Beyond the Binary: A Dictionary of Terms for Gender and Sexuality
Our glossary of LGBTQIA+ terms and definitions, along with resources and tips for being an ally. Whether you are curious, questioning, or confident about your own identity, this guide will help you expand your knowledge and respect for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Glossary of Terms

This glossary is provided for general informational purposes only. We strive to keep the information up-to-date and accurate, but we make no representations or warranties of any kind about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the glossary or the information contained on it for any purpose. If you have any corrections, suggestions, or would like to contribute additional terms, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your input is invaluable in helping us maintain a comprehensive and respectful resource. Feel free to contact us through our contact form

The quality of having the means or skill to do something. Ability is not permanent, can fluctuate throughout one’s life, and is another aspect of diversity in our communities. Disabilities do not necessarily limit people unless society imposes assumptions that do not account for the variation in people’s abilities.

The pervasive system of discrimination and exclusion that oppresses people who are disabled, including differences in mental, cognitive, emotional, and/or physical abilities, through attitudes, actions, or institutional policies.

An abbreviation of the word Asexual. See Asexual/Asexuality.

Assigned Female at Birth. The terms AFAB and AMAB are used by a wide range of individuals, including those who are transgender, non-binary, or intersex. While AFAB or AMAB may be useful for describing different trans or non-binary experiences, they are generally not considered identities in and of themselves. Calling a transman “AFAB,” for example, erases his identity as a man. Instead, use a person’s requested pronouns and self-description. [Rainbow Round Table]

The pervasive system of prejudice and discrimination that marginalizes people based on their age. This can be perpetuated through stereotypes of youthfulness versus life at an older age and through oppressive policies that subordinate and exclude older folks. Ageism can impact different age groups besides older folks, such as younger people who are stereotyped as being unable to make big decisions.

An identity under the non-binary and trans+ umbrella. Some agender people feel that they have no gender identity, while others feel that agender is itself a gender identity. This can be similar to or overlap with the experience of being gender neutral, or having a neutral gender identity. Also see Neutrois. [Albert Kennedy]

An adjective used to describe a person who is not autistic and is often used to emphasize the privilege of people who are not on the autism spectrum.

The pervasive system of discrimination and exclusion that oppresses asexual people built out of the assumption that everyone does and should experience sexual attraction.

A sexual orientation generally characterized by feeling sexual attraction or a desire for partnered sexuality.

The action of working to end oppression through support of, and as an advocate for, a group other than one’s own.

Assigned Male at Birth. The terms AFAB and AMAB are used by a wide range of individuals, including those who are transgender, non-binary, or intersex. While AFAB or AMAB may be useful for describing different trans or non-binary experiences, they are generally not considered identities in and of themselves. Calling a transman “AFAB,” for example, erases his identity as a man. Instead, use a person’s requested pronouns and self-description. [Rainbow Round Table]

A person with a gender that is both masculine and feminine or in between masculine and feminine. An androgynous person.

A romantic orientation generally characterized by not feeling romantic attraction or a desire for romance. Aromantic people can be satisfied by friendship and other non-romantic relationships. Many aromantic people also identify with a sexual orientation, such as asexual, bisexual, etc.

A broad spectrum of sexual orientations generally characterized by feeling varying degrees of sexual attraction or a desire for partnered sexuality. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy, which is the deliberate abstention from sexual activity, despite sexual desire. Some asexual people do have sex and do experience varying levels of sexual attraction. There are many diverse ways of being asexual. A person who does not experience sexual attraction can experience other forms of attraction such as romantic attraction, physical attraction and emotional attraction, as these are separate aspects of a person’s identity. These may or may not correlate with each other - for instance, some people are physically and romantically attracted to women. However, others might be physically attracted to all genders and only emotionally attracted to men.

A neurological variation encompassing a wide range of presentations and experiences. Common characteristics of autism include repetitive behavior and differences in social interaction, interpersonal relationships, and communication. For some people, their gender identity is significantly tied to their identity as an autistic person.

Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism. BDSM refers to a wide spectrum of activities and forms of interpersonal relationships. While not always overtly sexual in nature, the activities and relationships within a BDSM context are almost always eroticized by the participants in some fashion. Many of these practices fall outside of commonly held social norms regarding sexuality and human relationships.

A part of the queer community composed of queer cisgender, transgender, or gender variant men similar in physical looks and interests, most of them large, hairy, and on the masculine side of presentation. The community aims to provide spaces where one feels wanted, desired, and liked. It nourishes and values an individual’s process of making friends and learning self-care and self-love through the unity and support of the community. Bears, Cubs, Otters, Wolves, Chasers, Admirers and other wildlife comprise what has come to be known as the Brotherhood of Bears and/or the Bear community. See also: Ursula

Having two genders, exhibiting characteristics of masculine and feminine roles.

The process of reducing the appearance of breasts by wrapping or compressing the chest using various methods. Binding can be very gender-affirming for many people, however it must be done safely. Learn more about safe binding.

Oppression, discrimination and hatred toward those who identify as bisexual, pansexual, and omnisexual. Biphobia can be present in both the LGBTQ+ and broader community. See also Monosexism.

A person whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same and other genders, or towards people regardless of their gender. Some people may use bisexual and pansexual interchangeably.

Folks of Black/African descent and/or from the African diaspora who recognize their queerness/LGBTQIA identity as a salient identity attached to their Blackness and vice versa. (T. Porter)

How a person feels, acts, and thinks about their body. Attitudes about our own body and bodies in general are shaped by our communities, families, cultures, media, and our own perceptions.

Any behavior which (indirectly or directly, intentionally or unintentionally) attempts to correct or control a person's actions regarding their own physical body, frequently with regards to gender expression or size. (ASC Queer Theory)

A gender expression that fits societal definitions of masculinity. Usually used by queer women and trans people, particularly by lesbians. Some consider “butch” to be its own gender identity.

A gender identity, or performance in a gender role, that society deems to match the person’s assigned sex at birth. The prefix cis- means "on this side of" or "not across." A term used to highlight the privilege of people who are not transgender.

Attitudes and behaviors that incorrectly assume gender is binary, ignoring genders besides women and men, and that people should and will align with conventional expectations of society for gender identity and gender expression. Heteronormativity often combines with heteronormativity to create societal expectations of behavior. For example, someone assigned female at birth is expected to 1) have a body that is considered “female” by the dominant culture, 2) identify as a girl or woman, 3) act feminine and fulfill the roles associated with girls and/or women, 4) be romantically and sexually attracted to men, and 5) being in a monogamous relationship with someone of the opposite assigned sex at birth. See also Heteronormativity.

The pervasive system of discrimination and exclusion founded on the belief that there are, and should be, only two genders and that one’s gender or most aspects of it, are inevitably tied to assigned sex. This system oppresses people whose gender and/or gender expression falls outside of cis-normative constructs. Within cissexism, cisgender people are the dominant group and trans/gender non-conforming people are the oppressed group.

Coming out is the process of voluntarily sharing one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity with others. This process is unique for each individual and there is no right or wrong way to come out. The term “coming out” has also been broadened to include other pieces of potentially stigmatized personal information. Terms also used that correlate with this action are: "Being out" which means not concealing one's sexual orientation or gender identity, and "Outing", a term used for making public the sexual orientation or gender identity of another who would prefer to keep this information secret. Not sharing one’s LGBTQ+ identity publicly is sometimes referred to as being “in the closet” or “closeted”.

A word to describe a person who dresses, at least partially, as a member of a gender other than their assigned sex; carries no implications of sexual orientation or gender identity. Has replaced “Transvestite.”

An approach to engagement across differences that acknowledges systems of oppression and embodies the following key practices: (1) a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique, (2) a desire to fix power imbalances where none ought to exist, and (3) aspiring to develop partnerships with people and groups who advocate for others on a systemic level. (Melanie Tervalon & Jann Murray-García, 1998)

A learned set of values, beliefs, customs, norms, and perceptions shared by a group of people that provide a general framework for living and patterns for interpreting life. “Culture is those deep, common, unstated, learned experiences which members of a given culture share, which they communicate without knowing, and which form the backdrop against which all other events are judged.” (E. Hall.)

