LGBTQ Tempe, AZ - Gay City Guide and Resources

Tempe is a city of nearly 200,000 people that sits on the East Valley side of the Phoenix metro area. Although it’s very close to Phoenix, Tempe is a city with plenty to offer in its own right as well. It’s home to several businesses and many different shopping areas, an active nightlife, and a performing arts building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. According to residents, Tempe is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country, and many who want to live in Arizona settle in the area, even if they commute to work in Phoenix or one of the other suburbs.  The city’s visitors bureau has been recognized multiple times for promoting the city as an LGBT vacation destination. Truly, Tempe would make a great place to call home!

A Look at Tempe’s History

Like many cities in Arizona, it was first inhabited by a variety of Native American tribes, many of whom called the area home for thousands of years. Its modern-day history began when Hispanic families from southern Arizona began moving to the area and establishing settlements there. Eventually, various smaller settlements combined to form one larger town, which the settlers decided to name Tempe, after Vale of Tempe in ancient Greece. The area continued to grow, becoming an important center for farming and industry in the region – and it remains so today. Today, Tempe is a city full of businesses, entertainment, culture, and friendly people. There’s something in Tempe for everyone.

A Few Fun Facts About Tempe

  • Tempe hosts the New Year’s Eve Fiesta Bowl Block Party, which is one of the largest New Year’s Eve Celebrations in the country each year.
  • Tempe had a thriving alternative music scene in the 1980s and 90s, producing bands including the Gin Blossoms, Meat Puppets, The Refreshments, The Peacemakers, and more.
  • US Airways Group's corporate headquarters is located in Tempe, as is Arizona State University.

Read more fun facts about Tempe here.

Tempe’s LGBTQ Community                                            

Tempe is a city that loves and supports its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:

One n Ten

One n Ten is a center for LGBTQ youth and young adults serving the greater Phoenix and Tempe areas. Its mission is to serve LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 11-24 and to enhance the lives of the youth it serves by providing empowering and engaging social service programs that promote the development of leadership skills, self-expression, and healthy life choices.

PFLAG Phoenix-Tempe

PFLAG Phoenix-Tempe is the Tempe area’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical and important role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

What's the Weather Like in Tempe?

Tempe has a desert-type climate. This means that residents can generally expect little annual rainfall and has low relative humidity. Daytime temperatures are often high throughout the summer, with 107 days annually reaching a high of at least 100° and offering plenty of sunshine. Winters are generally mild. While nighttime temperatures will often drop below freezing during the three coldest months of the year, by the afternoon the weather is often warm and sunny again. Fall and spring are generally pleasant, and also full of plenty of sunshine. There's no bad time of year to enjoy the outdoors in Tempe!

The Best Events in Tempe

Phoenix Pride Festival

The Phoenix Pride Festival has been organizing marches, rallies, parades, educational events, and outreach projects to celebrate the Phoenix LGBTQ+ community for 40 years. The Pride festival is a two-day celebration designed to bring the LGBTQ+ and allied communities together in camaraderie and celebration while also raising funds for the Phoenix Pride Community Programs and providing education to the greater Phoenix community about LGBTQ issues, and all that the LGBTQ community adds to the city. A mere 20-minute drive from Tempe is well worth it for all the fun this festival has to offer!

The Rainbows Festival

The Rainbows Festival is presented by Phoenix Pride, and it has over 150 vendors and performers every year. Some have called it "Arizona's Greatest Street Fair." The annual event celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and typically draws a crowd of more than 25,000 people or more.

Where to Live in Tempe

Unlike some larger cities that have one particular “gayborhood” where most of the LGBTQ community lives, Tempe’s LGBTQ community is somewhat spread out across the city. This isn’t a bad thing though – it simply means that many neighborhoods would be great places to live, and finding the right one is simply a matter of taste and personal preference. No matter where you settle in the city, you're likely to find several LGBT families in the neighborhood, and feel welcome and at home.  Condos in Tempe are typically priced from $55,000 to $2.5 million, while single-family homes generally run from $200,000 to $3.5 million.

Arts and Entertainment

Tempe Center for the Arts

The Tempe Center for the Arts is a publicly owned performing and visual arts center. It’s a beautiful facility with a 600-seat proscenium theater, a 200-seat studio theater, and a 3,500-square-foot gallery. Throughout the year, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of shows, exhibitions, and performances of all kinds. There is something here to suit everyone’s tastes!

The Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum houses a stunning collection of more than 19,000 works of art from all genres created by artists around the world in its beautiful galleries. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day learning, feeling inspired, and having fun.

Parks and Recreation

Papago Park

Papago Park is a beautiful scenic desert area that is very popular with residents and visitors alike. Visitors can enjoy exploring its 1500 acres, which include hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, lagoons, and more. The park is also home to a beautiful desert botanical garden, the Phoenix Zoo, and the Arizona Heritage Center. It’s a perfect place to spend a beautiful afternoon in Tempe!

Varsity Gay Sports League

If you’re looking for more LGBTQ-oriented recreational activities, the Varsity Gay League in the greater Phoenix area calls itself the original LGBTQ+ Recreational Sports Organization. Established in 2007, it offers year-round activities, games, and sporting events intended to unite the gay and straight communities with new and fun ways to play and interact. All are welcome!

Tempe Nightlife

Monkey Pants Bar and Grille

Monkey Pants Bar and Grille is located in the Huntington Square Shopping Center and is a popular hangout for all, known for its big burger menu, games, extended happy hours, and friendly crowds.

The Mill Cue Club

The Mill Cue Club is a popular Tempe nightspot known for its excellent DJs, plentiful pool tables, dancing, and drink specials. It’s definitely a must-try spot on a night out in Tempe!

Contact a Tempe Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Tempe, at www.gayrealestate.com, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Tempe, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Tempe gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!