Nadav Wall

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Cornell U.

Grant number

Gr. 10544

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Wall, Nadav (Cornell U.) "Queer Exchange: Monetary and Caring Transactions in Mexico City’s Pink Market"

Recently, economists in Mexico have expressed interest in a ‘pink market’ of LGTBQ+ consumers with expendable income, fewer parenting commitments, and a preference for premium products. Economists estimate that Mexico City and its suburbs, home to 800,000 queer people (ENDISEG 2021), has a pink market valued at $4.6 billion. While these figures are impressive, my research explores how queer economic activity exceeds this consumerist understanding of markets. I ask: how do queer workers depart from this sanitized representation and how do their exchanges of money, care, and sex transgress mainstream economic discourses of informality, exchange, and consumption? I propose to conduct 14 months of ethnographic research where I shadow queer vendors in temporary illicit markets, observe service providers in private beauty salons, and participate with volunteers in LGBTQ+ care centers that together constitute a distinctively queer economy in Mexico City. I follow these workers and volunteers as they engage in an economy of perception and collaborative practices that shape this emerging market and help realize its value in a city whose sprawling built environment is open-ended and unpredictable, in the process establishing vital new modes of political and social organization.