Welcome to Tempe, the Little Big City
By Aaron Drake
With the heart of a small town and the soul of a big city, many gay and lesbian travelers find their way to sunny Tempe, Arizona, and are surprised by this little big city. When visiting Tempe you can expect to find all you’ll need to have a blast— shopping, delicious restaurants, sporting events, a thriving arts community, live music scene, and even lodgings with a personality all its own, set in the scenic desert landscape.
Visitors will notice right away that Tempe is an LGBT-friendly town. It’s home to the first university to recognize the gay fraternity Sigma Phi Beta and lesbian sorority Gamma Rho Lambda. Tempe also boasts having one of the first openly gay mayors, Neil Guiliano, who served for four terms. The city still enjoys a progressive mayor who continues to work for the community, Mark Mitchell, who recently helped implement a citywide LGBT nondiscrimination policy. I could easily feel the welcoming vibe just walking down the street…