Skip to Content

Moving To Gay South Dakota? Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.

Moving To Gay South Dakota? Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.

One of the most common thoughts you might have before relocating anywhere is how accepting the locals are towards the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. It is a very valid concern and something that sadly still needs to be considered in this day and age.

To help queer folx who are considering moving to Gay South Dakota, we have put together this guide from experts on the ground, considering the pros and cons of life here, discussing LGBT rights in South Dakota and whether South Dakota embraces our community.

We also take a look at the most gay-friendly cities in South Dakota and LGBT community organizations in South Dakota that you should be aware of!

The first thing you should know is that even though the state isn’t far from the most progressive state in the country, things here are slowly changing. South Dakota is home to South Dakota State University, which is home to a young, vibrant, and diverse population full of progressive attitudes and mindsets. 

Moving To Gay south dakota Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.

For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of South Dakota is Mount Rushmore, a monumental mountain with four of the country’s presidents carved into it. However, this isn’t the only thing to think about when considering a move here. The state is rich in history, has beautiful ragged landscapes, and flowy rivers all over. 

Even better, South Dakota is home to cities such as Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Brookings, which are known to be LGBTQ-friendly. South Dakota might not be up there with the greats when it comes to LGBTQ inclusivity, but it’s not where it was decades ago. The state has many LGBT-focused organizations that seek a safe space as well as equality and inclusion for LGBTQ+ people, their families, and allies. 

Moving to gay South Dakota - South Dakota lgbt organizations - Lgbt rights in South Dakota - gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - gaybourhoods in South Dakota
Shop Gay Underwear Sale Now At Queer In The World Shop

South Dakota is also home to tribes such as Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota, whose lifestyles are deeply woven into the cultural fabric of this beautiful state. When it comes to the LGBTQ community, there’s a lot to look forward to. Whether it’s celebrating Pride, access to organizations that offer a sense of community or safety, or gay-friendly activities, there’s a lot to enjoy here!

Both South Dakota and North Dakota are considered to be relatively conservative states in terms of LGBTQ+ rights. Both states lack explicit statewide protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in either state until the Supreme Court’s decision in 2015.

Moving To Gay south dakota Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.

That being said, some cities and municipalities within the states have implemented their own non-discrimination ordinances and some have a more vibrant LGBTQ+ community. For example, Fargo in North Dakota, is considered to be more gay-friendly than other cities in the state. Additionally, Sioux Falls, in South Dakota, has a relatively active LGBTQ+ community and a number of LGBTQ+ organizations and events.

It’s also important to note that laws and policies are not the only indicators of how welcoming a place is for LGBTQ+ people. Factors such as community attitudes, culture, and the presence of supportive resources also play a role in determining a location’s overall “gay-friendliness”.

To reduce the stress of your potential relocation, we recommend engaging a gay realtor in South Dakota early in the process to help you find your new perfect home there. They will have up-to-the-minute information on the best cities and areas for LGBT people and be able to match your needs to a neighborhood most suited to you.

You can just start with a no-obligation conversation, and if you decide to continue with your move to South Dakota – they will not only have your best interests at heart but also ensure you are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire process.

Gay Real Estate USA
Moving to gay South Dakota - South Dakota lgbt organizations - Lgbt rights in South Dakota - gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - gaybourhoods in South Dakota

Highlights Of Moving To Gay South Dakota

It’s hard not to get enthusiastic about the unique and tempting proposition that moving to South Dakota presents – especially once you get chatting with residents and long-time locals in the know about all their state’s hidden gems and best-kept secrets. After all, this is why many chose to live here. 

Once you move here, you should quickly befriend locals, let them ‘spill the tea’ and then spend your free time discovering the best sights, food, nature and culture South Dakota has to offer. On top of this, thanks to an offbeat yet deeply engaged LGBT community – which congregates at a few fabulous queer hot spots – securing a relocation to South Dakota should allow you to meet local queer people with similar interests. 

We are certain locals will have many more to add, but to get you excited, here are just a few highlights to look forward to as you become South Dakota’s newest denizen.

Moving to gay South Dakota - South Dakota lgbt organizations - Lgbt rights in South Dakota - gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - gaybourhoods in South Dakota

Sioux Falls Pride

Of course, there’s much to enjoy about South Dakota in terms of popular moments, the outdoors, and national parks. Even so, the queer scene in Sioux Falls is one of the main attractions of the city. Sioux Falls Pride is the hub for the state’s and surrounding area’s queer communities, and the event keeps getting bigger and better each year.

