Jillian Mercado

Inquire below to book Jillian Mercado

Actress, Model & Activist

College & University
Inspiring Women
Diversity⸒ Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
Inspirational Stories
LGBTQIA+ Advocacy
Latinx & Hispanic Culture
Women's Empowerment

Jillian Mercado: Biography at a Glance

  • Jillian Mercado is a Latinx actress, model, and advocate for greater representation in the fashion and entertainment industries. 
  • Diagnosed with spastic muscular dystrophy as a child, Jillian has become a prominent figure in the fashion world, challenging beauty ideals, and redefining traditional norms in the fashion industry.
  • As an actress, Jillian’s most notable role is playing ‘Maribel’ on the The L Word: Generation Q.
  • To date, Jillian has starred in campaigns for Olay, Bumble 100, Calvin Klein fragrance, Nordstrom, Target, Tommy Hilfiger, and was featured on Teen Vogue’s first digital cover.
  • Jillian has spent her off-camera career actively fighting to advocate for more representation of people with disabilities and eradicate the enduring stigma they face in the fashion industry.
  • She developed Black Disabled Creatives, a Webby Award-winning platform highlighting Black and disabled creatives to promote inclusivity in creative workspaces.



Jillian Mercado is a physically disabled Latinx model, an advocate for greater representation in the industry, and an actress who has appeared in campaigns for Nordstrom, Target, Olay, and on the cover of the first digital September issue of Teen Vogue. She can currently be seen as Maribel in a recurring role on the Showtime series, The L Word: Generation Q, opposite Jennifer Beals. 

Growing up, Mercado developed a love for fashion, but the industry’s Eurocentric and ableist beauty standards meant that she didn’t see herself represented. A native New Yorker born to Dominican parents and diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in her early teens, she resolved to redress this inequality by entering the fashion industry herself. She studied a degree in marketing at FIT, going on to intern at Allure magazine in a bid to “learn the politics behind fashion so I could hire people who looked like me,” she said at Women of the World’s 10th annual summit.

Mercado uses her platform to push for greater representation in the industry, saying in an interview with Bustle “I just hope that [underrepresented people] see themselves in me, in any way possible.” Her activism, which focuses on the intersection of gender and disability, has included working with UN Secretary-General António Guterres to reduce inequality, one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

It was FANTASTIC! Jillian is such a thoughtful, beautiful, and shining star! 


Check Availability

For speaker-related inquiries, email speakers@caa.com, or send us a message using the form below.