Tempe is a welcoming, inclusive destination that’s home to a variety of LGBTQ+ events.
Tempe is known for its welcoming spirit, its blend of cosmopolitan culture and style, its scenic Sonoran Desert beauty and more than 330 days of sunshine every year. Since 2014, the City of Tempe has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign with a perfect score of 100 in the Municipal Equity Index, which measures inclusive policies for the LGBTQ+ community. Through the City’s Diversity Office and the Tempe Tourism Office, Tempe continues to lead with progressive ideas and programs that are shaping the future for all.
Another great thing about Tempe is its location in the heart of the Greater Phoenix area. Just minutes from the airport, Tempe is also connected to LGBTQ+ events and nightlife in downtown Phoenix and the airport via Valley Metro Rail. Here is a preview of LGBTQ+ events and celebrations that take place year-round both right here in Tempe and just beyond:
LGBTQ+ events and celebrations in Tempe:
Drag Shows | Ongoing
Tempe has evolved into a drag show and brunch powerhouse, thanks to gracious hosts including Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown, The Westin Tempe, Drink Me! Tearoom and various other businesses that double as platforms for expanding the art of drag throughout the Tempe. While these shows are not recurring on a weekly basis, you are invited to plan ahead with the following resources (and we’ll keep them updated for you as we learn more).
June 3: Tempe Pride Afterparty featuring Barbra Seville | 10 p.m.-1 a.m. | The Westin Tempe’s Skysill Rooftop Lounge
June 24: Drag & Draw | June 24 from 6-9 p.m. | Tempe Center for the Arts | FREE
June 25: Phoenix Pride Awards Reception and Mx. Pride Pageant | 4-9 p.m. | Tempe Center for the Arts
June 28: Drag Bingo with Felicia Minor | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Drink Me! Tea Room
June 30: Keep The Pride Alive feat. Barbra Seville | 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. | Skysill Rooftop Lounge
Illusions Drag Show (select dates)
Drag Shows at Alibi Rooftop Lounge (recurring/seasonal) | Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown
Pride Month Events in Tempe
Downtown Tempe’s Rainbow Crosswalk Unveiling | June 2, 2023
Tempe’s streetscape just got a lot more colorful — and inclusive! Ahead of the city’s first-ever Pride Party (see next entry), Tempe has rolled out the rainbow carpet, well, crosswalk. At the corner of Mill Avenue and 7th Street, pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and Pride Party attendees will notice all the colors of the Progress Pride Flag are now decorating the intersection’s western crosswalk and we can’t think of a more festive way to kick the month off.
Downtown Tempe’s Pride Party | June 3, 2023
The LGBTQ+ community, families and allies are invited to join Downtown Tempe from 7 to 10 p.m. June 3 at Centerpoint Plaza (6th Street & Mill Avenue), for a night of celebration and love. Pride Partygoers are invited to participate in a silent disco, take in DJs and drag performances, including headliner Barbra Seville, check out food, beer and wine vendors, and enjoy a few other surprises as well.
Following the Pride Party, attendees are invited to Skysill Rooftop Lounge at The Westin Tempe, for the official afterparty from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., also hosted by Barbra Seville. Tickets are available here.
Born To Be Brave | June 3 & 4, 2023
The Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus presents Born to Be Brave — a production of resilience, courage, joy and Pride that will make you both laugh and cry — June 3 & 4, 2023, at Tempe Center for the Arts.
This high-energy musical production follows a diverse group of characters that spans the spectrum of ages, ethnic background and gender identification, as they audition for the Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus. Their powerful stories are woven together with harmonic vibrations and musical selections that include original work by Eric Lane Barnes, from Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, Prom and High School Musical, along with amazing music as performed by Just Bieber, Kate Bush, Cast of Glee, Crowded House, Lady Gaga, One Republic, Bruno Mars, My Chemical Romance, Cyndi Lauper and Disney’s Kelly MacDonald.
