Black Friday is upon us, but it is doubtful that Sears is going to have the perfect gift for your queer friends with niche interests. That’s where Queer Mall comes in. An LGBTQ+ safe space that promotes community over gluttony, this first annual event is one to add to the shopping schedule.
On Saturday, December 14, EVERYBODY Gym is hosting the Queer Mall to highlight diverse vendors that create locally-made and thoughtfully-produced goods.
“The name came from the idea of “queering” the mall – a space that typically connotes mass-produced goods and emotionally-void exchanges within the oppressive confines of capitalism.,” event coordinator Isabel Osgood-Roach said. “We wanted to create an intimate, thoughtful shopping environment that is accessible and affirming for both vendors and shoppers.”
Attendees will find a variety of vendors with a wide array of products – clothing, apothecary, wellness items and services, art, ceramics and food – with most items for sale for under $100.
“Some vendors, such as Otherwild, are very well-known, while others haven’t had the opportunity to sell their goods in public before.,” Osgood-Roach said. “Shoppers will be able to meet and connect with the makers of these products – a rare person-to-person exchange in the age of online selling!”
The entrance fee to Queer Mall is sliding scale $5-$15, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. The event will feature food, music, a dressing room and a bounce house for children.
“Community events are beautiful because they bring people with overlapping interests together and hold the potential of forging meaningful connections,” Osgood-Roach said. “From my perspective, the LGBTQ+ community in LA can always use more events that aren’t geared around alcohol consumption. Meeting new people in person isn’t easy, and events create physical space for that. I also think the LGBTQ community appreciates the ethics of shopping small. The emotional and material difference between buying something from a nameless Amazon vendor versus giving the money directly to the person who made the product is significant. I know I’m always excited to give money for goods and services to people who will circulate it thoughtfully in my local community!”
The event will be held at EVERYBODY’s recently-opened sister space, SIBLING.
“The idea was threefold: I wanted to create a setting for queer, POC, or otherwise systemically marginalized vendors to sell their goods without a potentially prohibitive fee or an exclusive ‘invite-only’ framework,” Osgood-Roach said. “In addition, the EVERYBODY gym community is very creative, so I thought it would be great to highlight the amazing, thoughtfully-produced products that gym-goers are making. That said, not all vendors are EVERYBODY regulars. Our vendor call was open to the larger LA community and I received many inquiries via word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, I had to put folks on a vendor waitlist because we got so much interest!”
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook