Greater Phoenix’s fusion of natural splendor and metropolitan verve sets it apart from a lot of big cities — and everyone is invited to experience it. As you explore the city's urban core, you'll discover a strong lgbtq+Q+ community that's integrated throughout the area's businesses, spaces, events and entertainment.
For the ninth consecutive year, Phoenix earned a score of 100 — the highest score possible — on the Human Rights Campaign's 2021 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard.
Join us for Phoenix's nationally-recognized annual lgbtq+Q+ events, including the Phoenix Pride Festival and the Rainbows Festival.
During the day in Phoenix, choose from outdoor activities, luxurious spa treatments, shopping at local boutiques or exploring the arts and culture.
At night, the city comes alive with vibrant lgbtq+Q+ nightlife. The Melrose District on Seventh Avenue is a hub for lgbtq+Q+ businesses and such clubs as Charlie’s and Stacy's @ Melrose — both of which landed on our list of must-see drag shows.
For more information on lgbtq+Q+ events and culture, visit the Greater Phoenix Equality Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix Pride, Pride Guide Arizona or ION Arizona magazine and mobile app.
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Phoenix Pride Festival
: The Phoenix Pride Festival is a two-day celebration held annually in April. It features live entertainment, food vendors, community booths, and a parade. The festival aims to promote equality and diversity while celebrating the lgbtq+Q+ community.
The Rainbows Festival is another prominent lgbtq+Q+ event in Phoenix. It takes place in October and offers a weekend of live music, performances, vendors, and a wide range of community resources. The festival showcases local talent and supports lgbtq+Q+ organizations.
Out in the Park: Out in the Park is an exciting event held at Phoenix's Encanto Park. It usually takes place in the summer months and includes live music, food trucks, games, and a welcoming atmosphere for all members of the lgbtq+Q+ community and their allies.
Drag Shows: Phoenix has a thriving drag scene with numerous venues hosting regular drag shows. Some popular venues known for their drag performances include Stacy's @ Melrose, Kobalt, and Cruisin' 7th. These shows feature talented local drag queens and often include lip-sync performances, comedy, and high-energy entertainment.
lgbtq+Q+ Film Festivals: Phoenix hosts several lgbtq+Q+ film festivals throughout the year. These festivals showcase a diverse range of films that explore lgbtq+Q+ themes and stories. Some notable festivals include the Desperado lgbtq+ Film Festival and the Phoenix Film Festival's lgbtq+Q+ Showcase.
Recommended gay-friendly hotels in Phoenix:
The Melrose District: Located along 7th Avenue between Indian School Road and Camelback Road, the Melrose District is a trendy neighborhood known for its lgbtq+Q+-friendly shops, boutiques, and cafes. It's a great place to explore during the day and offers a welcoming atmosphere for the community.
Charlie's Phoenix: Known as a legendary gay country-western bar, Charlie's Phoenix is a popular spot located on 7th Street. It features lively country music, line dancing, drag shows, and themed events throughout the week. It's a great place to enjoy some boot-stomping fun and meet new people.
Kobalt Bar: Situated in central Phoenix on Central Avenue, Kobalt Bar is a trendy and welcoming gay lounge. It offers a relaxed atmosphere, friendly bartenders, and a variety of entertainment, including karaoke nights and drag performances. The bar has a diverse crowd, making it an inclusive and enjoyable destination.
BS West: Located in Scottsdale, just outside of Phoenix, BS West is a long-standing gay nightclub known for its energetic dance floor and lively drag shows. The club hosts theme nights and events, including Latin nights and drag brunches, creating a vibrant and exciting atmosphere for partygoers.
Stacy's @ Melrose: Positioned in the heart of the Melrose District, Stacy's @ Melrose is a popular gay bar and nightclub that offers a friendly and inclusive environment. It features a spacious patio, a lively dance floor, and regular events such as trivia nights and themed parties, ensuring there's always something exciting happening.
- Nu Towne Saloon: Situated in the heart of downtown Phoenix, Nu Towne Saloon is a neighborhood gay bar that welcomes a diverse crowd. It provides a comfortable atmosphere, friendly staff, and a jukebox for music enthusiasts. The bar also hosts karaoke nights and pool tournaments for those looking to have a fun night out.