48 LIVE: JenziTaughtMe | June 8, 2023
JenziTaughtMe is a unique choreography showcase. Curated and choreographed by Jenzi Russell, it emphasizes amazing local dancers of different cultures, ethnicities, body types and genders and showcases their hard work and dedication. This performance includes a variety of dance styles from hip-hop, jazz funk, heels, and more, from all different genres of music. Each piece will highlight Jenzi’s choreography and creativity. Special guests include choreographers Eric and Shay and a performance from Pretty Precise Step team.
Pride Night at the Phoenix Rising | June 10, 2023
The Phoenix Rising will take on the Oakland Roots for its annual Pride Night game. This celebration of inclusivity for all in Arizona during will feature local partners ONE Community, the Phoenix Gay Flag Football League (PGFFL) and Rewined Beer and Wine Bar. Arrive early for happy hour pricing and to watch the annual Phoenix Gay Flag Football League (PGFFL) All-Star Game!
Desert Overture: Composed with Pride | June 11, 2023
Join Desert Overture as they perform “Composed with Pride,” a celebration of music from the LGBTQ+ community. Enjoy some of the most distinguished LGBTQ+ composers — from past to present — from 3 to 5 p.m. at Tempe Center for the Arts.
Desert Overture is a community wind symphony in Phoenix comprised of LGBTQ+ and ally musicians.
Phoenix Pride Awards Reception and Mx. Pride Pageant | June 25, 2023
Phoenix Pride invites you to enjoy an evening celebrating and honoring the Phoenix Pride community at this annual awards event from 4 to 6 p.m. at Tempe Center for the Arts (Lakeside Room). The evening kicks off with the presentation of Phoenix Pride’s community spirit awards, scholarship recipients, community grants and parades contingent recognition.
The 2023 Mx. (pronounced mix) Pride Pageant will take place immediately following the awards presentation (Studio Theatre). Honoring Mx. Pride 2022 Té D. DeMornay, this pageant will showcase contestants competing in the categories of fundraising, parade of contestants (only non-judged category), red carpet fashion, on-stage question and answer and talent from 6 to 9 p.m.
Keep The Pride Alive feat. Barbra Seville | June 30, 2023
You’re invited to celebrate with us at Skysill Rooftop Lounge for our Pride Month Closeout Party hosted by the Phoenix “Drag Queen Extraordinaire,” the legendary Barbra Seville, a live DJ and Pride-themed cocktails.
The Westin Tempe will donate 10% of the cocktail proceeds to Mulligan’s Manor, the only LGBTQIA+ nonprofit group home serving youth in Arizona.
Guests under 21 years can come to the event with an accompanied adult 21+.
Annual LGBTQ+ events in Tempe
AIDS Walk Arizona & 5K Run | March 18, 2023
Tempe Beach Park | 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ | (602) 904-6001
AIDS Walk Arizona & 5K Run is the largest gathering in Arizona to support people living with HIV and raise community awareness. This family-friendly event features Paws for the Cause-the dog-friendly portion of the walk and Kids for the Cause, where kids of all ages can get involved and be fundraisers!
Pride Week at ASU | April 2023
Pride Week at ASU advocates for social justice concerns while connecting students, faculty and staff to each other and the broader ASU community through diverse programming and services. Come celebrate the beauty and breadth of LGBTQ+ culture through performances, activities, socials and community building. Additionally, ASU provides a number of resources focused on the success, health and well-being of LGBTQ+ graduate students. To view these resources, visit the LGBTQIA+ Student Resource Page.
Pride On Tap | April 2023
Beginning April 1, Four Peaks Brewing Co. tapped it’s Rainbow-infused Hazy IPA — “We’re Here, We’re Beer, Get Used To It” — at its original Tempe location (1340 E 8th St #104, Tempe, AZ 85281). Brewed with kiwi, guava, cherries, strawberries, pineapples and peaches, this limited-edition beer was created for and with Arizona’s LGBTQ+ community. As such, proceeds from the sales of this beer will benefit One Community, the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, one n ten, and Phoenix Pride (while supplies last).
