Queer Field Day: Bringing Community Together
In May of 2021, Lilly Brown, an unscripted TV producer by day, musician, event planner and moonlights as a queer content creator on TikTok, released a video inviting queer people to a beach day at Venice Beach. The idea was sparked by one of her TikTok followers who asked about how she met so many queer friends. Coincidentally, two of her close friends, married couple Adrianne and Kayleen Casey were key players in planning, organizing, and executing the games and activities for that day. Their beach meet-up, featuring games, and activities like the Icebreaker Bingo, and Capture the Pride Flag, brought in hundreds of attendees, coming together to feed the need for community and camaraderie.
The success of the event established the first Queer Field Day with Lilly, Adrianne, and Kayleen as the co-founders and driving force behind the organization.
In an interview with KCRW, Lilly says, “In regular life, you never know if someone’s queer just by being in the same room with them. But if you’re in a queer space, it’s just that much easier to know: ‘Everyone around me as queer. Everyone’s gonna relate to me. I don’t have to worry about anything.’ It’s hard to find these places. We can’t just go to a bar.”
The closure of two prominent lesbian bars: The Palms in West Hollywood (2013) and The Oxwood Inn (2017), the 45-year-old bar in Van Nuys known for its LA LGBTQ nightlife, left a void in the community. At the heart of Queer Field Day events is the goal of creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people, beyond the bar scene, to forge friendships, have fun, and find community.
The next beach day meet up–in June 2021–organized by the trio was more successful than the last one; attendance nearly doubled. Attendees met, once again, at the rainbow lifeguard tower at Venice Beach—some coming as far as Portland.
“People embraced what we were trying to do so hard. It was people immediately in line being like, ‘Did you come alone? I came alone, let’s be friends. And they introduced each other and themselves and talked about their backstory. And a huge circle, like the first 50 people to show up, just sat down and talked about their backstory. And I thought that was exactly what we were trying to do,” recalls co-founder of Queer Field Day, Kayleen Casey.
In more than a year since the first event, Queer Field Day organized multiple events around Los Angeles, including collaborating with likeminded organizations such as Hot Donna’s Clubhouse, Sum of Us Festival and Out of Mind Fest. In addition, they’ve also organized Queer Field Day takeovers from sporting events such as WNBA games supporting the LA Sparks, and the Women’s Tackle Football league, supporting the LA Legends. Their events have also included art shows, poetry nights, and dance sessions. And, they’re only getting started.
As co-founders, Lilly, Kayleen, and Adriane emphasizes the importance of having an online presence and a space that makes people feel safe. And that’s exactly what Queer Field Day provides.
“It’s just a place where you can get that warm embrace you’ve needed your life,” Lilly shares in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
For more information on this amazing organization, visit their website. You can also follow them on Instagram @queerfieldday.