“Call Me Caitlyn” – One Burner’s Journey of Radical Self-Acceptance

15 09 2015

Call Me Caitlyn

(Editor’s note: the abridged version of Caitlyn’s essay first appeared in issue 2 of The Shroom at Burning Man in 2015. This is the full version as written to us by The Man.)

God – or as you prefer to call him, Larry Harvey – made a mistake. From the moment I was constructed on Baker Beach you burners have had a radically different idea of me than what’s in my very soul.

Like my namesake sister said in Vanity Fair, “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life,’ ” she told me. “ ‘You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen.”

Well, since you fucks are days away from setting me on fire, I truly have nothing left to lose.

I am not the Burning Man you thought me to be.

I am a Burning Woman.

For over 30 years I’ve been living a horrible lie that’s been nearly as difficult as being burned alive. From now on, radical self-expression means that I want to be comfortable in my wooden skin – skin which you intend to burn away from me.

# # # #

I know you burners consider me the perfect paragon of male flammability. But my femininity is not just a side or a phase. It’s who I am.

Perhaps your thoughts turn immediately to my genitalia. You’ve noticed perhaps that I’ve never had a penis; that may be true, but my genitalia aren’t what make me a woman. It’s my heart and my soul.

You can snicker if you want and joke about ‘tucking’. Or you can take that old idea of gender being attached to genitalia to the Temple and burn it like any other antiquated mindset you wish to be free of.

It’s hard enough standing here on display, pretending to be okay with the fire torture porn you hedonistic sadists will put me through, but what’s even harder is realizing you’re at the center of a city of 68,000 always feeling isolated and alone, trapped by a secret you’re too scared to share. And while coincidentally I might be chained by wood and chain to the spot on the playa from which you intend to burn me to death, I still wish to be metaphorically free. After all, you’re only as sick as your secrets – and the people who intend to burn you to death.

And while I know that a horrible immolation and the attendant ungodly pain is going to happen to me, the pain of trying to pretend to be a male even one nanosecond longer is even worse.

You might wonder whom I would love and what gender that would be. I often do, too, but usually the excruciating pain of being consumed by fire stops that before I have a chance to explore the ins and outs of my arousal.

(And frankly, the thought of being extinguished with a tidal wave of water turns me on far far more than any particular arrangement of cocks, vaginas, and assholes. It’s Maslow’s hierarchy, darling.)

Lastly, if you think this is about me making money from a reality show, you’re not only wrong, you’re a silly, silly goose: Larry, the BORG and the plug-n-play camps have all the money.

# # # #

I know some of you at the festival have panicked and woken up in the morning with someone of a different gender than you say you’re usually interested in. Well, that’s how I feel every morning in my own body. Except that after that ‘panic’ wears off, the existential crisis and real panic of soon being burned to death crosses my mind.

My heart longs to be truly true and unchained – to run free on the playa to feel the warm air through my luscious mane as I roar, a woman freed. Of course, I know I’m moored here and unable to run, soon to go up in flames. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

I’ve started to make the transition before, but as you may recall, every year you burn the living shit out of me. This year, regardless of whether or not you give the hormones enough time to do their work (Why, are these budding breasts I see growing on my torso, or just a trick of the light?!!!! Ah, shit. Sigh. It’s just the light.) I intend to be the woman I was born to be.

My perfect male form has helped liberate hundreds of thousands of otherwise repressed people. And now it’s time for you to return the favor by accepting me for who I am mind, body and soul.

So thank you in advance for your love and lack of judgment.

And while my triumph may be short lived – I see you flame camp – this may be the only time in my short life I’ve truly been alive.

So, think of me as the Statue of Gender Liberty if you’d like. I will stand up for our transgendered rights. Because if I can help just one other person live a life in acceptance in our beautiful city, then this journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance has been worth every painful step. And if that person I helped save were to show their gratitude by chaining him or herself to me so that I couldn’t be burned to death, well then it would be even more worth it.

So return to the default world and say you went to “Burning Man.” But when you talk about me as a person, not as a representational totem of your unconscious and conscious desires, struggles, growth, spirit and soul, but as a person, please refer to me as I truly am, as a Burning Woman.

Love Caitlyn

Ps please don’t burn me to death.

The moon rises behind the Man during the Burning Man 2015 "Carnival of Mirrors" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, September 1, 2015. Participants are still arriving from all over the world for the sold-out festival to spend a week in the remote desert to experience art, music and the unique community that develops. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart  FOR USE WITH BURNING MAN RELATED REPORTING ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS

The Record Setting Burning Man #Selfie!

1 09 2014
Burning Man's Most Important VIPs Gathered to Celebrate the Spirit of Burning Man

Ellen de Generes takes a Selfie with Sting, Oprah, a “tech elite’s RV”, Mark Zuckerberg, P. Diddy and his friend The Burning M.A.N., an unidentified man in a hat, VP Al Gore, Burning Man founder Dr. Dre, a Brentwood housewife and Angelina Jolie.

Stars Gather for the Inaugural Burning Man Awards!

First Camp, BRC – Burning Man’s first ever award show had celebrity burners flooding the pornj carpet, as the biggest, best and burningnest names gathered to gift each other with even more fame. A full list of award categories and winners from the Burnies will be in the next edition of The Shroom, now a fully owned subsidiary of TMZ.com.

Kidsville Expanding With New MidwifeVille!

21 08 2014

When recreational sex becomes procreational

KidsVille announced that due to the overwhelming amount of procreational fucking between Burners, they are adding MidwifeVille, which will be gifting full doula services to Black Rock City.

Now it will be much easier for Burners to give birth on the playa and not miss out on annual Black Rock festivities just because they are becoming parents.

“Just like a dust storm, you can’t always predict when a new baby will arrive,” says Hunka Momma, KidsVille camper and mother of three.

MidwifeVille’s founder and professional doula, Desert Rose, who has overseen home births, water births, and Indian style births, says, “I am elated at the prospect of my first playa birth!”

Old school burner Stork Mama was originally planning to give birth at Reno General Hospital, but was overjoyed when she heard about MidwifeVille. “Now I get the best of both worlds. I can give birth and see the Man burn at the same time!”

Grandparentsville will have an awesome front porch

Grandparentsville will have an awesome front porch

The BORG, thinking strategically about the needs of an ever-growing Black Rock City, tapped the shoulder of The Front Porch art car to take over another KidsVille expansion with GrandparentsVille. “We are going to use some funds to create high-tech electric rocking chairs and a real grass lawn that we can yell at kids to get off of,“ said Ol’ Bessie, one of The Front Porch founders.

According to Maid Marion, “Not only will this keep many creepy old men away from the Orgy Dome, it will also provide a perfect space where grandparents can boost our gifting economy and freely spoil inner and outer children without shame.”

To alleviate concerns that GrandparentsVille would simply become BabysitterVille, the BORG is giving subsidies and aid to start BabysitterVille, which will provide housing for low income ticket holders in return for volunteer au pair service work. Free birth control pills will be given to all au pairs. to ensure they don’t return require MidWifeVille the following year.

Of course Burning Man would not be where it is without pragmatism, so GrandparentsVille will also come complete with another sub-camp, AdultdaycareVille, which will be run by sexy nurses. This camp will take over pee funnel distribution and will gift bedazzled adult diapers to campers of all ages willing to party with them. Their program listing reads, “Ain’t no party like an adult diaper party, cause an adult diaper party don’t have to stop (to potty)!”

In the name of both public safety and radical inclusion, it has been determined that CreepyVanVille will be moved to the opposite side of the playa from KidsVille.


Burning Man “Pee Bucket Challenge” Raises Awareness for SPS

18 08 2014

Pee Bucket Challenge

The “Pee Bucket Challenge” has lit Burning Man social media on fire, raising awareness for SPS, one urine-soaked, pee-moistened, sometimes asparagus-tainted Burner at a time. The stunt goes like this: People make a video of themselves dumping a pee bucket over their heads, post it on Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites, and then challenge friends to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to SPS. (Many do both.)

The Pee Bucket Challenge raises both money and awareness for amyotrophic collateral sapathyeosis commonly called Sparkle Pony Syndrome. About 5,000 Burners now have the disease, which attacks brain cells leading to campmates sitting around and doing nothing but thinking of their own beautiful selves. Untreated, the condition ultimately leads to total spectatoritis. Life expectancy of the uselessness as a campmate is typically five to seven burns from the time of diagnosis.



The 10 More Questions Every Burning Man Virgin Should Ask Themselves

8 08 2014

There’s an article by Chip Conley called “The 5 Questions Every Burning Man Virgin Should Ask Themselves” that we felt was Just The Tip and needed a good thorough pounding completion.

