealt with (if not accepted) you being a lesbian Burning Man is small potatoes. My .02 - bring it up casually, expound on the safe to discuss bits - the art is always a good topic - so's camping in a challenging environment. If she insists on conflict, well, she was probably looking for something to conflict over and so you're doing her a favor by boosting her up onto her high horse. Smile patronizingly while she rants if you really want to set her off. She'll probably rush off to tell god all about you, which does you no harm.

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:49 pm

I fear my co-workers live through me vicariously.
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oldsoul
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Post by oldsoul » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:51 pm

My first year, at the tender age of 23, I was trying to delicately explain about Burning Man to my parents. I think I said something along the lines of "I'm going on a camping trip out in the Nevada desert." To which my dad replied, "Ooh! Burning Man? Can I go?" He had watched something on TV about it I guess. Old bastard still won't go even though I invite him every year.

My first few years I was sheepish about telling my employers and some family members about my trip, but then I realized I wasn't ashamed about attending the event, so why the fuck should I sugar coat it for anybody that has some preconceived notion about it? Though I have to say, living in Ohio, most people here don't know Burning Man exists.

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Post by teardropper » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:46 pm

My wife is a medical professional and before last year her boss found out and announced to the whole clinic that she was going. The rumor, we found later, was, is she going to dance naked in the desert and take drugs?

Well, yeah.

I think the, it's not for everyone tactic is a good one. It is an art festival. What you gonna' do there, anyway? Promise to go to Temple every day. I do.
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Craftsmn
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Post by Craftsmn » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:20 pm

Just tell everyone you are going on a spiritual retreat in the dessert.

I have never worried about what people think about my choice to go to burningman. I do know someone who's boss would be less than happy granting time off to go to burningman and she does tell work that she is going on a religious retreat. No one ever questions a religious retreat.

With regards to your little sister, "coming" out that you are going to burningman will be so much easier and can't possible be as dramatic as coming out as a lesbian. It is an Arts Festival....Period.

Burningman may not be a great place to "connect" in my opinion. Everyone reacts differently to the experience and it can take all your energy just to take care of yourself and survive the potential physical and mental challenges you will face. To connect you might want to go somewhere with a more relaxed, nurturing environment.

Good luck.

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Post by Fire_Moose » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:42 am

theCryptofishist wrote:I fear my co-workers live through me vicariously.
It seems my family does...and possibly my co-workers...

They keep asking me about the orgy dome...i ask which one and they are shocked. I tell them that that's not really my thing, there's too many other things going on.
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Token
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Post by Token » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:14 am

I don't see god and Burning Man being incompatible. The place is full of religious and spiritual ceremony. Weddings, temporary divorces, funerals and wakes. The temple alone would be a worthwile experience on it's own for a spiritual person.

Heck, there are usually more temples on the Playa than you can shake a ferrett at.

I personally don't care for relligion much. I'm an ashes and dust kind of guy but I can see a religious person being guided through the veil of party and freak to see the little nuances of all the virtues most religions preach that actually make the event tick. I could be a "trip guide" for a Jesus Freak and probably do OK.

Burning Man is one bigass baptism anyway, only we use dust.

ConnieH
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Post by ConnieH » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:48 am

My family wasn't surprised one bit, many of them are envious and would love to go if situations would allow, and I rose in rank to "favorite Aunt" when one of my nephews found out.

Co-workers are a different story - I tread carefully there because I work for a fairly conservative corporation. I didn't tell my boss at first, but when he saw a picture of my hexayurt and asked "what's that for?" I spilled the beans - he was totally cool about it and very curious. I told him about the art and even showed him some pictures of some of the big art pieces, trying to dispell the "rave in the desert" perception. He gets it.

One co-worker, who is a personal friend of mine, doesn't see anything wrong telling others that I go (which I have mixed feelings about and have told her so), and BM came up in a conversation she was having with our CEO recently - he asked if she knew anyone who had been to BM, "oh yeah - Connie is a burner..." Thankfully, he thought that was cool and even said he'd like to go one of these days to check it out...that shocked me a bit, but was nice to know I have the CEO's endorsement. I just hope a "random" drug screen doesn't occur the day I return...that's my biggest concern about telling co-workers, because I'm not a big drug user, but I do partake sometimes, and some people (and companies) don't understand that and automaticaly think you "have a problem".