A deadname is a name that a trans+/nonbinary person no longer uses. Usually it is the name assigned at birth. When someone uses this name, whether intentionally or not, it is referred to as deadnaming. Deadnaming is considered offensive and hurtful. See also Lived Name.

Demisexuality is a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond. Most demisexuals feel sexual attraction rarely compared to the general population, and some have little to no interest in sexual activity. Demisexuals are considered to be on the asexual spectrum.

A social construct that identifies any restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered “typical” for a human being, given environments that are constructed for and by the dominant or “typical” person.

Inequitable actions carried out by members of a dominant group or its representatives against members of a marginalized or minoritized group.

The theatrical performance of one or multiple genders via dressing in the clothing of a different gender, or in a manner different from how one would usually dress. Drag queens perform in distinctly feminine attire. Drag kings perform in distinctly masculine attire. Drag is a form of gender expression and is not an indication of gender identity. Individuals who dress in drag may or may not consider themselves to be transgender. They may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight or some other sexual orientation. [Identiversity]

A lesbian or queer woman. Some members of the LGBTQ+ community have reclaimed this term, but it is still considered offensive to many. Only people who self-identify as a dyke should use this term.

See “Gender Dysphoria”.

A slang term used for nonbinary. Enby is the phonetic pronunciation of “NB,” an abbreviation for nonbinary.

A social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history and ancestral geographical base.

See “Gender Euphoria”.

Historically used in the lesbian community to refer to a feminine lesbian, it is being increasingly used by other LGBTQIA people to describe gender expressions that reclaim and disrupt traditional constructs of femininity.

Female to Male. Generally used to refer to anyone assigned female at birth whose affirmed gender identity or expression is masculine all or part of the time. Some people prefer the term ‘transitioning to male’ (or ‘male,’ ‘man’ or ‘trans man’), as this does not use misgendering language. This term is not used as often in the 2020s, but may be important in certain (e.g., medical) contexts. [QMUNITY]

A sexual and affectional orientation toward people of the same gender. See Homosexual/Homosexuality.

A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman, or some other identity. Fundamentally different from the sex one is assigned at birth.

A broad term encompassing actions, language, medical care, and more, that affirms someone’s gender identity or expression. For example, surgery that alters someone’s appearance to align with their gender identity is referred to as gender-affirming surgery.

Used to describe when a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their sex assigned at birth and their gender identity.

A euphoric feeling often experienced when one’s gender is recognized and respected by others, when one’s body aligns with one’s gender, or when one expresses themselves in accordance with their gender. Focusing on gender euphoria instead of gender dysphoria shifts focus towards the positive aspects of being transgender or gender expansive. [PFLAG]

An umbrella term used for individuals who broaden their own culture’s commonly held definitions of gender, including expectations for its expression, identities, roles, and/or other perceived gender norms. Gender expansive individuals include those who identify as transgender, as well as anyone else whose gender in some way is seen to be broadening the surrounding society’s notion of gender.

How one expresses oneself, in terms of dress, presentation of secondary sex characteristics (i.e., breasts, body hair, voice), and/or behaviors. Society, and people that make up society characterize these expressions as "masculine,” “feminine,” or “androgynous.” Individuals may embody their gender in a multitude of ways and have terms beyond these to name their gender expression(s).

A person whose gender identification and presentation shifts, whether within or outside of societal, gender-based expectations. Being fluid in motion between two or more genders.

A sense of one’s self as trans, genderqueer, woman, man, or some other identity, which may or may not correspond with the sex and gender one is assigned at birth.

Refers to anything that is not gendered. For example, gender-neutral language does not use binary male or female words, and gender-neutral restrooms are available to be used by anyone of any gender identity or expression.

Adjective for people who do not subscribe to societal expectations of typical gender expressions or roles. The term is more commonly used to refer to gender expression (how one behaves, acts, and presents themselves to others) as opposed to gender identity (one’s internal sense of self).

A person who refuses to be defined by conventional definitions of male and female. (“Gender Outlaw” by Kate Bornstein)

A person whose gender identity and/or gender expression falls outside of the dominant societal norm for their assigned sex, is beyond genders, or is some combination of genders.

