Queerburners in the Coming Year

I am so grateful for how much we have done on the 1.5 years it took to get where we are today. We became a nonprofit exactly a year ago and in that time we have worked hard to set the groundwork for our future. Queer Burners has been around since 2008, but the non-profit is a better, leaner and more structured animal. I can tell you that I am not the same person. This project has taken me on a huge journey with amazing people I am so proud to have walked this path with.

It’s hotter, fiercer-er, and hungrier. Meow.

This thing started off to be a place to create an intersection for LGBTQAI burners. It’s not so much that there was no crossroads for that out there, but people were generally very tribal and like any group of humans we stayed in spaces that were safe and familiar. Queerburners has only sought to help expand that and try and create a safe and conventual path to collaboration

The results of ALL OF US in 2017 and 2018 felt like the peak of success. Since 2019 there have been a lot of reasons why the brakes had to be put on the progress that we had achieved. Do we go down or do we keep climbing? I will keep climbing with some ambitious and exciting ideas ahead for 2022.

I expect to be able to announce 3 major events for 2022 produced by Queerburners and our community. We only succeed with collaboration. What we are doing is driven by volunteers and participation. Yes, a few people get paid too! Our creative people have to be paid for their work.

All that is coming. I am so excite for it. I can share hints from the blog, but am waiting to get the okay from the Board and our committees to share more. I am just – that – excited about it.

Fuck yeah.

Here are some other important notes!

  • We are starting our End of Year Fundraising campaign beginning the fist week of December and are asking for the community’s help to keep our expenses down and help maintain accessibility for all of our community. ALL. Donations are tax deductible. Our tax status is linked here > click <
  • We need more volunteers and people to help drive this space ship > click here <

Toaster

Spirited by Queerburners events

Dates: October 29th to November 1st
Gates Open: Friday at Noon
Doors Close: Monday at Noon

Spirited Weekend is a chance to reconnect with each other, the spirits of our ancestors and those of the world around us for Halloween weekend. Revel, dance, celebrate, give thanks, embrace, experience with your community.

Spirited caters to LGBTQAI+ and our allies based on the 10 Principle community of Burning Man participants; not affiliated with Burning Man. This is in the spirit of a regional event that brings people in locally and afar who celebrate community and the rituals of our lives through art, education and performance.

This is a four day, three night event in the Northern California woods at the East Park Reservoir the same place Camp Tipsy is hosted. It is public land under the County of Colusa.

  • This is a LNT event: Leave No Trace (pack it in pack it out)
  • Radical Inclusion: yes, everyone

An ad hoc event with content generated by the participants. Theme Camps are welcome and encouraged. It is a camping event with designated areas for activity and residential tenting. You must bring your own home for the event and all your own food. No open flames or fires allowed because of drought conditions. However, participants can prepare food with a proper camping cooking device.

  • Radical Self Reliance: bring your own stuff for survival
  • Community: do not depend on others for your care, but teaming up is awesome

Our programming is minimal and we encourage groups to plan parties and host them in their camps or in a common area away from tenting spaces/residences. If you have a project or plan you would like to do to generate activity let us know what it is at events@queerburners.com

  • Participation: everyone puts a hand in to make it work

The entirety of the land is available for all participants including an amazing body of water good for freezing your bits off if it is too cold. The County of Colusa has advised that water levels are expected to be low and that participants should be mindful and careful.

Every participant will be required to complete a waiver upon arrival or will not be allowed to stay on the land and will not get a refund.
Consent and mutual respect of your fellow beings is an absolute and intolerance will not be tolerated – period. Community standards will be a part of the waiver. Radical Inclusion is a core value in who we are. And it is not up to other people different than you to educate you on their bodies or appearance, so be respectful.

Sound and Structures
This is a camping based event without large structures. A building permit may be required for tens larger than about 200 square feet. There are no plans for any structures or stages at this time.

Sound
We anticipate amplified sound that requires a sound permit with the Sheriff Office. We will do our best to manage our sound and activity so it will have a minimal impact on the surrounding community.

Safety and Security
This is an event on land that is managed by the County of Colusa and the Federal Bureau of Reclamation and must be respected as such. We are operating on a series of permits and agreements. We will also likely have a presence of the Country Sheriff office inside and outside the premier of our event.

  • All participants, volunteers and attendees must sign a standard waiver for our events.

Note: There is an expectation that the event will occur without any issues in the community around the venue. As long as we are respectful there is likely to be no problems and we will act to mitigate those potential issues. The County has warned that there may be some neighbors that have an issue and the Sheriff department will be the buffer to limit any issues.

