PHOENIX, AZ — The LGBTQ+ community has had spaces to meet and thrive in Phoenix since the city’s birth. The city’s LGBTQ+ history dates back to the idea of two spirits and First Nation's people era, according to Arizona’s Hip Historian Marshall Shore.
These days, there are still many places to honor LGBTQ+ history in Phoenix, even though a lot of the community’s early history has been forgotten over the decades. Check out these places for a glimpse into Phoenix's LGBTQ+ history.
The Melrose District
Located on 4111 N. Seventh Avenue between Indian School and Camelback roads, the Melrose District is known as a gay neighborhood with a welcoming atmosphere.
It is home to the iconic Melrose Arch, a larger-than-life rainbow mural at Stacy's @ Melrose, and one of Phoenix's two rainbow crosswalks. The neighborhood is also home to most of the LGBTQ+ bars in the state, almost historic homes, high-rise apartments, and various shops and restaurants.
The Coronado Neighborhood
The Coronado neighborhood consists of Thomas - McDowell roads to the north and south, 7th through 16th streets to the west and east. It is home to 1920s ranches, 1940s bungalows, and the Coronado PHX.
The neighborhood gains its title as the only "gay ghetto" in Phoenix because many middle-class gay white men moved to the area in the 1970s.
Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds
Located in Laveen Village on 7611 S. 29th Avenue, Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds was home to Arizona's first gay rodeo in 1984. Arizona was only the fifth state to host such an event at that time. In 2018, The first Latino Pride Festival was also held in Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds.
Now, the rodeo is held on Valentine's Day weekend and offers pies-eating contests, drag shows, vendors, and cowboys around every corner.
For more LGBTQ+ places to explore, visit here.
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