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ELLA: Mérida hosts a weeklong international lesbian festival

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Weeks after its sister event was held in Spain, the second edition of ELLA Mexico Lesbian Festival welcomed its guests Friday in downtown Mérida to mingle and party.

Attendees at ELLA’s inauguration, held in Casa Palomeque. Photo: Verónica Garibay

The grand opening took place at Casa Thó on the Paseo de Montejo. A special meet-and-greet was held with renowned YouTuber Diana Deskarados and boxing champion Tigre Jimenez. 

Tigre Jimenez and Camila Galán, two of the special guests of the event. Photo: Verónica Garibay

Afterward, the event continued at Casa Palomeque, where the special guests gave welcome speeches and introduced the night for concerts with Mindy Jones, Moby’s vocalist, and Whitney Day, an international DJ.

ELLA Director Beatriz Cravioto expressed that this event is to “make known what diverse women are doing today from our trenches” with five days of workshops, conferences, forums, and even a “queer catwalk.”

A cocktail hour was held prior to the DJ performances as ELLA inaugurated a week in Mérida. Photo: Verónica Garibay

“We want to include issues of activism, social issues. It’s fine to talk about fun, but we also have to touch on serious issues,” Cravioto explained.

Today the event continued with ELLA Talks, an inspirational forum featuring women in the community.

Some of the special guests featured are Kristin Hansen, CEO and founder of the ELLA Global Community; Michelle Fridman, Yucatán state tourism director and founder of the Mexico City-based EME Media Com public relations agency; Marion Reimers, journalist and sports commentator for Fox Sports Latin America; and Sayak Valencia, billed as a transfeminist philosopher and queer activist.

ELLA’s inauguration day was held at Centro, but events will be happening all over Mérida. Photo: Verónica Garibay

After a weekend that includes a beach party and a business networking event, a second event open to the public will be held Monday at Quinta Alsina in Itzimná: the Queer Fashion Show of Latin America. Carla Fernandez will present a collection of androgynous clothing that is said to be 100 percent sustainable and fair trade. Full program here.

The previous edition of the festival was held in San Miguel de Allende and next year’s is likely to be on the Riviera Maya, organizers said. It is a spinoff of the ELLA festival in Mallorca, Spain, one of the largest LGBTQ+ in Europe.

Related: LGBTQ+ visitors are an opportunity for Tianguis Turístico, says Michelle Fridman

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