Annual LGBTQ+ events throughout Greater Phoenix
Phoenix Pride Festival & Parade | Oct. 21-22, 2023
Steel Indian School Park | 300 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ
The Phoenix Pride Festival attracts over 40,000 attendees, 150 entertainment performances and over 300 exhibitors over a two-day celebration designed to bring our diverse LGBTQ+ and allied communities together for a weekend of camaraderie and celebration of our past, present and future. The Phoenix Pride Festival raises funds for the Phoenix Pride Community Programs and helps to educate the public about the existence and continuing civil rights battle facing the LGBTQ+ community.
Annual Arizona Gay Rodeo | February 2024
Whether you’re a real cowboy or you like to dress like one, you won’t want to miss the Annual Arizona Gay Rodeo. It’s a weekend of fun, food, entertainment and RODEO! You’ll enjoy traditional rodeo events like roping, bucking broncs and chute dogging, along with those you’ll only see at the Arizona Gay Rodeo like a Wild Drag Race and Goat Dressing.
Pride Run Phoenix | March 2024
Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ
Run or walk in central Phoenix using Central Avenue. The Half Marathon, 10K and 5K are street courses with minimal elevation changes and turns. Like the 10K and 5K, the Half Marathon is a fast, flat course perfect for a PR (Personal Record or Personal Best), making it an ideal training run for the Boston Marathon. The courses are sports stroller and sports wheelchair friendly. Pets are not welcome on the course. However, well-behaved leashed pets are welcome at the start, finish and expo.
The Parade brings 2,000+ individual participants with decorated vehicles, colorful floats and thousands of walkers. The Parade features Grand Marshals, local luminaries, music and fun along the 3rd Street route from Thomas to Indian School. The Parade concludes at Steele Indian School Park, the home of the Phoenix Pride Festival.
Rainbows Festival | April 2024
Heritage Square Park | 115 N. 6th St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phoenix Pride is the proud producer of the “Arizona’s Greatest Street Fair,” the Rainbows Festival. The annual Rainbows Festival & Street Fair is a celebration of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Located in historic Heritage Square Park in Downtown Phoenix, Rainbows Festival draws a crowd of over 25,000 friends, families and allies. Rainbows Festival is the second-largest LGBTQ+ event in the state of Arizona, only second to the Phoenix Pride Festival. The annual Rainbows Festival is a free event open to the public.
Cactus Cities Softball League Saguaro Cup | April 2024
Watch LGBTQ softball teams compete at various locations in the Greater Phoenix area. The Cactus Cities Softball League is an adult slow-pitch softball league in Phoenix, Arizona, predominately for the LGBTQ+ community and anyone dedicated to the promotion of the amateur athletic experience for people of all skill levels and abilities regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race or religion.
Bears of the West Phurfest | April 2024
Calling all bears to come out of hibernation and attend the Bears of the West Annual Phurfest! Enjoy fun in the sun, meet new friends and explore what Phoenix has to offer. Over 200 bears and buddies from more than 12 countries have enjoyed the warmth and friendliness of our city at Phurfest.
LGBTQ+ Owned Businesses in Tempe:
Brick Road Coffee
4415 S. Rural Rd., Ste. 10, Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 590-7246
Open since January 2022, Brick Road Coffee brings a new community space to the Tempe landscape that welcomes all “human beans.” Follow the Yellow Brick Road to delicious pastries, coffee and non-coffee beverages, mural art, a retail space, lending library and even a monthly LGBTQ+ inspired sticker drop. As an LGBTQ+ Safe Space, the coffee shop is also home to a variety of meetup groups and clubs. For a full list of Brick Road Coffee happenings, visit their event website.
For LGBTQ+ allied businesses and resources, for locals and visitors alike, check out One Community’s Tempe, Arizona, listings here. For additional details on how Tempe continues to blaze diversity, equity and inclusion trails for the LGBTQ+ community and beyond, visit our LGBTQ+ travel page.