A commonly used model to explain various aspects of one’s identity, including assigned sex at birth, gender identity, gender expression, physical attraction, and romantic attraction. The Gender Unicorn illustrates how, with the exception of assigned sex at birth, these different aspects of identity exist on spectrums. The Gender Unicorn is available at

A person who varies from the expected characteristics of the assigned gender.

The belief that there are, and should be, only two genders & that one’s gender or most aspects of it, are inevitably tied to assigned sex. In a genderist/cissexist construct, cisgender people are the dominant/agent group and trans/ gender non-conforming people are the oppressed/target group.

Also known as Gray-A or Gray-Ace/Aro. This is an umbrella term which describes people who experience attraction occasionally, rarely, or only under certain conditions. Includes the identities Graysexual and Grayromantic. [Stonewall]

Attitudes and behaviors that incorrectly assume everyone is straight, or that being heterosexual is “normal”. Hetereornormativity also assumes people should and will align with conventional expectations of society for sexual and romantic attraction. Heteronormativity often combines with cisnormativity to create societal expectations of behavior. For example, someone assigned female at birth is expected to 1) have a body that is considered “female” by the dominant culture, 2) identify as a girl or woman, 3) act feminine and fulfill the roles associated with girls and/or women, 4) be romantically and sexually attracted to men, and 5) being in a monogamous relationship with someone of the opposite assigned sex at birth. See also Cisnormativity.

The assumption that all people are or should be heterosexual. Heterosexism excludes the needs, concerns, and life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer people, while it gives advantages to heterosexual people. It is often a subtle form of oppression, which reinforces realities of silence and erasure.

A sexual orientation in which a person feels physically attracted to people of a gender other than their own. See also Straight.

Oppression, discrimination, and hatred directed toward members of the LGBTQ+ community. See also Heterosexism.

An outdated term to describe a sexual orientation in which a person feels physically and emotionally attracted to people of the same gender. Historically, it was a term used to pathologize gay and lesbian people.

A person’s beliefs or behaviors that consciously or subconsciously work to perpetuate actions and attitudes of oppression. See also Internalized Oppression.

Institutions such as family, government, industry, education, and religion have policies and procedures that can promote systems of oppression.

The fear and self-hate of one or more of a person’s own identities that occurs for many individuals who have learned negative ideas about their identities throughout their life. One form of internalized oppression is the acceptance of the myths and stereotypes applied to the oppressed group.

A term coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 1980s to describe the way that multiple systems of oppression interact in the lives of those with multiple marginalized identities. Intersectionality looks at the relationships between multiple marginalized identities and allows us to analyze social problems more fully, shape more effective interventions, and promote more inclusive advocacy amongst communities.

An umbrella term to describe a wide range of natural body variations that do not fit neatly into conventional definitions of male or female. Intersex variations may include, but are not limited to, variations in chromosome compositions, hormone concentrations, and external and internal characteristics. Many visibly intersex people are mutilated in infancy and early childhood by doctors to make their sex characteristics conform to society’s idea of what normal bodies should look like. Intersex people are relatively common, although society's denial of their existence has allowed very little room for intersex issues to be discussed publicly. Hermaphrodite is an outdated and offensive term that has been used to describe intersex people in the past.

(Kinky, Kinkiness) Most commonly referred to as unconventional sexual practices, from which people derive varying forms of pleasure and consensually play out various forms of desires, fantasies, and scenes. Kink includes BDSM, leather, wax play, etc.

The scale developed by Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s, which was used for measuring sexual attraction and behavior along a continuum. Instead of assigning people to two categories—heterosexual and homosexual—Kinsey used a spectrum ranging from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual). The scale is an early recognition of varying sexual attractions and behaviors and is credited with challenging the heterosexual/homosexual binary. [Identiversity]

In response to the difficulty that Spanish speaking people have with using Latinx, “Latine” was created. Latine can be conjugated and pronounced with more ease. Both Latine and Latinx are still used, though most folks lean towards using Latine. Latine is a non-gender specific way of referring to people of Latin American descent. The term Latine, unlike terms such as Latino/a, does not assume a gender binary and includes non-binary folks.