Security
Attendees will have to check in at the Gate. At that point a waiver needs to be signed and a ticket presented in order to access. All attendees MUST maintain an event bracelet to be in the event:
Color1: Attendees who are 18 to 21 who are not of drinking age
Color2: Attendees 21 and over with a ticket and signed a waiver
Color3: Attendees who do not want to be photographed or video

Tickets must be purchased in advance and online. Sales at the gate are at the discretion of the gate lead and supervising staff and have the right to turn people away. This is an 18 and over event – no minors. Anyone under 21 drinking or using illegal substances will be ejected with no refund. No illegal substances will be tolerated.

Medical
Volunteers will be asked to take a shift with medical training that are EMT or medically certified professionals and patrol the event with a centralized triage space. There should be 1 or ideally 2 people per shift.

Patrols
Since this is not an officially sanctioned Burning Man event it is not possible to have Black Rock City Rangers in their official roles, but we have trained Rangers who have been willing to assist. We will have trained volunteers in confrontation management and some with a psychological and drug training roaming our event to mitigate and potential interpersonal issues within the event and with visitors who have questions about our event.

Law Enforcement
The County of Colusa Sheriff Department may want to have patrol(s) but that will follow an assessment. That will also affect the costs below. The Sheriff will generally remain outside the event but may enter for any reason they determine. The LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) should always be treated with respect and welcomed.

Events in the time of Covid
How does Queerburners intend on making the area safe for its participants? We will follow all health and safety requirements as mandated by the State of California including:

  • Intentional limited ticket sales so that all people have room for social distancing
  • Requirements at check-in as determined by CDC and local Health Department

Even if we have to cancel or postpone the event. We care that our participants are healthy and safe at all of our events.

Ticket Pricing:
Base price is $75 – $175/person for the weekend with discounts and add-ons based on individual needs and financial position.
Limited access tickets for persons with financial hardship who apply for it.

Pre-Sale: July (Coming Soon)
Tiered Ticket Sales: September 1
To be considered of a lower priced ticket click here: https://forms.gle/gCdhZNNn1Kvp2vbTA

Queerburners had a Town Hall

How to find the Town Hall recording:

Topic: Queerburners Town Hall
Start Time : Jan 17, 2021 10:57 AM

Meeting Recording:
https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/q42qtiSg6CM9g0nGBFYUf3KorFbeNaczAWrWg0lMYLh_yozqOWvMhOshXT2OXPOK.3R_UEpX3dAMf401I

Feeling very grateful for the level of participation from this community. Since I started this thing so many years ago there have been a lot of people who have come and gone that took on some of the weight and added to the drive to find our successes. Today was not different and without a filter, the link above is to the whole meeting.

Thank you again to the current members of leadership for Queerburners:

  • Toaster founder of Queerburners – Chair
  • Wink from Tickled Mink – Communications
  • Matt from Land of Monkey – Clerk
  • Starduster from Comfort & Joy / Black Rock City Rangers – Events
  • Sara from Land of Monkey
  • Brace from Burners Without Borders – Treasurer (temporary)
  • Nexus from Comfort & Joy – EID
  • Joel from Gay Turtles – Technology

EMail sent to AOU 2018 Attendees

The following email was sent out to AOU attendees from 2018 about the future of Queer Burners.

——–

If you are receiving this it is because you were an attendee of ALL OF US 2018. We want to reach out to the community about a new focus and new future for this platform that is made with all of you in mind. You can participate as well… and I am genuinely reaching out to people (but read the following first)

Queer Burners has been around since 2008 and was created as a grounding for LGBTQ+ burners to be able to connect without boundaries. Sometimes camps and regions can seperate us, but this platform was always meant to cross borders, limits and hopefully spawn collaboration.

The mission is/has been: Building Community and Leadership Together.

We even have an updated logo for 2020 you can see at www.queerburners.com!

Queer Burners is working on a 501.c3 status with a board and a new strategy. It is absolutely neccessary to put our events and activities on solid ground. This way nothing is dependant on a single person and community is 100% in focus. 

With this 501.c3 status we can:

  • harness a better leadership structure for all matters ahead
  • set standards and operate within a space of people commited to our culture

There is a huge perk with this change! I am excited to be able to sponsor artists and performers and offer them the perks of our status. We will have a chance to network with other groups for the promotion of creativity in 10 principle based events and more.

Sounds good so far? EVERYONE receiving this is … yes EVERYONE is welcome on this journey. Our goal is to have diversity on the board and we are struggling with that. We are also looking to you for some insight into helping foster that future. 