The event is held in June each year and is represented by a rainbow buffalo. This event is one of the biggest Pride events in the state and is well-attended by singles, families, and people of all ages. The celebration is organized by Sioux Falls Center for Equality. 

Incredible Dining

The food scene in South Dakota is pretty amazing! The state was once home to settlers and indigenous people that lent their heritage to the state over the years. The dishes in South Dakota are varied, and you can enjoy tiger meat, walleye, buffalo burgers, mocha cakes, and chislic.

Chislic is a popular South Dakotan dish that traditionally included skewed lamb or mutton. However, you’re likely to find other versions using beef steak and venison.

A Low Cost Of Living

South Dakota is one of the most affordable states to live in the United States. The cost of housing, groceries, and other necessities is significantly lower than the national average, which makes it a great place to live for people looking to stretch their dollars further.

Moving To Gay south dakota Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.

Breath-Taking Natural Beauty

South Dakota is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse natural landscapes in the country. The state is home to the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, and the Missouri River, as well as many other natural attractions.

Friendly People

South Dakotans are known for being some of the friendliest and most welcoming people in the country. The state’s small-town atmosphere and tight-knit communities make it easy to meet new people and make friends.

Outdoor Activities Galore

South Dakota is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, and more. Whether you’re looking to explore the state’s many parks and natural areas or enjoy outdoor recreation on its many lakes and rivers, South Dakota has something for everyone.

A Firing On All Cylinder’s Economy

South Dakota’s economy is strong and diversified, and the state has a low unemployment rate. The state’s business-friendly environment, low taxes, and skilled workforce make it an attractive place for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to relocate or start a new venture.

Moving to gay South Dakota - South Dakota lgbt organizations - Lgbt rights in South Dakota - gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - gaybourhoods in South Dakota

LGBTQ+ Rights In The USA

The laws governing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have altered considerably over time in the United States and vary from state to state. In many ways, LGBT rights are some of the best in the world – but the devil is in the detail, and some places are much more hostile to queer life than others.

While same-sex marriage has been legal in every state since the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling on June 26, 2015 (before Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states and Washington, D.C. ), LGBT people are still treated differently in different states – both societally and as inequality under the law.

Over half of all states still allow discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, while counties and cities within states often have distinct laws as well. While some states permit adoption by all couples, others forbid it for all unmarried couples.

This is all to say what most of us already know is that LGBT rights and equality differ greatly across the USA, and the specifics of family, marriage and anti-discrimination laws are different in every state.

Thus, while it is comforting to know that you can choose to marry whoever you love across the USA (and have it recognized as such) and are protected against hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity (which can be punished under Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009), there are still many questions you will likely have about moving to South Dakota and what you can expect of LGBT life there.

LGBTQ+ Rights In The USA - LGBT Right In South Dakota

Does South Dakota Embrace The LGBTQ Community?

South Dakota currently has no statewide protections for discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. Even so, communities around the state, as well as the legislature, are working hard to ensure that the state laws are in tandem with what the residents believe in, which is the importance of protecting the LGBTQ+ community and its people from discrimination.

South Dakota legislature has successfully thwarted efforts to introduce anti-transgender legislation in the past. However, in 2017, an anti-LGBTQ bill was introduced that allowed child welfare organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people. According to a study, at the beginning of 2022, Sioux Falls in South Dakota was leading the country in depression rates amongst LGBTQ people. 

Reportedly more than 90% of the LGBTQ people in the community reported feeling depressed once a week. However, there’s a high chance that the numbers could be much higher since not everyone would readily say that they feel depressed. 

Kameron Nelson, recently made history as South Dakota’s first openly gay man to serve in the state legislature. This is a good move and shows that there’s growing acceptance for LGBTQ people in the state.

Hopefully, with the election of Kameron Nelson, LGBTQ people here will see much more representation and inclusion in state legislation, and other lawmakers will be able to connect with the LGBTQ community through him.

LGBTQ+ Community Organizations
Shop LGBTQ+ Pride Designs @

Is South Dakota An Expensive State To Move To?

South Dakota has a reasonable cost of living, and the cost of utilities and housing is less than the national average. However, as a result of the state’s location, the cost of food might be much higher than the national average. Here’s a simple breakdown of the different costs you will have to incur while living in South Dakota.

Housing Costs

South Dakota is ranked 10th highest in the U.S. when it comes to housing. The median cost of housing in the state is $200,000. A one-bedroom apartment in the state could go for approximately $600 each month, while a six-bedroom home would cost around $950 per month.

Food Costs

A single adult in the state could spend around $3,250 on food each month, while a family of four would spend approximately $9,390. Nationally, a single adult would spend around $3,200 on food, while a family of four would be expected to spend around $9,350.

