Happy LGBTQ+ Pride Month! If you’re reading this, we’re hoping you’ll be spending at least part of June in the Greater Phoenix area — in which case, you may need some suggestions on how and where to participate in festivities marking this annual observation.
The origin of June's designation as Pride month can be traced back to the Stonewall riots. Named for the Stonewall Inn, an LGBTQ+ club in Greenwich Village, which was the site of a massive rebellion following a raid by New York City police during the early hours of June 28, 1969. This ignited subsequent riots, and protests, and marked the beginning of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. Though not the first uprising of its kind, Stonewall was a tipping point in the United States.
In Phoenix, a group of gay and lesbian activists organized the first Pride march through the streets of downtown to the state Capitol building in 1981. This politically-focused march to bring awareness to gay rights issues in Phoenix marked the beginning of the modern Pride era in this city. Read more on Phoenix's Pride timeline here.
We're thrilled you're able to celebrate Pride month in Phoenix and hope this guide offers a useful glimpse at the festivities taking place throughout June. Still, you’ll find points of Pride throughout the city — many of which are listed below — available all year long.
Worth noting: In Phoenix, the annual Pride Festival and Parade takes place in November. And Rainbows Festival, an annual street fair that takes place in downtown’s Heritage Square, takes place at the end of April.
Pride Night with Phoenix Sports TeamsBack to Top of List
The Phoenix Rising FC will host Pride Night on June 4. As part of the team’s 2021 Pride Night, the Phoenix Gay Flag Football League played its season championship on the Rising's pitch immediately following the game. Since then, the Rising has also taken further action in the community, including signing an open letter in support of LGBTQ+ inclusive legislation in Chandler, where the club’s stadium is located.
Phoenix Rising FC Soccer Complex at Wild Horse Pass
19615 S. 48th St., Chandler
Phoenix Mercury Pride Night Pre-Party
In celebration of Pride Month, the Phoenix Mercury and Hornitos invite you to Charlie's Phoenix for a Pride Party featuring Mercury players Shey Peddy and Brianna Turner, Hornitos-inspired drinks, raffle prizes and more.
The Phoenix Mercury will host the Atlanta Dream as part of its annual Pride Night, sponsored by Hornitos. The first 5,000 fans will receive a Pride flag, and additional details will be revealed closer to the event.
Past events have included guest drag performers and a pregame expo featuring local corporate and LGBTQ+ organizations. Additionally, halftime programming has included appearances by former Phoenix Suns and Mercury President Rick Welts, who helped launch the WNBA and was the first openly-gay executive in NBA history; Adam Rippon was the first openly gay athlete to win a medal for the Team USA in the Winter Olympics, and NBA veteran Jason Collins, who became the second openly gay athlete to play in any of the major professional sports leagues in the U.S. and Canada after coming out following the NBA's 2012-2013 season.
201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix
The Arizona Diamondbacks will host Pride Night on June 25. This year’s rendition will include the D-backs Pride T-shirt as a giveaway item. The Pride T-shirt will only be available for the first 15,000 fans. In the past, Pride Night festivities have included a performance of the national anthem by the Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus, a community parade around the field, and the opportunity for fans to sign One Community’s UNITY Pledge.
In 2021, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Danielle Cortez, a transgender Live Content Creator for MLB who is also a former D-backs intern and longtime season ticket holder. She threw the pitch to Billy Bean, MLB’s Vice President of Social Responsibility & Inclusion.
401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix
The Arizona Cardinals sponsored Gay Bowl XXI in Phoenix last fall, in a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community and athletes. According to the National Gay Flag Football League, it’s the highest financial level at which any NFL team has supported the LGBTQ+ flag football tournament. Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said the support is a reflection of the team’s support for the community.
Other EventsBack to Top of List
Show Your Colors: LGBTQ+ Pride Flag Exhibit
Through June 30
The City of Phoenix LGBTQ+ Employee Alliance has partnered with Phoenix Public Library to showcase a LGBTQ+ Pride Flag exhibit at Burton Barr Central Library's Central Gallery. "Show Your Colors" features 22 flags that represent some of the many aspects of the LGBTQ+ community. The Rainbow Pride flag, some might say, is the most iconic symbol of Pride, but many more flags exist to represent different sexualities and gender identities within the broader queer community and its allies. Each flag has its own story of who it represents and the significance of each color or symbol.
