Mission Statement

Founded on Burning Man culture, the mission of Queerburners is to cultivate inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA+ people and allies by fostering community and leadership.

Case Statement

Queerburners originally started in 2008 as a platform to network LGBTQIA+ Burning Man participants by creating an online space for the community. Many camps and smaller groups in regions around the world existed, but no organization that was guided by the 10 Principles which allowed people in these groups to engage and collaborate. Through our website and social media, the group created more interactions and engagement that grew organically over time.

Queerburners has also created and launched events for leadership and community engagement in safe spaces. These spaces are very important to people who are marginalized in the outside world and sometimes in the Burning Man community.

Our events have put LGBTQIA+ artists and performers in the spotlight. We have cultivated and encouraged leadership and mentorship in the community. Looking forward, we will continue to produce events that seek to inspire collaboration.

By assisting artists and performers and working with other 501(c)(3) organizations, Queerburners helps community members succeed in the expression of their art. The organization will support LGBTQIA+ participants who seek funding to bring art projects to Burning Man and other community events and spaces. 

Queerburners centers diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values of our community. Consent culture and safe places are key tenets of Queerburners, particularly for people of color, transgender, and non-binary persons.

Lastly, Queerburners advocates for Queer Spaces in the Burning Man community which includes the Queer neighborhoods at Burning Man.

Vision Statement

We imagine a future where LGBTQIA+ Burners wield the power and resources to thrive in the celebration of a truly inclusive Burner community through arts and performances, and are able to sustainably contribute to the culture of Burning Man and the world.

Queer Burners (dba Queerburners): is a non-profit with the IRS : > click here < to see our filing status

Leadership 2021

The current Board of Queerburners were placed at the formation meeting in January 2021, with the anticipation that there will be adjustments as we move into the year. We are still asking the community for qualified and interested people in a couple roles with the Board, our Officers and in Support roles. These openings are listed below. 

Terms of service vary for 1, 2 and 3 years from September to September annually. How do I become a Board Member, Officer or Support person for Queerburners?

Voting Board Members - 2021

Additional Roles - 2021

  • Grant and Asset Manager for Artists - reports to Treasurer (Accepting Applications)
  • Art and Performance Manager - report to Events Officer (Accepting Applications)
  • Marketing and Public Relations Officer - reports to Communications Officer (Accepting Applications)
  • Social Media Manager - reports to Communications Officer (Nexus)

Support and Logistics

Paid Positions 

  • Lawyer (Accepting Applications)

Participate in our Do-acracy:

Success is not achieved by sitting on the sidelines. The foundation has been laid by 10 years of history, but looking ahead we have a chance to shine in new and brighter ways. 

How do you get engaged? The first step is showing up. The Board will be meeting at least once a month and will break out into committees that will curve back to the board through reporting and engagement.

Board Member terms typically start in September and can run for 1, 2 and 3 years and can be renewed by a vote on the Board. As we start anew there might be some initial shifting around as we grow into the year and set the path ahead. 

In the immediate future our sights are set on:

  • A committee focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community led by Nexus
  • The future of ALL OF US (a regional style event) led by Starduster
  • A path to funding local artists and performers - team forming

Leadership in our community starts with pulling on your playa boots and walking the walk. We are the path we forge. Be the change you want to be and do not be surprised that there are others who want to walk that road with you. 

Begin here:  Application for Participation: Board & Officer Roles with Org | Events Participation


Scott Kraske (Kay) / Toaster

Chair, He/Him

Founder, Queerburners in 2008 long before it went legit by becoming a non-profit with the Board. Burner Resume:

  • Producer: ALL OF US 2017 & 2018
  • Producer: Spring Retreat 2015 & 2016
  • Producer: Queer Burner Leadership Summit 2013 & 2014
  • Producer: Forgotten City 2011 (official)
  • Official Logo: 2009 (official)
  • BM Art for Playa 2011, 2012, 2013
  • BM Cultural Direction Setting Phase 2 Team 8 2020
  • BM Global Leadership attendee: 2011 to 2017
  • Admin: San Francisco Burners Facebook
  • Admin: BMTCO Group on Facebook
  • Theme Camp Creator and Producer: 2012 to 2019
  • Black Rock Ranger 2022 (Fingers Crossed!)

I came across Burning Man and it shook my life. I swear it was during my mid-life crisis which might still be going on. Because it shook me to the core. I started exploring new ideas about my own life and the things I could do and accomplish.

Queerburners Committees

  • Events, Finance, Communications, EID



Matt McCabe

Co-Chair, He/Him/They

Burner Resume:

  • Mayor, Land of Monkey Theme Camp 2020 & 2021
  • Theme Camp Lead 2017, 2018, 2019

Matt has been burning since 2016.

