Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Have a “Big Gay” Valentine’s Day

Lina Gildenstern

The night club Legacy opened its doors on Feb. 11 for the third annual Big Gay Valentine Market, hosted by New England Open Markets, making a shopping experience like no other. 

It was an event for LGBTQ+ and ally artists and designers to sell their products in a safe queer space. Visitors were welcome to buy anything their hearts desired from clothing, vinyls and candles to accessories, DIY kits and more, all while being surrounded by loud pop music, drinks, colorful lights and good vibes. 

The market was smaller than a typical Boston market, with around 40 vendors, which created a more intimate setting, allowing sellers to exchange with one another as well as with visitors and connect in genuine conversations. The atmosphere was welcoming and family-like. 

The market was focused on small businesses, with many being environmentally conscious as well. Most of the products sold were secondhand or created from eco-friendly or upcycled materials. Kelly Surprenant, owner of Rainbow Rack, buys second-hand items and adds embroidery because sustainability is essential for her. 

“My goal is to create fashion without the environmental impact and exploitation of the fashion industry, as we typically know it,” said Surprenant.

 The existence of a queer-specific market is very important for the community, said vendor Emma Peacock. 

 “As a queer maker in Boston, it’s very hard to find your niche and it’s very hard to find community, too. Being able to connect with other queer members, being able to be in such an inclusive space is really important to me,” she said.

 Peacock added that because queer shop owners and artists continue to experience discrimination, these marketplaces provide valuable support. 

“It’s really important to me to be in a space where queer makers are celebrated instead of kind of kept out,” Peacock said. 

She has, like many other members of the community, previously experienced rejection applying for markets because she is a queer artist creating items for the LGBTQ+ community. 

This safe space is important for more than just shop owners. According to visitor Jordan Korgood, patrons also enjoyed and appreciated the creation of a place to shop, have a drink and simply enjoy each other’s company without judgment or discrimination.

“I just love to see all the creativity here. I love seeing all the different things that queer people are creating,” they said.

The highlight of the market was a drag show by performer Violencia Exclamation Point, which made the whole market come together and enjoy the beauty of queer performance art.

Follow Lina on Twitter @linaleonax

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lina Gildenstern, Graduate Staff Writer | she/her
Lina is an applied politics graduate student from Duesseldorf, Germany. Next to international politics and writing, her passion is dancing, where she frequently competes in battles and performs in shows. In her spare time, she enjoys doing yoga, running, and listening to Beyonce. She hopes to work as a political journalist or for an NGO after graduation.

Comments (0)

All The Suffolk Journal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Have a “Big Gay” Valentine’s Day