Queer Mercado: The Latino marketplace in East LA that focuses on LGBTQ+ businesses and brands

Queer Mercado is the first Latino marketplace that solely focuses on LGBTQ+ businesses and brands.

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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Queer Mercado is seen as an opportunity for these businesses to grow. It started last year with 40 vendors and now has more than 100.

EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In East Los Angeles, there's a street market where the intersection of Latino and the LGBTQ+ culture meet.

Queer Mercado is the first Latino marketplace that solely focuses on LGBTQ+ businesses and brands.

Diana Diaz is a co-founder of Queer Mercado and credits her parents with teaching her how to build a business.

They emigrated to L.A. from Mexico in pursuit of the American dream.

"We'd sell pillows and this is how my parents would make their money," said Diaz. "They didn't have jobs because they couldn't speak the language so they formed business on their own."

Diaz and co-founder Gaudencio Marquez launched Queer Mercado last summer. Vendors pay $65 to secure a spot every third Saturday of the month.

"The vendors vary from people who sell and make soaps, jewelry, people who are making candles but also creating," said Marquez. "This shirt that I got, and this hat that I got, I got it from the Queer Mercado."

According to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, LGBTQ+ businesses provide $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy.

"I tell everyone, 'Who do you want to support? Do you want to support a luxury brand of a person you don't know or support and buy from someone you love?'" said Diaz.

Queer Mercado is seen as an opportunity for these businesses to grow. It started last year with 40 vendors and now has more than 100.

"It's thanks to the community that we are growing," said Diaz. "It's beautiful."