- Hotel Valley Ho (Gay-Friendly) Located in the heart of Scottsdale, Hotel Valley Ho offers a retro-chic ambiance with modern amenities. Enjoy spacious rooms, a relaxing spa, and a rooftop pool with stunning city views. Check Availability and Prices: Booking.com link
- FOUND:RE Phoenix (Gay-Friendly) This boutique hotel embraces the local art scene, featuring contemporary artwork throughout its premises. With stylish rooms, an outdoor pool, and a rooftop bar, FOUND:RE Phoenix is perfect for art enthusiasts and lgbtq+Q+ travelers alike. Check Availability and Prices: Booking.com link
- The Clarendon Hotel and Spa (Gay-Friendly) Located near downtown Phoenix, The Clarendon Hotel and Spa offers a blend of retro and modern design. Unwind at the rooftop pool and bar, indulge in spa treatments, and enjoy the panoramic views of the city. Check Availability and Prices: Booking.com link
- Aloft Phoenix Airport (Gay-Friendly) Conveniently situated near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Aloft Phoenix Airport provides contemporary accommodations with vibrant décor. Take advantage of the outdoor pool, fitness center, and easy access to downtown Phoenix. Check Availability and Prices: Booking.com link
- The Saguaro Scottsdale (Gay-Friendly) Located in nearby Scottsdale, The Saguaro boasts a vibrant and colorful design. Relax by the outdoor pool, savor Mexican cuisine at the on-site restaurant, and explore the vibrant nightlife in the surrounding area. Check Availability and Prices: Booking.com link
Phoenix and Scottsdale sit in the heart of a valley which enjoys 325 sunny days a year and is aptly named "The Valley of the Sun." The temperatures here are warm year round and the summers bring many days over 100 degrees (F). Phoenix, probably due to its warmth, has a laid back small town feel. But don't let that stop you it has a thriving gay community and there's a growing variety of dining and nightlife options for all types here. The incredible racial mix of the huge metro area makes the gay scene particularly rich and diverse.
Gay nightlife and the bars & clubs are mostly concentrated in central Phoenix between 7th Ave and 7th Street and Indian School and Camelback Mountain roads.
One of the two rainbow sidewalks in Phoenix is located next to the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. The center is pivotal in educating and testing anyone who believes they may have come into contact with a sexually transmitted disease. This location is also next to the thriving Phoenix First Friday event; it has become one of the nation’s largest self-guided art walks. Enjoy the culture and spirit of downtown every first Friday of the month as thousands of Phoenicians take over the streets of downtown Phoenix for the art walk each month, viewing gallery exhibits, perusing funky boutiques and outdoor vendors and enjoying performers and indie bands.
The Melrose area is usually the starting point for lgbtq+Q+ tourists and locals; the quintessential gayborhood of Central Phoenix. It’s the one-mile stretch of Seventh Avenue between Indian School and Camelback and is known for being lgbtq+-friendly. Melrose boasts eclectic shops and is home to many of Phoenix’s gay bars along the best S-curve in the Valley. The rainbow crosswalk is located at the 7th Ave and Glenrosa cross street. Gay Phoenix/Scottsdale Little more than a desert frontier settlement just a century ago, Phoenix has grown rapidly into one of the American West’s most dynamic and exciting getaways. The city sits low in an arid valley surrounded by mountains and high desert, its once-rugged terrain having been replaced to a large degree by massive blocks of residential subdivisions, strip retail and office developments, and oasis-like golf and tennis resorts. The many slick and trendy dining, shopping, and gay nightclub options — coupled with the sunny dry climate and abundance of outdoors diversions — make this an increasingly popular lesbian and gay travel destination. Part of the greater Phoenix area, Scottsdale is an upscale resort town and shopping destination. Sometimes considered a desert version of Miami’s South Beach, this oasis boasts popular nightlife and glamorous resorts, and it's a major art center for the metropolitan Phoenix area.
Phoenix and Scottsdale have a lot of the charm of other desert gay getaways like Palm Springs (just a 4-hour drive away)—but are more accessible and provide a lot of great entertainment options. Phoenix Gay Scene Though there is no distinct gayborhood in Pheonix, you'll find it's a very gay-friendly city with lots of businesses that cater to the lgbtq+Q community.
Most of the gay nightclubs and businesses are predominantly in the two-mile wide area between 7th Avenue on the West and 7th Street to the East.The Biltmore neighborhood and the Mill Avenue District are considered very gay-friendly as well. As for gay-friendly hotels, accommodations options here run the gamut from super-plush resorts and high-rise business hotels to a smattering of smaller gay-oriented properties. Many of the hotels offer special packages during Phoenix Pride, which takes place each year in April when the summer heat isn't so intense. Look for Echo Magazine at the many gay and gay-friendly bars & restaurans; the local, independent magazine publishes listings of weekly lgbtq+Q events, festivals, and happy hours.