Austin's LGBTQ+ community shined this weekend, as over 130 local vendors gathered to showcase a vibrant array of goods ranging from handmade items to vintage treasures. The Big Ole Queer Market, now in its second year, turned the Palmer Events Center into a bustling holiday bazaar on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Organized by Gratien Jamail of Ella’s Apothecary, in partnership with The Little Gay Shop, the market aims to bolster LGBTQ+-owned small businesses by reducing costs for vendors and creating a memorable shopping experience for patrons.
Attendees had the chance to meet directly with shop owners, an aspect that Jamail emphasized as key to the event’s mission. "They want to meet the person making it…they want to know they are supporting that business and helping that person do what they love and stay afloat," Jamail told KXAN in an interview. While the market celebrated the season, Austin's support for LGBTQ+ establishments extends beyond the holidays, according to a list compiled by KVUE featuring area businesses to support during Pride Month and throughout the year.
These local enterprises cover a gamut of services and products, from the culinary delights at Arlo Grey and Lick Honest Ice Creams to retail shops like FLAVNT Streetwear and Sir Rat Leather and Gear. Alongside, service providers like ATX Videos and Austin Cat Sitters offer a diverse range of professional offerings. The array of establishments highlights the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit thriving within Austin's LGBTQ+ community.
Austin celebrates its Pride in August, diverging from the nationally recognized June timeline. Nevertheless, entities like Bookwoman and The Little Gay Shop become hubs for community engagement and pride, not just limited to a single month. The uplifting of LGBTQ+-owned businesses remains a cornerstone for the local economy and cultural fabric, with community support bolstering these ventures year-round. According to the list provided by KVUE, venues like Gelateria Gemelli and Garden Seventeen cater to a wide range of tastes and interests, further enriching the city's diverse business landscape.