New people I meet outside the burner crowd still think it's a drug infested naked rave, but once I tell them about the projects we do, our theme camps, and the large art installations, I sometimes see a shift in attitude. Of course there was the guy last week who wants me to bring back video, preferably of naked people. He just wants free jerk off material...f*ck that.

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swampdog
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Post by swampdog » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:16 am

Token - Couldn't agree with you more. I'm willing to make a large bet that the OP's sister wouldn't agree, though.

Anyone remember Tom Lehrer's song "National Brotherhood week" (from about 1964)?

Oh the catholics
hate the protestants
and the protestants
hate the catholics
and the hindus hate the muslims
and everybody hates the jews

(Nowadays I'd add "and the fundamentalists* hate EVERYBODY")

*including fundamentalist christians, muslims, taoists, maoists, hippies, neo-cons, feminists, leftists, and vegans

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Savannah
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Post by Savannah » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:35 am

FaeTora, I don't see anything wrong with waiting 'til after the Burn to tell your siblings. Then you can post a selection of photos (especially of art, the Burn, the desert itself, & fabulous but clothed people) on Flickr or similar, with a little description below each, and walk your older sister through it in person or on the phone and tell her your best stories . . . your younger sister, well you can bring it up later when you're in the mood. If ever. :)

When you are dealing with someone pretty progressive who's never gone, the What/When/Where guide of events and survival guide are also good orienting materials. I also like to show them an amazing overhead shot of the city.

My (tiny & liberal) family is accepting of the fact that I go, though I don't post pics of anything truly, truly off-color (for the sake of the subject & the viewers both). Even my boss and co-workers know. Since I am a steady worker and come back in the same condition (if a little tired, tan and inspired) their reactions range from nonchalant acceptance to eager interest in the stories & pics I have when I get back.

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MistressSybs
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Post by MistressSybs » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:04 am

ygmir wrote:no one is surprised I go.........they just smile and shake their heads.
Yep this is the way all my friends, fam, co-workers act.

My husband can't talk about it at work cause he works at Exxon - ultra tight asses - he's not even allowed to drink more than 2 drinks at any event due to their strict safety requirements post the valdez bullshit... sad part about it was the captain wasn't drunk, he had a drink the night before, and lovely bp were the cleanup (*not) masters of that mess, but I digress...

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MistressSybs
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Post by MistressSybs » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:06 am

pizzamancer wrote:I didn't tell anyone I was going my first year. I grew up in the states, but lived in Japan for the past decade, and didn't want to deal with everyone asking why I didn't come and see them on a trip back to the US.

I was 'outed' in 2009 though. Why the hell does BMORG require a US address and then actually mail shit there??!!

I am almost 40, the last thing I need is a call from my dad asking what the hell I am doing going to Burning Man.

We have that trouble anytime we fly into Vegas since my hubby's fam all lives there... if we fly in, there's maybe two cousins who even know we came in... or else it's non stop family visits - which are cool... but...

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MistressSybs
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Post by MistressSybs » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:32 am

Fire_Moose wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:I fear my co-workers live through me vicariously.
It seems my family does...and possibly my co-workers...

They keep asking me about the orgy dome...i ask which one and they are shocked. I tell them that that's not really my thing, there's too many other things going on.
LOL right!

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Bling
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Post by Bling » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:53 am

I've told friends and family, and my staff at work, but am only telling clients that I'll be on vacation in August--not why. If it comes up afterward I'll be happy to talk about it, though.

Lord Of Ruin
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Post by Lord Of Ruin » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:14 pm

pizzamancer wrote:I didn't tell anyone I was going my first year. I grew up in the states, but lived in Japan for the past decade, and didn't want to deal with everyone asking why I didn't come and see them on a trip back to the US.

I was 'outed' in 2009 though. Why the hell does BMORG require a US address and then actually mail shit there??!!

I am almost 40, the last thing I need is a call from my dad asking what the hell I am doing going to Burning Man.
You're almost 40 and you still are worried about a phone call from yer dad?


Jus' sayin'...
The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion - W. Blake (attribution corrected)

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Rice
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Post by Rice » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:45 pm

Lord Of Ruin wrote: You're almost 40 and you still are worried about a phone call from yer dad?


Jus' sayin'...
When I went to my first burn in 07 I tried to tell my family what I was up to & where... All they heard from my description of the desert, art, costumes, etc. was Nevada. That somehow got translated to "I'm going to Vegas to gamble"... So, ya, sometimes parents are pains in the ass!!

Now they know better and actually seem interested in my excited rambling about my past and upcoming events! :)

I have only met a couple of people who thought Burning Man was a "Naked, drug-fest party"... heck, I was asked to do a presentation after my 2nd burn to all of the staff at my office. (Work even plans around my burn schedule {he he}).

After your first burn, you will find that your siblings are a lot more supportive.

See ya, on the Playa!

TTFN.,
Rice

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FaeTora
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Post by FaeTora » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:55 pm

Most of my friends either know what it is or don't know about it at all. The ones that don't know, I tell them and explain what I believe BM to be. As I have not been, its only my belief. The ones that do know are not upset or angry that I'm going. They are just shocked. A guy I have known 16 years, told me he never thought he'd see the day I walked onto the Playa but he's happy I'm going. :oops:

Side note: I just got home from shopping for daytime playa clothes and I am so excited! I just can't hide it! :P I know its an odd thing to get excited about but I feel like a little kid that just got permission to run around the pool. I even got my first ever matching bra and underwear set. Which is a little sad considering my age but better late then never.
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Rice
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Post by Rice » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:07 pm

FaeTora wrote:Most of my friends either know what it is or don't know about it at all. The ones that don't know, I tell them and explain what I believe BM to be. As I have not been, its only my belief. The ones that do know are not upset or angry that I'm going. They are just shocked. A guy I have known 16 years, told me he never thought he'd see the day I walked onto the Playa but he's happy I'm going. :oops:

Side note: I just got home from shopping for daytime playa clothes and I am so excited! I just can't hide it! :P I know its an odd thing to get excited about but I feel like a little kid that just got permission to run around the pool. I even got my first ever matching bra and underwear set. Which is a little sad considering my age but better late then never.
You are never too old!!! :) Playa stuff always makes me smile.

I was 40 the first time I ventured onto the playa. Everything I am has been slowly changing as a result of my experiences! No, poof, I'm different. More like a slow change. Perspective, attitude, life expectation, self-view... All different now than the "before" me.

I've tried to get my 19 & 20 year old kids to come with me. My oldest seems interested, my other son said "No way in Hell am I going to THAT Hippie-Fest" ... Strangely he still sill feels that way :wink:

Rice

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"I'm going to the desert."

Post by Rusted Iron » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:57 pm

I'm non-specific about where I go in August. People in my department know. So do other Burners in hospital or the people who hear us chatting about or projects, during lunch.

I don't tell my patients, even when they ask where I'm going when they learn that they will be seeing a fill-in on their next visit. A professional relationship is built around certain illusions... Being vague helps.

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Oso
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Post by Oso » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:31 pm

I got back to where I live , totally energized and blown away, and told a lot of people about it.
What I discovered...... was....... a lot of people don't get it (or maybe they're stuck in the illusion).
A couple of them even said "no comment".
A few would love to go.... but never will.
.
.
Home is not where you live but where they understand you.
.

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Post by much2naughty2 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:58 am

We tell lots of folks we're going including family. Our daughter asked if we had any idea what we were getting into after googling BM.

I think they all figure we're one step from having to be locked up for our own protection.

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Post by goathead » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:36 am

ygmir wrote:no one is surprised I go.........they just smile and shake their heads.
sheep smile?

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