A community which encompasses those who enjoy leather, often as part of sexual activities, including leather uniforms or cowboy outfits. The leather community related to similar fetish-based communities such as sado-masochism, bondage and domination, and rubber. Although the leather community is often associated with the queer community, it is not a "gay-only" community.

Usually, someone who identifies as a woman, whose primary sexual and affectional orientation is toward people of the same gender. However, some nonbinary people also identify as lesbians, often because they have some connection to womanhood and are primarily attracted to women.

Abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual. The additional “+” stands for all of the other identities not encompassed in the short acronym. An umbrella term that is often used to refer to the community as a whole. Our center uses LGBTQIA to intentionally include and raise awareness of Queer, Intersex and Asexual communities as well as myriad other communities under our umbrella.

A name (often a first name) that someone uses that differs from their legal name. There are many reasons someone may have a lived name that differs from their legal name. Some trans and nonbinary people may use a lived name to affirm their gender identity. “Preferred name” has also been used, however it has been largely replaced by lived name. “Preferred name” suggests that using someone’s lived name is optional, which can lead to deadnaming. See Deadname/deadnaming.

A term coined by B. Cole of the Brown Boi Project to describe folks, including lesbian/queer womyn and trans folks, who lean towards the masculine side of the gender spectrum. These can include a wide range of identities such as butch, stud, aggressive/AG, dom, macha, tomboi, trans-masculine, etc.

Brief and subtle behaviors, whether intentional or not, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages about commonly oppressed identities. These actions cause harm through the invalidation of the oppressed person’s identity and may reinforce stereotypes. Examples of microaggressions include a person who is not white being told they speak “good English” or someone saying something is “gay” to mean they think something is bad.

Attributing a gender to someone that is incorrect/does not align with their gender identity. Can occur when using pronouns, gendered language (i.e. “Hello ladies!” “Hey guys”), or assigning genders to people without knowing how they identify (i.e. “Well, since we’re all women in this room, we understand…”).

An abbreviation for men who love men, which includes gay men, as well as men who are attracted to men and people of other genders.

Having only one intimate partner at any one time; also known as serial monogamy.

The belief in and systematic privileging of monosexuality as superior, and the systematic oppression of non-monosexuality.

People who have romantic, sexual, or affectional desire for one gender only. Identifying as straight or gay are the most well-known forms of monosexuality.

An abbreviation for men who have sex with men; they may or may not identify as gay.

Male to Female. Generally used to refer to anyone assigned male at birth whose affirmed gender identity or expression is feminine all or part of the time. Some people prefer the term ‘transitioning to female’ (or ‘female,’ ‘woman,’ ‘femme,’ or ‘trans woman’), as this does not use misgendering language. This term is not used as often in the 2020s, but may be important in certain (e.g. medical) contexts. [QMUNITY]

An umbrella term to describe attraction to more than one gender. It can include sexual attractions like bisexual, polysexual, omnisexual, and others. The aforementioned terms are used by some interchangeably and for others the subtle differences among them are important.

Gender-neutral pronouns such as ze/zir or ey/em that are used instead of more traditional ones such as they/them. Learn more about pronouns.

“Neurodivergent, sometimes abbreviated as ND, means having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of ‘normal.’ A person whose neurocognitive functioning diverges from dominant societal norms in multiple ways – for instance, a person who is Autistic, has dyslexia, and has epilepsy – can be described as multiply neurodivergent. The terms neurodivergent and neurodivergence were coined by Kassiane Asasumasu, a multiply neurodivergent neurodiversity activist.” (Neurocosmopolitanism)

Neurodiversity refers to the natural and important variations in how human minds think. These differences can include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, Tourette Syndrome, and others. Like other variable human traits like race, gender, sexuality, or culture, there is no right or wrong form of diversity. The social dynamics that exert power over other forms of diversity also impact neurodivergent people. Neurodiversity is not something to be cured or corrected to fit some social norm - rather, we should celebrate different forms of communication and self-expression and promote support systems to allow neurodivergent people to thrive. (Neurocosmopolitanism, The National Symposium on Neurodiversity)

