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LGBT Stories: Burning Man, The Love Story

Black rock city


GuestbloggerNathan Manske and Marquise Lee just finished a 4 month, 50 state tour of the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We'll be sharing some of the stories they collected along with some of the insight into what they saw. They're still encouraging people to submit their written stories via IFD.

Driftwood A lot of people ask me what my favorite story is and the answer is never the same. But I do have a consistent favorite type of story: “The first time we met” stories. Whether you’re LGBT or straight, everyone knows that excitement or nervousness of meeting someone for the first time. I like how it’s such a universal topic, yet every story is so unique. Kevin and his boyfriend, Nick, were our hosts in Seattle and it was sweet hearing Kevin talk about their first encounter. 


Previously in this series...
'Heterosexual Transgender Lesbian' Talks Transition [tr]
Houston Mayor Annise Parker Shares Personal Story of Young Love [tr]
T.C., Living with HIV, Recalls the Early Days of AIDS [tr]
A Gay City Councilman Moves His Family to Higher Ground [tr]
Deaf, Gay, Bullied, and Fighting Back [tr]
A Survivor's Account of an Unbelievable Hell Called Home [tr]

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  1. I adore these stories about judgemental, homewrecking queens finding love. Really. It's amazing and uplifting. Sorry're "not my team."

    Posted by: Pinky | Feb 21, 2011 11:51:47 AM

  2. So while he was tripping on acid he had the confidence to steal someone's boyfriend?

    Posted by: w.t. door | Feb 21, 2011 11:54:08 AM

  3. @Pinky; i don't get this. I thought it was suppose to be empowering - not another example of how wishy-washy gay relationships can be.

    Posted by: w.t. door | Feb 21, 2011 11:55:58 AM

  4. Drug users. How cute - they can rationalize anything.

    Posted by: WebHybrid | Feb 21, 2011 12:06:02 PM

  5. I like how the interviewer is just sitting there all wide-eyed like, "Where is this going?"

    "Do you guys wanna go on a date tonight?"

    I hope the guy that got dumped isn't wondering where the relationship went wrong.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 21, 2011 12:08:21 PM

  6. I so wanted to like this story, because the guy is charming. But a love narrative about destroying somebody else's relationship isn't something I can relate to.

    Posted by: Josh | Feb 21, 2011 12:13:53 PM

  7. I guess you have to take the good with the wretched, but do you have to broadcast them all? This is gross. The place where you should be your most authentic self is here and now, and if you have to go to a party to find that self, you have work to do. That is all.

    Posted by: chad | Feb 21, 2011 12:26:36 PM

  8. This "love" is tainted with the bad karma of breaking up a relationship. Drugged up and high, you found the confidence to ask out a couple on their anniversary....geez...another example of delusional rationalization from a femalina with no moral code or respect for other people. This sort of story makes me ashamed of gay men who just do what they want without regard for the consequences of their drug induced spur of the moment actions.
    I hope you both get what bad karma is coming your way.
    I'd never be able to be on "your team"...what a loser.

    Posted by: Ben | Feb 21, 2011 1:04:47 PM

  9. all non blonds that die their hair blond are white trash, they don't even have to open their mouths to prove it

    Posted by: | Feb 21, 2011 1:19:30 PM

  10. Oh dear! I was wondering why all of a sudden you guys were commenting on this when you NEVER! Even the deaf story got like ONE comment, the lesbian mayor-did she even get any? The kid who fought out of home through HELL....maybe 2 or 3...

    Bur THIS!

    LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Dont ever change!

    It's like gays are like blacks. Liberal because they have to be but actually quite socially conservative.

    Man, did none of you go to cool festivals, smoke weed or read Neitzche while at school? I guess not. Move along.

    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 21, 2011 1:33:21 PM

  11. Trashy...just, trashy. "DIDN'T -YOU- HEAR -ME-?" Trashy.

    Just wait, sir. Karma comes back around, as those tips won't stay dyed forever.

    Posted by: Trashy | Feb 21, 2011 1:41:21 PM

  12. You guys make me laugh!!!

    Okay, I watched it and yeah, it really sucks for the ex and you can tell that he feels guilty but when you meet your soul mate......come on...?

    There is this musician I think you commenters should all listen to, he's American but is big now in the UK. His name is John Grant, does beautiful indie music and talks a lot beautiful about being gay, love, romance etc. He's super smart but he's done drugs so you may want to kill him.

    Anyway, he said the best quote that helped him deal with loss love, which is that he stopped being angry when he realised that you have to let people go, you can't force someone to stay with you or not cheat on you. It happens.

    I've been in similar situations, not as deep but months later I thought, woooah, what was I thinking and hate the fact that I wasted all this hate on this dude.

    The bad guy is the one who left the boyfriend if you NEED a bad guy, not this guy who just fell in love. You can't force anyone to LEAVE.

    Sorry. True.

    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 21, 2011 1:43:23 PM

  13. While I can see where are all of the other comments, deriding the interviewee, could stem from, it seems pretty condescending and rude to pass judgement over him for finding love. I personally wouldn't put myself in that situation but I'm not going to deny this guy his feelings or how he came to them. Just because you personally don't approve of drug use shouldn't negate how he feels for his husband. The fact that this clip is five minutes of what I'm assuming is a much longer interview also should give people pause when passing judgement. We don't know the other side of the story, either from the ex-boyfriend OR the husband, and shouldn't just assume they were in some perfect relationship that was cruelly broken up. There are several more factors that should be taken into account and it bothers me that we, as people, can be so quick to judge something so bitterly.

