Yesterday, we shared the story of Wasteland Weekend — a post-apocalyptic festival which resides at the intersection of Mad Max and Burning Man. In that first video, the theme that surfaced over and over was acceptance. People at Wasteland Weekend feel like they can just be who they are and their personhood will be celebrated. Regardless of your feelings about getting all dusty in the desert, that’s pretty damn cool.
Today, Uproxx Reports is taking a deeper dive into the Wasteland Weekend community — looking at how LGBTQ+ attendees have felt safe to express themselves.
“Whatever you are, Wasteland is welcoming,” says Wraith, a transgender festival attendee. “Nobody out here is gonna treat you poorly. If anything, they’ll all stand up for you everywhere.”
That sentiment is echoed by H.P. Loveshaft, head of the Pangea Queer Cabaret. “The social codes we have about right and wrong — a lot of those were really harmful to queer people.”
That’s all too true, as recent legislation has unfortunately proven. But Wasteland Weekend operates outside of these societal strictures.
“In normal society, people look at you strange if you’re different,” Wraith explains. “Out here, people look at you strange if you’re not different.”
H.P. Loveshaft takes the sentiment even further. “A lot of the pain I see in the world today is people being ashamed of something within them, and I don’t think that’s the way to a good world. To me, coming to Wasteland is building the society I’d like to see and building a model of the world I’d like to inhabit.”
Interesting, that a festival based around the apocalypse might also have discovered the secret to utopia.