San Diego's "Starbucks Karen" Is Hosting A "Burn Your Mask Bon Fire"

July 21, 2020

San Diego's "Starbucks Karen" isn't done yet! You'll recall her online post about a local barista who asked her to wear a face mask went viral after which he received over $100,000 in tips from a GoFundMe in his honor. Now she is planning a 'Burn Your Mask Bon Fire" on Mission Bay next month.

"Call to action Beach Bonfire, bring your signs, marshmallows, and masks, all pro medical freedom advocates we will burn masks in protest of recent recommendations forced by the Governor in hopes of shutting the economy down and shaming us into compliance using discrimination," reads the Facebook Event Page for the 'Burn Your Mask Bonfire'. "This is a family friendly event."

The post that started it all!
On June 22, Amber Lynn Gilles made a post on her personal Facebook account about her experience at a Starbucks in San Diego's Clairemont Mesa neighborhood where an employee asked her to wear a mask. The post almost immediately went viral and became national news, resulting in a GoFundMe campaign entitled "Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen" with the sole purpose of providing gratitude to the Starbucks' employee, Lenin Gutierrez. The crowd-sourced campaign ultimately raised more than $100,000 for the young man, who intends to use the money to pursue his education and open a dance studio for children.

After making national news, Gilles came forward and stated she will be seeking half of the money that went to Gutierrez, claiming the GoFundMe resulted in discrimination and defamation of her character. Gilles continued to claim an inability to wear the requisite facial covering due to suffering from a fibroid tumor, asthma and mask acne. Gilles has launched her own GoFundMe in an attempt to raise funds "to pay for legal fees to redress my character."

There are also three separate GoFundMe campaigns that mention Gilles by name - one from a young woman who wants to become a lawyer to fight people like her, another from a lawyer that wants to represent Gutierrez if Gilles comes after him, and a third to hire a lawyer for Gutierrez if he needs. There is also a petition to have Gilles banned from all Starbucks locations that has amassed more than 8,000 signatures. At one point last month, there was another GoFundMe launched by a person reportedly trying to get Gilles evicted from their mother-in-law's home, but that campaign was allegedly pulled after Gilles obtained a restraining order against the organizer.

Gilles' latest move is organizing an event to take place at Ski Beach Park on San Diego's Mission Bay on Saturday, August 7. The "Burn Your Mask Bon Fire" is co-organized with Brandon Ross, another 'anti-masker' that is seemingly organizing protests around the country. Currently, the event has 4 Facebook accounts "going" and 26 "interested."