    Given how often homosexuals are demonized as "not being capable of love," you'd think a gay blog representative of the community would have readers willing to embrace love, wherever it may come from.

    Posted by: Adric | Feb 21, 2011 1:44:24 PM

  14. feelings are NOT love

    feelings are a part of love but are not love themselves

    feelings come and go and come again, like a roller coaster ride and can be affected by a simple thing as a daily multi-vitamine per lab tests

    love is not a choice though choices make up part of the choice to love someone despite their pissing you off sometimes

    those who equate love to feelings are little better than "reacting" amoebas

    Posted by: | Feb 21, 2011 1:50:30 PM

  15. vapid.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Feb 21, 2011 2:00:00 PM

  16. @MSTROZFCKSLV@YAHOO.COM : I'm not going to disagree with you on this one. There is definitely a difference between a feeling and what most people would say is love. It seems like arguing over the usage of "feelings" and "love" as synonyms for one another is more about semiotics and less about intention.

    The inherent problem with this argument is that it's 100% subjective. I don't know what it's like to love the guy in the video but I do know what it's like to love my boyfriend, in comparison to how I love my best friend or my family. That's what I personally have to go by and I can't say one way or another if what the interviewee is experiencing is in fact love or "feelings" or anything else. What I do know is that I'd much rather take this video for what it is- a personal story about one person's subjective view of their relationship- and walk away from it without thinking or "feeling" or saying something nasty. There's enough of that in the world without us adding more, and all because we found some personal gripe with a STRANGER'S life decisions.

    I think I'll go "feel" my way to a shower.

    Posted by: Adric | Feb 21, 2011 2:06:10 PM

  17. :-)


    Posted by: | Feb 21, 2011 2:11:56 PM

  18. Ok, so let's see the rest of the interview wherein the dude reveals how he uses the beautiful new self he's discovered now. Oh, and soul-mate my eye (in general, pick and stick. What are we, Disney characters?) and I can't believe I've even spent this much time on this . . . I guess it really depressed me.

    Posted by: chad | Feb 21, 2011 2:20:04 PM

  19. Well said Adric.

    You can tell he really loves this guy BUT this is just MY opinion from a brief, edited, formatted clip about a guy who was brought up in foster care who found love at Burning Man because he didnt have to be HIM and in the long run, fell madly in love.

    I think it's sweet.

    Like any story, what was the actual relationship like that the boyf said 'yes' to going on a date?

    I respect this guy for not talking smack about the previous relationship and just putting his story out there that made him look in an unfavourable light.

    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 21, 2011 2:20:04 PM

  20. You only live once and you should go for what you want, but on the other hand... I dunno. Doing that to a to a guy on their anniversary is way douchey.

    Posted by: Halcyon | Feb 21, 2011 2:24:08 PM

  21. Gross.

    I can't decide which is more repugnant, the fact that he is a home wrecker, the fact that "Nick" left his boyfriend for this airhead in such an apparently easy fashion, or this guy's "BurningMan is where I found my authentic self" pretentious pseudo-hippie babble.

    I've been to BurningMan. Seven times. I totally understand that it is a special place and time. And I get it that you can make intense connections out there. But really. Stealing someone's boyfriend? That's tacky in "the real world". And it's tacky on the playa.

    I think I have to go vomit now.

    Posted by: peterparker | Feb 21, 2011 2:41:59 PM

  22. Was this supposed to be deep? How about inspiring, meaningful, slice o' life thought provoking? Nah...but that's just my opeeeeeeenion... Two stoner party boys found da romance at burning man. "Stab wound"? Yeah... It's burning man, chrissakes, and to get up in arms about "homewrecking" or any of that malarky is comedy. Not to say that everyone who goes to burning man enhances their experience with pharmaceuticals and, never that. But, gay or straight, not a particularly stable crowd (gay hipsters in seattle and burning man)...not a crowd to take too seriously, anyway. It wasn't, "I met my soulmate at a bdsm party two weeks ago, and we're like an old married couple!" silliness, but it's pretty absurd.

    Nice try, though. But as fran lebowitz might say, not everyone has a story worth telling.

    "Senora dances calypso, left to right is the tempo, and when she gets the sensation, she go up in the air come down in slow motion."

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 21, 2011 3:19:01 PM

  23. Can I just say, though that very nearly EVERY. SINGLE. straight Romantic Comedy the heroine "steals someone's boyfriend"?

    Most often, Mr. Right is on his way to the altar with Miss Wrong, when the heroine rushes for him. Sometimes he is already in a long term relationship -- with the wrong person -- and so is she. The message always is
    "You know when it's true love -- GO FOR IT!"

    So I guess if we want true equality, we need to accept our own Burning Man moments, running-through-airports to Natalie Imbruglia climaxes, trying-on-hats montages, and wedding day "I OBJECT!" moments.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Feb 21, 2011 3:24:07 PM

  24. I'm the filmographer/editor for the IFD stories and I'm sorry that I must interject here. Kevin's story is one of him meeting his soulmate. I hoped that would have been the take away as I did my best to capture the spirit of that story.

    It appears that I may have failed in that effort... but please know that this is not Kevin's full story. None of the IFD stories are "full stories". Life's situations don't occur in 3 minute vacuums and can't be fully explored in youtube videos... the best we can do is to try and capture the essence of these situations.

    Posted by: Marquise Lee | Feb 21, 2011 3:31:13 PM

  25. Can we just cut the crap with the whole "soul mate" thing....wait until a couple of decades have passed then start talking about soul mates....Otherwise, in a year or so...when they've gone their separate ways, they'll just look like a couple of douches....

    Posted by: Kayla | Feb 21, 2011 3:37:23 PM

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