Liquid Sunshine Pool Party
June 5, 6, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26
Head over to Hotel Adeline, Scottsdale, a Tribute Portfolio for the signature Liquid Sunshine pool party every Saturday and Sunday all month long. Not only do DJs, signature cocktails, bottle service, daybeds and private cabanas await you, but you'll also appreciate the inclusive vibe here.
June 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
Join Marshall Shore, Arizona's Hip Historian, for a weekly happy hour with the most interesting tidbits and curiosities from Arizona's past. For Pride month, there's sure to be some LGBTQ+ themes, queens, lesser known history and festive cocktail ideas. Every Thursday at 7 p.m., you're invited to find Marshall on Facebook for more info or to join the live or visit twitch.tv/hiphistorian to watch past and future episodes.
Alyssa Edwards: Life, Love & Lashes Tour
From Mesquite Texas to the global stage, Alyssa Edwards is unstoppable. From season 5 of "RuPaul's Drag Race," to The Van Buren in Phoenix, "Life, Love & Lashes - Memoirs of a Queen," a must-see, tell-all story about her life, drag and finding love.
2022 Mx Phoenix Pride Pageant
The Phoenix Pride pageant system will extend its family of reigning royalty by crowning a titleholder in a new division: the Mx (pronounced mix) Phoenix Pride pageant. Ten contestants will compete in the categories of fundraising, parade of contestants (only non-judged category), red carpet fashion, on-stage question and answer, and talent.
Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
Drag Bingo & Cats
This fun and unique event features ameowzing hosts Freddy Price Charming and Felicia Minor who bring comedy, drag, flair and excitement to bingo every third Friday at La Gattara Cat Café & Boutique. Multiple rounds will be played with prizes awarded following each round as well as raffle prizes (raffle tickets sold separately).
Pride Bar Crawl
Find out what makes the Pride Bar Crawl Scottsdale's proudest crawl of the year at this fifth annual event. Check in at Boondocks between 4 and 6 p.m. and then sashay your way to Casa Amigos, El Hefe Mexican Restaurant, Riot House, The Hot Chick, and more to be announced. The cost is $10-$15 to join the fun, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project.
Miss Gay Arizona America Pageant
This pageant — honoring Miss Gay Arizona America 2021 Sicarya Seville — is a direct prelim to the Miss Gay America pageant. Watch as preliminary winners bring female impersonation to the next level in the categories of evening gown, talent, on-stage question — with a wide variety of local and national talent packed in between. Winner and first alternate earn a ticket to nationals to vie for the title of Miss Gay America.
Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway
Miss Gay Western States America Pageant
Other the years, the Miss Gay Wester States America pageant had produced three Miss Gay America national titleholders. Don't miss the chance to experience this legacy as this year's contestants take the stage in pursuit of the crown and a ticket to nationals. These female impersonators will compete in the categories of evening gown, talent, on-stage question — with a wide variety of local and national talent packed in between.
Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway
For even more events taking place in Greater Phoenix, ION Arizona showcases the depth and diversity of the Arizona LGBTQ+ community with its monthly LGBTQ+ magazine as well as website and app. If it’s not in ION Arizona, it’s not happening.
Drag Brunch & BeyondBack to Top of List
Just in time for Pride month, CB Live at Desert Ridge has unveiled a new monthly Burlesque Brunch event. Choose from chicken 'n waffles, French toast, burritos and more, sip on signature drinks and prepare to be entertained! This classic burlesque-style show stars the best performers in the Valley — including drag, audience participation and games, too!
21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix
Disco Drag Brunch
Kähvi Coffee + Cafe presents the newest drag brunch to hit downtown. Head to Roosevelt Row for a savory and sweet bottomless brunch buffet that includes champagne, a live DJ and an over-the-top show starring a fabulous cast of drag performers.
