Queer Austin cornerstone won't be so little after relocating to East 12th Street
The Little Gay shop is not so little anymore — or it won't be, after July 30. Something between a book store and a gift shop (tied to no larger organization except the general existence of queerness), this merch shop has had a busy little life in a shed on Airport Boulevard, and now it's moving to bigger pastures.
The new location is at 1902 E. 12th St., a scrappy little pocket of independent stores and bars like Outer Heaven and King Bee. It is slated for its grand reopening on August 26, so the store is saying bye for now at a garage sale and closing party on its last day on Airport.
Although the Little Gay Shop is, in fact, very little, it has had a big influence on queer life in Austin through the many events it's helped organize. Its involvement ranges from queer nights out for comedy show pregames to several markets at home and around town during events.
The merchandise is also more subversive than one might expect entering the unassuming space. Some tote bags boldly disparage Texas politicians; art of all kinds declares support for trans people, immigrants, and abortions; and if the book selection doesn't cover every inch of the queer experience, it'd be hard to pinpoint what's missing.
In the interim, the Little Gay Shop will host its second annual ATX Pride Market on August 6 at Distribution Hall. More than 70 vendors are participating, and visitors can enjoy local snacks while browsing and enjoying the company of LGBTQIA+ friends and allies.
"When we first opened the shipping container three years ago in the middle of a global pandemic, we had no idea what the future would hold or what to expect," said the announcement from the shop. "It's been an honor to be a pillar of this community...and we are inspired to continue doing that in our new space so we can ensure everyone in Austin has a place where they are seen, reflected, and represented."
More information about the shop, product listings, and upcoming events is available at thelittlegayshop.com.