Not really related to this article

10 questions every BM virgin should ask themselves:

 1. Is this a costume or just something I bought in a thrift store?

2. Am I really receiving divine guidance or is it just that I’m tripping balls inside a 150 degree port-a-pottie?

3. Am I just going to lie here during sex or am I going to participate?

4. Not really a question, but seriously, why the fuck did you #2 in our RV? We all agreed to poo in the port-a-potties.

5. Wouldn’t it be more productive to be compassionate of the tits?

6. Is he wearing a condom?

7. Are they wearing a condom?

8. Whose tent is this, and why am I still wearing a condom?

9. What can I do right now to make sure that next year I can honestly say, “Burning Man was better last year?”

10. How may I best serve thee, O long-time, hardcore Burner?



CrackKid! Toronto makes brave crackhead’s ‘Mayor-for-a-Day’ wish come true.

19 11 2013


-Toronto, CA – A 44-year-old crack addict, Rob Ford has always wanted to be Mayor of his own city. Toronto’s Make-A-Wish foundation teamed up with millions of volunteers, TV crews, and even the Canadian Prime Minister to make this drug-addled manchild’s dreams come true for a day.

An entire city joined together in a heartwarming show of empathy that most rock bottom crack addicts never get to experience. Special permission was granted to give CrackKid full use of the Mayor’s office, ‘live’ press conferences with working TV cameras, and a communal spirit of making a CrackKid’s impossible dream come true—the entire city turned up to make CrackKid’s day as special as possible.

The delusional manchild has been a fan of politics since his youth, but an out of control drug habit had scuttled his dreams. Until now.

Photo - Perpetrating crime before dinner time is all in a day’s work for CrackKid.

Photo – Perpetrating crime before dinner time and denying it is all in a day’s work for CrackKid.

Ford’s first orders of business included proposing oral sex with a staffer, bragging about the amount of cunnilingus he performed on his wife, and using racial slurs against several minorities, among those gays, ‘Orientals’ and Muggles. He also got to smoke a joint at a public event, snort cocaine in the mayor’s office and smoke crack on camera.

A nation then looked on fondly as the jowly, constantly surprised, poor excuse of a man was allowed to ‘defend’ his ‘mayoralty’. Just hours into his political career, Rob Ford, an older-than-his-years, obese, flop sweaty, delusional, profane, abhorrent-in-every-way shitstain of a man, already had the press conference ‘apology’ down pat like a political veteran.

The city played along good-naturedly as ‘Mayor CrackKid’ defended his antics. Like a seasoned pro pol, the brave young crack addict’s bluster never faltered. But his softer side always won out, as the Mayor’s clumsy attempt to hug a female Councilwoman ended with her knocked down to the floor! Oh, Mr. Mayor!

Photo - Even superheroes can’t commit crimes on an empty stomach, so the mayor was given as much Molson’s as he wanted. Which, given his girth and advanced addiction to intoxicants, was a metric fuckton.

Photo – Even superheroes can’t commit crimes on an empty stomach, so the mayor was given as much Molson’s as he wanted. Which, given his girth and advanced addiction to intoxicants, was a metric fuckton.

Afterwards, the Mayor got to give the finger to the crowd at a Toronto Argos game, drive drunk in the CrackKid car and ‘host’ his own radio show. On Twitter, #RFCrackKid was a top trending topic.

The Make-A-Wish foundation even allowed Ford to save a damsel in distress, as he offered one down on her luck lady a night’s work in the mayor’s office performing “under-the-table” services.

Local newspapers got in on the warm and fuzzies, with the Toronto Star selling out of a commemorative “I have smoked crack cocaine!” Mayor Ford cover.

In a heart-warming addition to the festivities, Ford’s intellectually even more diminutive brother was also granted his wish and given a seat on the Toronto City board for the day.

Said one chuckling citizen, “If we can make just one crack addict’s day this special, it’s worth making our city a worldwide joke, eh!”

Despite the citizenry’s best efforts, it was expected Mr. Ford would have not a single memory of the special citywide event.

Yea! Mayor CrackKid!


What’s your Burning Man sign? Part III: Darktard & Rainbow

2 08 2011

Sorry if we’re a few minutes late. Here are the next two signs: Darktard & Rainbow.


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