Brooklyn's LadyLand returned for its second edition at Brooklyn Mirage last weekend, 6/28-6/29. The two-day festival is put on by longtime event producer and promoter Ladyfag, who has released a statement after security was accused of "brutalizing" a black queer woman and black trans woman. Buzzy, LA-based fashion brand and DJs No Sesso -- who made their NYFW debut in February -- posted to Instagram and Tumblr about an incident they say house stylist Amber and head designer Pierre experienced at the event, and they include photographs of bruises they say were sustained during the incident. Pierre was also arrested. Here is their statement in full, followed by Ladyfag's:
FROM NO SESSO:
This past Saturday, June 29th our stylist Autumn was attacked by 4-6 white/Latinx security guards and an additional accomplice at Ladyfag’s Ladyland event that took place at the venue Brooklyn Mirage, owned by Avant Gardner.
We have yet to see footage, and it is still unclear what the catalyst was, but we are told Autumn was restrained because there were no in’s and out’s at the venue; however she was just making a phone call, and we were outside with Ladyfag less than an hour before the incident took place, and were let back in.
Autumn managed to call our head designer Pierre where she saw Autumn on the ground being pinned by the group of men. Pierre immediately rushed to Autumn’s defense and punched one of the men twice in the face out of fear, and was pinned by the group of men who then started to put their knees in her back and applied full force as a result.
Autumn was then restrained and put in an ambulance where she was antagonized by an EMT, handcuffed, and strapped down and sent to a psych ward. Because of her clean record, Pierre was set to be released but instead was arrested and taken the 90th Brooklyn Precinct because the man who was punched pressed charges. The police told the only known witnesses to leave. Both have visible marks and bruises, and are still in pain.
During the altercation, both lost their phones and were unable to contact anyone they know. Thankfully Pierre still had her purse and was able to hail down a cab; and a good Samaritan saw Autumn and drove her to the location where we were staying.
Since then, we’ve gone to the venue three times to retrieve their phones after being given the runaround in person and over email by multiple staff members and the head of security.
Autumn was able to file a police report in order to start the process of pressing charges against her attackers who are still hard to identify, but Pierre is unable to since there is now an assault charge against her. She is set to come back to NY on July 31st to appear in court. We were told we’d be contacted by the police in two days, but have yet to hear back.
Our team reached out to Ladyfag directly in an effort to receive support and solidarity and to hold the venue accountable for their security guards. But she apparently has been “advised” by whomever to remain silent, and expressed that it is in “the polices hands now”.
She is clearly taking advantage of for personal gain, and has chosen to remain silent when this could be a great opportunity to help alleviate our situation by simply expressing solidarity and publicly condemning Brooklyn Mirage and their security guards. So we are reaching out to our community and allies to help support us in anyway possible.
We do not know how much everything will cost, but we are aiming to raise $25k to help cover the cost of lawyer fees, travel to and from NY, lodging, trauma counseling, medical fees, and the additional costs accrued by having to stay in NY longer than planned.
We appreciate any and everything you can do, including getting the word out.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
No Sesso ❤️
Ladyfag posted a response on her Instagram.
Last weekend I and about 8,000 friends & guests came together for two magical evenings in Brooklyn. It was amazing to see so many humans celebrating Pride together and enjoying themselves. Regrettably, I need to address the unfortunate event at the end of Saturday night involving Autumn and Pierre of No Sesso. It particularly saddens me as I'm a fan of No Sesso and was excited to have finally met them that night.
The implication that I am just staying silent is misguided and hurtful. My reluctance to comment publicly has nothing to do with my clear and demonstrated solidarity with the queer community. I've been silent, despite the many hurtful things said on social media, because I wanted to sort fact from fiction and find out what really happened that night.
While I did not see what happened first-hand, I have heard several differing accounts from people who were there, and I have seen evidence, and I can tell you sadly that this is even more serious than has been reported in No Sesso's version of events. I am an ally, and the first instinct is to protect my community. But upon a few days of investigating, many of the claims do not quite add up. Pierre were arrested for assault, and Autumn was restrained and hospitalized as they felt she was a danger to herself and to others.
As an event producer it's up to me to try and do my best to make sure people are protected and that the venues security is trained to understand as best as possible who my community is and how to behave in their presence. But when an assault is taking place and the police are called it is because there is a reason and it is unfortunately never pleasant for anyone.
The person they admitted punching in the face is not a security guard. He is not only my friend, but a gay Latino man who has worked in nightlife for more than 20 years without incident and someone who is always standing up and being there for our/his community.
As No Sesso's PR rep kindly wrote us, "there are three sides to every story." & I have personally spent the past few days trying to get to the bottom of what actually occurred. I understand the desire to defend anyone at our community at all costs. I feel the same. While I am sad and sympathetic to the trauma that Autumn and Pierre are likely feeling, I cannot allow a false narrative to take hold without comment.
As some of you know I've been an advocate, member, and event producer for over a decade in the LGBTQ community. I am not perfect, but I bust my ass trying my best to create a home for all of you to come and enjoy and feel safe in. What happened on the Saturday of pride weekend goes against everything I've worked really hard to create over these years.
I am trying to get all the facts correct as possible, so the truth can come out instead of the accusations. I am doing my best to understand the entire incident so that going forward my parties continue to be a safer and most special place for everyone. Thank you for your attention.
No Sesso reposted Ladyfag's response in a now-expired Instagram story, and captioned it "lies." Both regular Instagrams are embedded below: