Where to find queer community in Los Angeles

Queer Mercado

(Gaudencio Marquez)

School counselor Diana Diaz knew Latinx youth needed a family-friendly space to engage with queer peers and elders in East L.A., but the Queer Mercado has evolved in ways she hadn’t imagined.

First dates, two engagements, a number of familial reconciliations and introductions to a loved one’s queerness have all taken place at the monthly market. A typical mercado experience may feature queer DJs, drag shows, poetry and comedy, dance lessons and youth music performances.

The mercado was co-created by Ryan Montez, who oversees entertainment coordination, and Gaudencio Márquez, who oversees outreach and helms a complementary podcast, which highlights members of the mercado community.

The vibe is lively, with no smoking or drinking allowed. From June to September 2022, the mercado will provide a free 10-by-10-foot space for school-age students interested in selling their art and crafts or launching their small business.

Instagram: @thequeermercado
Where: Hilda L. Solis Learning Academy, 319 N. Humphreys Ave., East Los Angeles

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