“Neurotypical, often abbreviated as NT, means having a style of neurocognitive functioning that falls within the dominant societal standards of ‘normal.’ Neurotypical can be used as either an adjective (‘He’s neurotypical’) or a noun (‘He’s a neurotypical’).” (Neurocosmopolitanism)

A non-binary gender identity that falls under the genderqueer or transgender umbrellas. There is no one definition of Neutrois, since each person that self-identifies as such experiences their gender differently. The most common ones are: Neutral-gender, Null-gender, Neither male nor female, Genderless and/or Agender. (

A gender identity and experience that embraces a full universe of expressions and ways of being that resonate for an individual, moving beyond the male/female gender binary. It may be an active resistance to binary gender expectations and/or an intentional creation of new unbounded ideas of self within the world. For some people who identify as non binary there may be overlap with other concepts and identities like gender expansive and gender non-conforming.

Possessing all genders. The term is used specifically to refute the concept of only two genders.

Exists when one social group, whether knowingly or unconsciously, exploits another social group for its own benefit.

Orientation is one’s attraction or non-attraction to other people. An individual’s orientation can be fluid and people use a variety of labels to describe their orientation. Some, but not all, types of attraction or orientation include: romantic, sexual, sensual, aesthetic, intellectual and platonic.

Terms used to describe people who have romantic, sexual or affectional desire for people of all genders and sexes. Has some overlap with bisexuality and polysexuality (not to be confused with polyamory).

When a trans individual is perceived as, or “passes” as, a cisgender man or woman. Passing is often thought of as a form of privilege, and the concept can also put unrealistic or unwanted expectations on trans/nonbinary folks to confirm to cisnormativity. Passing can also refer to gay/lesbian/queer people being regarded as straight. Historically, passing was often necessary as a form of safety for LGBTQ+ individuals.

In mental and emotional wellness, a phobia is a marked and persistent fear that is excessive in proportion to the actual threat or danger the situation presents. Historically, this term has been used inaccurately to refer to systems of oppression (i.e. homophobia has been used to refer to heterosexism.)


Find Answers

Have questions about Memphis Pride Fest or Mid-South Pride? Search our website and FAQs for insights on everything from parade routes to security and parking, ensuring a safe and memorable Pride celebration.

Yes! We love our four legged friends, but sometimes the weather is a little warm, and they will be doing a lot of walking, so protect their paws and take the recommended precautions to be sure they don’t overheat. (See the ASPCA Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets) Also, be mindful of other festival-goers and ensure they are on a leash and you clean up behind them.

There are seating options in some areas of the festival. However, seating may be limited during peak hours, but we do allow guests to bring popup chairs.

Tickets to Memphis Pride Fest and other events are non-refundable.

There are seating options in some areas of the festival. However, seating may be limited during peak hours, but we do allow guests to bring popup chairs.

Yes, absolutely! We encourage all attendees to stay hydrated during the event. So, feel free to bring your own bottled water. Just remember to help us keep the event area clean by disposing of any empty bottles in the provided recycling bins. Enjoy the fest!

Sponsor registration begins in January. Registration forms can be found on our website.

Participating in the Pride Parade is easy. All you have to do is fill out the Parade Registration form found on our website. There, you’ll provide us with some details about your unit, and submit your registration fee. Prior to the event date, we will follow up by email with all the necessary details including the parade route, line-up time, and guidelines. We look forward to celebrating with you!

When opting to pay later (by invoice), you should receive an invoice by email which includes a link to pay online. If you did not receive the invoice, check your spam folder or reach out through our contact form and we will re-send it to the email address provided.

You can also pay online without an invoice by visiting , or follow the link below.

Participating as a festival vendor is simple and straightforward. You’ll find information about vendor opportunities and registration details at the link below. Once submitted, our team will review it and get back to you. We’re excited about the possibility of having you as a part of Memphis Pride Fest!

We’re thrilled to hear that you’re interested in joining the Pride festivities by hosting an event at your venue! To get started, simply fill out the “Event Hosting” form on our website. Here, you’ll be asked to provide information about your venue and the type of event you plan to host. Once your application is reviewed and approved, your event will be added to our official Pride Fest schedule. Your participation helps spread the joy of Pride throughout our city, and we’re excited to possibly work with you!

Your $1 admission not only grants you access to the festival area but also plays a vital role in helping us cover the additional costs associated with ensuring a safe and secure environment for all attendees. These expenses primarily include the presence of dedicated security personnel and related measures to guarantee everyone’s well-being throughout the event.

Furthermore, the admission-based entry system offers Memphis Pride Fest additional legal benefits by allowing us to establish a secure perimeter around the festival area, helping to deter and mitigate potential disruptions from counter-protesters. This ensures that we can maintain a peaceful and enjoyable experience for all participants while upholding the values of unity and respect.

While there are no age restrictions for the open festival area or the Parade. However, some Pride Fest events and areas of the park, like the RedZone and VIP Areas, do require you to be 18+ or 21+

Vendor spaces are 10′ x 10′ and include the reserved space and a festival vendor pass.
The following add-ons are available during the registration process:

  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • 10×10 Canopies
  • Electrical Connections
  • Permits to Sell
  • Tent Permits

Mid-South Pride and Memphis Pride Fest represent different aspects of the same overarching goal of celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ+ community in the Memphis and Mid-South region.

Mid-South Pride is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that stands at the forefront of championing the visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in the Mid-South area, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive authentically, free from discrimination. Learn More

Memphis Pride Fest is one of the flagship events organized by Mid-South Pride. The annual Memphis Pride Fest Weekend is a vibrant 4-day LGBTQIA Pride celebration. With over 50,000 families, friends, and allies in attendance, Memphis Pride Fest is the single largest Pride celebration in the region. Learn More

Your parade unit id generally determines the location of your space in the lineup area. However, since different types of groups line up in different areas and are staggered into their final position at the lineup point, your unit number is not an indication of your exact position in the procession.

Unit numbers will be announced along with lineup instructions approximately 7 to 10 days prior to the parade. However, these numbers are prone to fluctuate as last-minute changes become necessary, so once the lineup is posted, check it often to be sure your lineup area hasn’t changed.

For entry, attendees must pass through checkpoints where bag checks and metal detectors are in place. To further streamline this process and enhance safety, we have also implemented a clear bag policy. Only clear bags will be permitted inside the festival grounds. Kids’ diaper bags are okay but will be searched at the gate.

The Memphis Pride Fest RedZone is a curated space within the larger festival, specifically designated for individuals aged 18 and over. This exclusive area is tailored to adult attendees, focusing on aspects of sexual health, wellness, and personal intimacy.

It’s a hub where vendors present a variety of products and services, such as sexual health aids, adult-themed literature, personal wellness tools, and relationship counseling services. The Redzone is designed not only to showcase products and services, but to foster an environment of openness and education around adult sexual well-being.

Our community’s safety and security are top priorities. We have partnered with local law enforcement and private security firms to ensure comprehensive on-site coverage, enhancing the safety of our attendees.

Checkpoints: For entry, attendees must pass through checkpoints where bag checks and metal detectors are in place. To further streamline this process and enhance safety, we have also implemented a clear bag policy.

Emergency Response:  The entire venue is under constant CCTV surveillance. We have clearly marked emergency exits and safe zones, ensuring quick access in case of emergencies. Our preparedness includes on-site emergency response teams ready to handle any situation.

Cyber Security: Additionally, we have taken measures to safeguard digital safety. All transactions and personal information are encrypted and secured through robust digital safeguards.

Communication: Moreover, to keep our visitors informed and secure, the Memphis Pride Fest mobile app allows attendees to opt-in for real-time updates and security alerts. Our unwavering commitment is to provide a secure, safe, and inclusive environment for all attendees.

The festival gates open at 11:00 AM, and the festivities last until 5:00 PM.

The parade steps off at 11:00 AM and lasts around 90 minutes.