214 E. Roosevelt St., Ste. 2, Phoenix
The Coronado PHX
Since 2015, The Coronado has been serving up Southwest-inspired, plant-based cuisine (vegans rejoice). And, in 2021, this LGBTQ+ owned eatery, bar and community gathering space moved a few blocks east to even snazzier digs. The full menu, which includes tacos, burritos and a variety of breakfast items, is served all day and night, and the drinks are as decadent as the new wallpaper (this is a good thing, trust us).
Bonus: If you've ever wished you could get your espresso from an LGBTQ+ owned vegan-goth coffee house mashup, head to Dark Hall Coffee, for even more espresso creations and baked goods from the same owners.
2245 N. 12th St., Phoenix
Among the newer additions to the sub-Melrose District area is Industry PHX. This is a space for everyone to enjoy comfort food, craft and artisan cocktails, local beers as well as sports, comedy and drag on certain occasions. Bonus points for the pinball games and local artwork inside. Check Facebook for the latest information.
607 W. Osborn Road, Phoenix
MuralsBack to Top of List
Stacy's @ Melrose
A beacon for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies since 2013, Stacy’s @ Melrose is also now home to a mural wall that’s as loud and proud as the community itself. Located in the heart of the Melrose District — Phoenix’s “gayborhood” — this mural pairs an iconic desert landscape with the largest set of wings in town. P.S. They’re rainbow. Created by Geremy Cites, this wall is highly visible on the building’s north side (if you’re approaching from the south, however, you might miss it). And don’t miss one of Phoenix’s two rainbow crosswalks, just a few steps away.
In July 2018, two Rainbow crosswalks made the Phoenix landscape a little more colorful. At the request of three of Greater Phoenix's largest LGBTQ+ nonprofit organizations, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved these installations.
The rainbow crosswalks “serve a bright and lasting symbol of our LGBTQ+ presence in the city and our past, present and future contributions to the community as a whole,” according to Mike Fornelli, executive director of Phoenix Pride.
In 2020, downtown Phoenix welcomed a nine-story installation of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. Created by the talented local artist Antoinette Cauley, this piece features the bust of the Notes of a Native Son author surrounded by his words: "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
"Your light will forever illuminate the paths of Black Americans through the words you so graciously left us," writes Cauley in Dear Mr. Baldwin, a blog post that details the project that overlooks downtown Phoenix from the side of the Ten-O-One building in the Roosevelt Row Arts District.
Known for paying tribute to musical legends through her work, Phoenix artist Maggie Keane took her talents to the Coronado neighborhood's Oak Street Alley to pay tribute to David Bowie. Completed in 2016, this series includes eight iconic portraits of the trailblazing, gender-bending artist and famed musician.
While you may not find specifically LGBTQ+ murals here, this restaurant and revolving collection of street art was established by one of Phoenix's best-known and most-influential trailblazers: chef Silvana Salcido Esparza. In fact, she hosted President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris here during their days on the campaign trail.
Since the restaurant's inception in 2002, it has been a space that celebrates flavor as well as culture. In fact, you can't talk about the James Beard Award-nominated chef locally without mentioning her Calle 16 (Calle Diez Y Seis) Project, an organization established to elevate popular perceptions of Mexican American culture — most often through artwork. Before you even get a chance to try in infamous chiles en nogada or cochinita pibil, you will be greeted by Phoenix's most iconic mural wall, a collaborative effort by Gennaro Garcia, Lalo Cota, Breeze, Angel Diaz, Pablo Luna and more.
Find out What the Locals RecommendBack to Top of List
Every local has their favorite hike, restaurant, watering hole, retailer, and so on. However, we know not everyone is up for just any old recommendation. But what if said these recommendations came from LGBTQ+ community members who have proved they have exquisite taste — or at least taste that aligns with yours? We think we might be on to something, but don't take our word for it. Check out the recommendations of these noteworthy locals:
LGBTQ+ Faces & PlacesBack to Top of List
For three seasons, we’ve invited our audience to meet the tastemakers and trailblazers who are enriching our city with their flavors, traditions, culture and creations. If you’ve missed an episode of our signature storytelling series, now is your chance to find out more about these creators and hear them share what they love most about the LGBTQ+ community — and beyond — in Phoenix.