LGBTQ businesses, performers come together for first ‘Big Gay’ flea market

Media Credit: Matt Dynes | Staff Photographer

Town Danceboutique is hosting 'Big Gay Flea: A Queer Market' Sunday.

One of the District’s most popular gay bars will host D.C.’s first LGBTQ flea market and an all-day party this weekend.

Town Danceboutique is hosting Big Gay Flea: A Queer Market Sunday. Starting at noon and lasting until 5 p.m., about 30 vendors from in and around the District will set up shop in the Town parking lot to sell things like dirty t-shirts, drag gear, accordion fans with sassy sayings and vintage clothing. The event is open to all ages but the indoor portion will be 21 and over with a DJ, a bar open and drag queens performances.

Aaron Riggins, one of the event coordinators and a bartender at Town, said he has been planning the event with Donna Slash, who is a drag queen that performs in D.C., and Ed Bailey, one of the owners of Town, for a few weeks.

“It all came together pretty last minute,” Riggins said.

Riggins said he was excited to work on the project and thinks that Town was intrigued by the “community-oriented” idea.

In June, the owners of Town announced that they will close their doors in July 2018. Riggins said the event is not tied to the club’s closing.

The event will feature drag performances at the indoor portion of the event, which Riggins said he’s been calling the “Big Gay Tea.” D.C.’s favorite drag queens, like Pussy Noir, BaNaka and Jasmine Tea, will all be in attendance.

Slash, a D.C. drag queen whose birth name is Joshua Vogelsong, will be one of the hostesses. Slash said the event was her idea and that she worked with Town to make it happen. She said she wanted the event to have a “classic dirty flea market” vibe but have a fun party element as well.

In addition to planning the event, Slash will be performing at 5 p.m. She said she came into the drag scene about four years ago when she hosted her first drag show. Afterward, she was exploring the drag scene but said she officially started doing drag about two years later because she “loves the extremes.”

“My favorite part of doing drag is being able to look like how I’ve always wanted to look,” Slash said.

Slash said they are hoping to have “a couple hundred people” show up to Sunday’s event and so far more than 2,000 people have expressed interest in attending the event on its Facebook page.

About 30 vendors are expected to participate, including Magical Girl Tarot Readings, Philadelphia-based Come On Strong — which sells hand-printed t-shirts and pins — and Clack That Fan, a bamboo fan company from the District.

Mundy, who owns an online vintage clothing shop called Junk in Mundy’s Trunk, will also be setting up shop. Mundy said they sell vintage clothing mostly through Instagram but frequent pop-up markets around the District as well. In addition to running Junk in Mundy’s Trunk, Mundy performs in a four-piece band by the same name.

The vintage clothing collector said they started their company about three years ago when their friends continuously asked to be dressed by them. Mundy added that they got involved in the event because their brand fit well with the rest of the event.

“I can definitely dress a drag queen,” Mundy said. “In heels and head to toe sequins – in a size 12.”

The vintage clothes that will be sold at the flea market are “all the glitz and glam the gay community needs” and feature Mundy’s typical collection of androgynous and comfortable styles, they said.

Mundy said that while they have attended and hosted numerous pop-up shop events before, they have never heard of one quite like this.

“I can’t remember the last time there was a market that was specifically queer-centric so that’s cool,” Mundy said. “It says ‘a queer market’ in the title, it doesn’t get much more gay than that.”

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