Queerburners Committees:

  • Communications, Finance, EID



Kurt Gibson / Starduster

Events Director, He/Him

Burner Resume:

  • Comfort & Joy Theme Camp 2018 & 2019
  • Land of MonkeyTheme Camp 2017
  • Sun Guardians Theme Camp 2015 & 2016
  • Burning Man 2012-2019
  • Black Rock Ranger 2015-2019
  • Saguaro Man 2015, Ranger
  • IgNight Flow Conference 2015, Ranger
  • Burning Man Global Leadership Conference 2016-2017, volunteer
  • Burning Man Decompression 2015-2019 Ranger
  • Burning Man ARTumnal 2015-2018 volunteer
  • Comfort & Joy Touch and AfterGlow art/production volunteer 2014-2020

Queerburners Committees:

  • Events, Communications, EID

As a native Californian, a long-time San Franciscan, a gay man, a third-world traveler, and retired humanitarian worker, the fundamental ethos of the ten principles resonated deeply within me from the first moment I read them online. My first burn was in 2012 and since then I have I developed deeper connections within the Burning Man community thru my involvement with the Black Rock Rangers (2015 to 2019), theme camps, volunteering at numerous local & regional events, and with the Queer Burner community.


Community Successes:

  • Envision Music Festival 2017-2018, Costa Rica, Security Assistant Lead/Interpreter
  • AIDS Lifecycle 2014 rider
  • SF Pride 2005-2015 volunteer (Project Open Hand)
  • Folsom Street Events 2007-2019, event volunteer
  • Castro Street Fair 2010-2014 gate volunteer
  • Gay4Good 2015-2020 volunteer
  • Billy Foundation 2015-2021

JR / Nexus

RIDE: Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Director, He/Him

Burner Resume:

  • Comfort & Joy Theme Camp
  • Co-Lead, Burners Without Borders DC Working Group
  • Co-Lead, DC Burners Consent & Conduct Working Group
  • Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer, Comfort & Joy Board
  • Regional Contact, DC Burner Community

Queerburners Committees:

  • EID, Communications

2013 was my first year making the trek to Black Rock City. In 2014 I started a storytelling project that was produced and presented at our local Fringe Festival, putting DC Burners on stage. I've gone to regionals and worn many hats over the years. And I attended the last three Global Leadership Conferences.


  • Twitter @AWayofLife0
  • TicToc @AWayofLife0

Ruth Etcheverria / Terror

Clerk, She/Her/They

Burner Resume:

  • Nordic Camp, 2018
  • Church of the Open Mind, 2019

Queerburners Committees:

  • EID, Special Project Managing Docs & Records

My passion for the Burning Man community stems from the sense of peace, shared existence, and personal expression that I felt in Black Rock City. In the default world I have always experienced challenges in externally representing myself how I feel internally and having the sense of safety and acceptance to interact with unknown people (...introvert here!). Burning Man provided me with a space where I grew in my sense of self, and experienced radical love, acceptance, and expression. With this impact on my life, I want to involve myself in the Burning Man community year-round to support the growth of like spaces centered around intentional actions building diversity, equity, and inclusion. In 2018 and 2019 I was fortunate enough to ride my motorcycle to Burning Man. I am a public school teacher with a grounding in critical pedagogy. Over my years teaching I have led seminars on queer inclusive education at the district level, acted as a founding member of my district's equity committee, and completed an MA in Human Rights Education (focusing upon queer experiences).


Sara Pugh

Special Projects, She/Her

Grants Committee Lead

Burner Resume:

  • Land Of Monkey Theme Camp 2018 to 2021
  • Celestial Bodies, Accelerant Events - Virtual Support 2020
  • HeadCount
  • Earth Charter Indiana
  • Burning Man's Vitural Experience Support Service Team (VEST)
  • BRCvr Events Team

Queerburners Committees:

  • Communications, Finance, Budgeting

I became involved with the Burning Man community in 2018 as a member of the Land of Monkey Camp usually in the 7:30 sector. In 2020 I joined the virtual events team for Celestial Bodies' monthly Accelerant events. I enjoy working on efforts that support and build our community and am currently also volunteering with Virtual Experience Support Services Team, BWB Green Theme Camp Power Team, and BRCvr Events Team. 


  • HeadCount, Earth Charter Indiana, Burning Man's Vitural Experience Support Service Team (VEST), BRCvr, and Co-Reality Collective 

Joel Spolsky

Web Manager & General IT Nerd, He/Him

Burner Resume:

  • Gay Turtles Theme Camp Founder, 2018 & 2019

Queerburners Committees:

  • Communications

A mostly retired programmer and startup person, Joel was the founder of Stack Overflow, Trello, Fog Creek, and Glitch. Today he works on LED art and volunteer projects involving Burning Man.