To signal your desire to participate pleae complete this: https://forms.gle/izbER4vMq77SpEiGA

To join in on the Queer Burner Leadership Network: https://www.facebook.com/groups/queerburnersleadershipnetwork

On Twitter:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/queer.burners

All Queer Burners Links: http://blog.queerburners.org/go-to-burning-man#regional that include regional groups on and off Facebook, because not everyone depends on it. However, most of the links are on Facebook still. 

THANK YOU for taking the time to look this over. Feel free to submit feedback we for anything I might have missed in this message and reply to info@queerburners.com

The Comms Team meet on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month.

The Events and Entity Team meet on tbhe 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Sincerely,

Scott aka Toaster
Queer Burners
toaster@queerburners.com

Ignore all this outdated stuff below  – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

The future as a 501.c3 Organization

Queer Burners has been around since 2008 and has hosted Community and Leadership events over the years. It has also produced patches, created a network for LGBTQAI Burning Man participants to engage each other, and is always evolving.
At the same time the web page and service have often been static, has largely depended on a single person, and struggled to be financially solvent and stable to meet lofty goals. The good news that this is changing right now.

2 Teams have been meeting bi-weekly since May to prepare for a brighter future. It has been very exciting and inspiring so far. We are actively looking for stakeholders in leaders of today and tomorrow who want to be part of something brighter.

  • Events Team – Planning for ALL OF US 2021 and other new events over time.
  • Comms Team – Updating and evolving the web site, social media and communications.

We are also working towards becoming a 501.c3 which opens the door for us to do new and amazing things that is also so very exciting. By doing that we will need more people at the core to bring their talents to the table so we can establish a Board. Those roles have not been specifically defined yet so the field is open. However, there are a couple skill sets we are seeking right now (see below).

  • Lawyer and / or Law Student to be a Board Member in the role of Clerk & Clerk Assistant
  • CPA/Accountant to be a Board Member in the role of Treasurer
  • Writer/Editor to possibly be a member of the Board who will be the funnel for all external communications, press release, and promotions as Comms Manager.

Every interest is appreciated! If you want to go deep or to be a helper at an event we are embracing it all. If so please complete this form or share it with friends who you think might be a good fit: https://forms.gle/uFW62AE4yZJeKmos8 . Some of you might have filled this out already.

More news! With our 501.c3 status we will actively be looking to support artists with sponsorship for their work! For me personally this is one of the most exciting rewards for moving in this direction. It opens doors for art and performance in our community.

Is there compensation for joining the Board? Right now we are not in a position to offer remuneration for these roles. This is a community driven project still and we will be raising money for the costs to establish our legal status and start. No one has ever benefited financially with their involvement, but Queer Burners has paid some people for their services and work on a contract basis. 

Thank you for your time and attention! This is a call to action.

Queer Burners Mission Statement: “Building Community and Leadership together”

Ways leadership in this community is evolving.

With this shift in the Burnerverse and the community facing COVID-19 we have taken this as an opportunity for positive change. So we are dumping some things with Queer Burners that have not worked so well, improving some things that did, and then bringing on a few nice additions that are designed for the betterment of the community.

So far there are two teams working on the process and given the plan there is room for more. Queer Burners was initially created in 2008 to network queer participants and camps to promote community and leadership. This service has had some pretty big successes and offers a platform to keep building better and stronger.

You can be a part of it as well. There are opportunities on the horizon while we are working on other things. In short, the goal is to make Queer Burners an entity led by a board of which if anyone on that board leaves the team it can survive and thrive. Also, that we provide better resources for the community through social media and the web site. And, plan events and activities that we can build on like “ALL OF US”.

Current Teams

  1. Comms Team: We are currently filtering and highlighting some of the social media and content that could be more helpful. The Queer Burners Page on Facebook was eliminated to make the Queer Burners Group the main focal point of the community reducing some confusion.
  2. Events Team: We are working on an event post COVID-19 just to get people together if all works out, but additionally we are working on a new ALL OF US for 2021.

Our meetings begin with an agenda and notes are taken. Anyone wishing to join can get caught up very easily. The meetings on Zoom are also recorded so with approved access you can get caught up that way as well. Some new teams will take shape and new positions for volunteers will also slowly take shape.

Moving Forward

Your participation can be as deep as you have the ability to contribute. Some roles will require more time than others. The basic fact is that without a group of people working in consensus there is no future for Queer Burners or any related project. Queer Burners operates independently from a single camp so we have a chorus of voices working to a central agenda of Community and Leadership.

Building Community (1 of the 10 Principles) is the very core of what this project was designed to be about.

And secondly was building Leadership, which involved helping to raise those in the community who have the metal to lead to be successful. Someone once asked “who appointed you as leader?” and to them I say leaders are rarely appointed, they are raised. They volunteer and are not waiting for permission and can see something through even in the face of neigh-sayers who tell them it cannot be done.

Follow this link to a form to tell us about your interests: (link) https://forms.gle/YD7DTLDbi2Bmv3We9 Application Form

One of the top agenda items this year is to form a board because we are looking at an LLC. Board members should be able to take on specific roles with the projects at hand and in the future. Be able to be present for consensus voting and help guide the group into a direction with the 10 Principles as our guiding tenets.

Queer Burner Leadership Network (QBLN)

Leadership starts with an internal drive. It means someone sees a need and acts on it rather than just hoping someone else is willing to take it on. You do not need anyone’s permission. As long as you are acting on the best interest of the community, you are a leader. We have a network that has been around a few years on Facebook along with some notes on this site. < < check out these links

  • Leadership is more consensus based than ever and is working on creating a platform to solidify that by creating a Board and entity.
  • Giving the community a stronger voice by banding together.
  • Making sure personal safety and consent are always present all the time in our activities and events for all participants.

Why AOU2019 failed to launch

For the past 4 years from 2015 to 2018 Queer Burners / Scott K (Me) created an event with the goal of building bridges in our community. Before that for 3 or 4 years there was the Queer Burner Leadership events that also tried to do the same. Queer Burners has been a conduit of my personal agenda for a platform for leadership and participation for the LGBT participants of Burning Man. It would be a place that let us reach beyond our camp borders and help foster collaboration and more.

The Queer Burner Retreat we held at Groundswell for 2 years before moving to Saratoga Springs Retreat Center never really broke 150 in the last 3 years. Our first year we had 90. I feels like a tremendous success. In 2018 it started feeling like a real “Regional” style event, the kind of which maybe Burning Man Org could start getting behind. By all accounts, as a participant, it was a huge win.

Unfortunately the production team really struggled and some key players in the event moved on and away from this project. I have been involved with productions and events in the Burnerverse for almost a decade and discord is not an uncommon thing. Having different points of view are valid and my critics were standing on some very valid points. I do not want to get mired down in the details of that as it would not serve anyone to finger point or drag out any negativity further than it has.

For me – personally speaking – I am dealing with my own health crisis, my mothers serious medical issues (cancer, COPD and pneumonia to name a few), and struggles financially of my own. I never seem to have enough time and when the call went out for help to run AOU there were some answers but 20% of the team I needed. As we rolled into February (3 months before launch date) I realized I was not equipped (on several levels) to pull this off.

Before I signed a contract that committed me to a debt I could not climb out of. Before I paid for insurance for the event. I had to be sure I had the steam to do it. It was clear that I was not equipped to make this event happen.

If you want details why I had to pull out, and why this had to shut down AOU2019 as we knew it, I may share that soon as long as it does not seem or give the impression of negativity. Over the last year I feel like I learned a lot of hard lessons in life because 2018 really kicked my ass. Why is this about me? Queer Burners and LGBTProduction has been a sole proprietorship even though it had not-for-profit events like the ones listed above. Insurance, media, licensing and identity fell squarely on my shoulders. Hardly any of these things could be mentioned without my name being associated with it for all the work over the last 11 years.

Thankfully some of the people who worked with me in the past found a way to keep this possible magic alive. These are some of the brightest lights we have in our community. They are people of whom I think are amazing and better equipped to carry a torch into the future.

As for me? I have been forced to take a step back in order to move forward. For medical reasons and peace of mind I had to make this move. I dearly hope people can relate and understand. Maybe one day forgive me. Walk a mile in another person’s shoes before you think you understand what they are going through.

Finances:

Tickets Sales and Fund Raising was only about $5k since August of 2018 with the Indiegogo Campaign and Eventbrite ticket sales.

– All Eventbrite Ticket Sales were refunded as of 2/23/2018
– All Indiegogo Donations minus some expenses will be refunded over the next week

Expenses Include (but not limited to):
– $120. Facebook in Boosted Posts
– $250. Eventbrite Fees
– $250. Bank Fees (Checking Account and QuickBooks online)

Donations to cover fees:
– $500. – thank you

Thank you for 10 years… a little early

We are excited to see the many arms of ALL OF US coming together and ready to launch on January 1st. Ticket sales open then for the event happening in the end of May 2018. This is a unique and amazing period for us as Queer Burners hits 10 years of service to our community. Many people have taken advantage of our networking and leadership resources here. Many other people have been critical that our mission creates a bubble around queers at the event. Either way people are talking.