Entries should report to their check-in point no earlier than 9:45 AM and no later than 10:30 AM. Lineup instructions are posted about 7 to 10 days prior to the parade at

We closely monitoring the weather in the dato ensure everyone’s safety at Memphis Pride Fest. In the event of severe weather, activities will be suspended, and announcements will go out with instructions to clear the park and take appropriate shelter.
To stay informed, please download our mobile app, which will help ensure you’re notified of any emergency situations:
As of now, the greatest risk of thunderstorms is expected to end in the early morning hours, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely and take the appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our guests, vendors, and other participants.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We’re committed to making this event safe and enjoyable for everyone, and we appreciate your support.
Stay safe and have a wonderful time at Memphis Pride Fest!

The Memphis Pride Parade features two flags, each with a different design and a unique story of its own:

The Sea-to-Sea Flag: A symbol of national LGBTQ+ solidarity, this flag was crafted by Gilbert Baker. Mid-South Pride was honored with a 100-foot segment in 2004, featuring a unique 8-stripe design including pink and indigo.

The Founder’s Flag: Debuted in 2008, this 6-stripe flag is a heartfelt tribute to Gary Wilkerson, a founder of Mid-South Pride, and serves as the official Memphis Pride flag.

Read more about these iconic symbols at

The parade steps off at 11:00 AM on the first Saturday in June and runs through the Beale Street Entertainment District from S. Fourth Street and Beale Street (Just outside the festival entrance) and ends on Main Street. The entire procession lasts about 90 minutes.

The Memphis Pride Festival and Parade are held the first Saturday in June, but the 4 day Memphis Pride Fest weekend kicks off on onThursday and Friday prior to the Festival and Parade. See for upcoming dates and information..

The Festival is hosted in Robert Church Park at Fourth and Beale Street with the parade stepping off near the Festival Entrance at 11am and making its way down Beale Street, just blocks away from the National Civil Rights museum.

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Festival registration begins typically towards the end of the year Nov/Dec and typically cuts off 60 days prior to the event. This allows organizers time to work out the logistics and secure equipment rentals and the required permits.

Parade winners will typically be announced on the Hustle N Glow stage about 60 to 90 minutes after the parade ends.

Tickets ordered online are sent to the email address provided by the purchaser. Search your inbox for “You Have Tickets.” If you do not find them, send us a message along with the name and email address associated with your registration so we can send you another copy. To order tickets online, click here.

The Sea-to-Sea flag has a unique feature that makes it easy to distinguish from the Memphis Pride Flag. For the full story, read The History of Pride in Memphis.

You can order T-Shirts and other Pride Gear, on our website or at the Info Booth at the festival.

You can order tickets on our website. Tickets are also available at the gate, but to expedite entry, we recommend ordering online in advance.

There are a number of ways to navigate parking and transportation for Memphis Pride Fest. You might want to consider public transit like the Downtown Trolly System or rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. Metered street parking is another option, although it’s often in high demand during events.

For those who prefer driving, nearby parking garages and lots, such as the 250 Peabody Pl Garage and the New Downtown Mobility Center, offer convenient locations. It’s worth noting that fees may apply in these locations, so checking rates and hours of operation beforehand is recommended. See more nearby parking options.

VIP Passes are available at the info booth, which is located near the festival entrance at 4th and Beale St.

Vendor setup instructions will be posted at approximately 7 to 10 days prior to the festival. Watch your inbox for updates.

Entries should report to their check-in point no earlier than 9:45 AM and no later than 10:30 AM.
The staging area for the parade lineup spans five streets in the downtown area. Registered entries will be sent a copy of the lineup instructions about five days prior to step-off. Once posted, they will be accessible at .

Prime viewing for the parade is in the VIP Grandstand, which is located on Beale Street at Rufus Thomas Blvd, across from the Judge’s Stage. However, any point west of Rufus Thomas Blvd. will have a spectacular view.

At the Memphis Pride Fest, the Meet and Greet usually features a variety of special guests. These could include celebrity performers, notable figures from the LGBTQ+ community, and local activists. The specific lineup varies from year to year to keep the event fresh and exciting. We recommend checking our official website or social media platforms closer to the festival date for the most current information on who you can expect to meet this year. It’s always an incredible opportunity to connect with inspiring individuals!

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