Thank you Scott Burdette for being so awesome.

We have learned over the years that LGBTQ people at Burning Man that are marginalized in the default world can experience the same things on playa. There are real dangers there as well as anywhere else in the world. In 2012 there was a visible shift in the people who were discovering Burning Man. Likely there were points in the past where seasoned burners could also note. Certainly the Queer Burner History portion of this site shows significant points of change on the playa.

Many of us still hold true to the 10 Principles that were created by Burning Man founders. They are dogma. With varying degrees of commitment we hold those principles in our daily lives even beyond the scope of the 5 square miles at Burning Man. In some cases we might have been guilty of building that bubble, but our strength is the ability to reflect and see it and refuse to be captured by it.

The “Gayborhood” has been through some serious transitions over time (also detailed in the history pages). It is a very important space for the safety of some burners who do not feel safe in a largely hetero-centric space with aggressive sexual and misogynist tones. The Placement part of Burning Man has struggled with understanding some needs at the burn and still have a blind eye when it comes to members of the population who need that recognition in order to be part of the rich blanket of diversity it wants to foster so bad.

We lost a valuable ally at the burn and at Placement named Hepkitten who really tried to make the Gayborhood everything we asked for. Not saying Bravo and their team are working against us, but they are not hearing the community and have forced a large spread of queer camps and from my point of view it has somewhat dimmed the light on the 7:30 sector. I am not sure what happen to Answergirl, she left Placement too, but I saw her slowly breaking down and struggling with the conversation with lgbt camp leaders.

Foxy: the voice in my head when I need it.

Anchor camps have taken on a whole new dimension with the 7:30 sector too. Glamcocks have risen to really shine on the playa taking center stage. They have proven themselves as being able to master the art of interactivity and evolution. They bring a pretty amazing setup with their dance club, led art, a speak easy, and a new and amazing bar. This is a camp that has really grown and embraced performance and participation on the playa. They have also made a lot of effort to be engaged in the community as a whole.

Art cars have been the new growth factor among queer camps. BAAAHS is still the super star and it has also innovated and been a real community partner. The energy and visibility of this amazing moving art piece has been the anchor of queer arts. In it’s wake other BAAAHS village camps have also been adding art cars, inspired by there silver balled older sibling. The Salamander car has been around a while based at the Comfort & Joy village. And AstroCats art car made it’s maiden appearance in 2017 which is very exciting. Rumor has it more are coming in 2018!!!! Stay tuned.

Thank you to all the people who help Queer Burners shine. Many of you are listed on the page about leaders who really step up (click here). Thank you toAdam Adam, Justin, Juzten, Pretzel, Foxy, Russ, Jason and more for walking this journey with me. To so many over the past who have also helped Queer Burners get to 10 years.

Site Update

Saratoga Springs Cabin Map
Saratoga Springs Cabin Map

So if you check the feed you will see a few changes to the site including a few pages added to the over all program. Got a little behind as the Burner season was chilling out and started working on other projects. Never too much time to watch mama’s stories and eat bon-bon’s because sissy got stuff to do. Like ALL OF US basic planning along with some of the fine folks already helping to get the wheels turning!

2018 ALL OF US banner

ALL OF US is going to be at the same place this year, which is very exciting. Back to Saratoga Springs Retreat Center we go and tickets are already selling. Wait? What?? Well, the people who are already on the production team are getting their tickets as well as those who pledged some cash flow for us last August during the fund raiser. Check your inboxes or your Eventbrite logins, If nothing there then hits us up through the contact page.

Have you seen this land yet? Maybe you did not make it last year, but it is so beautiful and plush. The land is owned by radical faeries who are an amazing community with principles much like our 10 Principles. They are also radical, queer and have an amazing positive world view. You can see even more on the event page (linked here) and not to be confused with the official web site link here www.allofusevent.com.

TICKET SALES: Jan 1, 2018

Prices are going up a little from last year, but we will make it well worth your while. This space is super amazing and just refreshing on all levels. We see people coming in from all over the world to join us here and that in itself is exciting. To join in and be a part of the production team please fill out the questionaire: including art installations, work shops, or whatever you think will make this event even more exciting.

Ticketing Link: Eventbrite Link (https://allofusevent.eventbrite.com)

Production Team / Art / Performance Application: Google Form Link

This is a 18+ event. No pets. No children. All ticket sales are final.