Utility Costs

Monthly utility bills in South Dakota include heating, water, garbage, and electricity. These would cost you about $250 per month and don’t include the price of the internet each month.


You should expect to spend about $950 per year on gas alone in South Dakota. Other transportation costs, such as car insurance premiums, will set you back about $1,450. A single adult living in South Dakota should expect to spend approximately $10,640 each year on transport.

Moving to gay South Dakota - South Dakota lgbt organizations - Lgbt rights in South Dakota - gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - gaybourhoods in South Dakota

LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In South Dakota

Wherever you live, it is essential that you support LGBT organizations in any way you can so that they can keep reaching out to and assisting other, more vulnerable members of the community. After all, we are stronger when we work together, and each of us will likely have a time in our lives when we require a little extra support.

Thankfully, South Dakota has a supportive and diverse LGBTQ community, which has helped the state become more gay-friendly in recent years.

As a result, there are a variety of LGBT resources available to community members, their allies, friends, and families – and you ought to feel free to utilize them or consider giving your support as needed to keep your new home state moving forwards! They are also great places to meet new people and find your queer chosen family in Gay South Dakota.

Sioux Empire Pride Sports Association (SEPSA)

SEPSA is on a mission to create a safe space for the Sioux Falls LGBTQ community to come together and enjoy competitive and recreational sports. The association is well-established in corn hole, bowling leagues, and softball and seeks to be an umbrella organization for LGBTQ+ leagues. 

Transformation Project SD

The mission of Transformation Project SD is to empower and support transgender people and their families. They also seek to educate communities in South Dakota and neighboring areas about gender expression and identity.

Transformation Project SD believe that transgender people in the state deserve so much better because they have faced discrimination, misunderstanding, and hostility simply because of who they are. 

As a result of this, they seek to offer a safe space where transgender youth can live openly as their true selves, and where their parents can find a sense of belonging. The organization seeks to create a community that embraces all transgender people and offers their families a support network. Their vision is for all youth to realize that they are valued, embraced, and empowered enough to live full lives.

Equality South Dakota

Equality South Dakota has three arms that work together to fulfill its mission of helping the LGBTQ community around the state gain equality. The organization works through community partnerships and education at the grassroots level.

Happy Queer Community

Most Gay-Friendly Cities In South Dakota

In South Dakota, there are many wonderful areas to live in, but when relocating to LGBTQ Dakota, you should be cognizant that there are a few cities and gaybourhoods that are nearer to the queer hubs of life. Knowing them will allow you to pull your U-Haul up to your new house in a gay-friendly neighborhood or town that is best suited to your needs.

If you’re a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer person seeking a welcoming neighborhood with facilities you’ll cherish, start with these top gay and gay-friendly South Dakota cities to discover your perfect new home, each with its distinct personality.

Give yourself enough time to acquaint yourself with South Dakota’s diverse personalities, and remember that there is no one perfect answer when it comes to the most gay-friendly places in South Dakota… and just because it does not make our list doesn’t necessarily make it a bad option.

We recommend speaking to a local LGBT real estate agent for a more detailed understanding of the best options today. Now, let’s take a look at where these fabulously gay-friendly cities in South Dakota are and why you might want to consider them!

Moving to gay South Dakota - South Dakota lgbt organizations - Lgbt rights in South Dakota - gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - gaybourhoods in South Dakota


Brookings is one of the most family-friendly cities in the state for the LGBTQ+ community. This safe city offers residents a high quality of life, lots of green spaces, and a vibrant downtown with plenty of restaurants and shops. What’s more, the city is home to South Dakota State University, so you can be sure that there are lots of progressive attitudes here. 

Each year, the city of Brookings ranks high in LGBTQ+ inclusivity thanks to its residents loving all members of the community. Local LGBTQ+ advocates credit South Dakota State University for uniting people from different religions, backgrounds, and countries into the community. 

If your aim is to live in one of the state’s safest cities, Brookings is the city for you. Not only is it the safest city in the state, but it’s also the fourth-largest with 22,000 people, which makes it very unlikely for members of the LGBTQ+ community to face victimization. 

Even though Brookings is a small city, there’s something for everyone here, with plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, and a mall. Brookings is also the home of the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, which encourages kids to be expressive and creative.

Brookings also has an LGBTQ liaison office that acts as a resource for the city’s Police Department and is also a platform for the LGBTQ+ community to elevate their concerns.

The city offers residents a suburban feel with lots of bars for everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, to enjoy. There are lots of young professionals here, and even though many residents lean conservative, you can expect a city that loves and embraces you for who you are.

best gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - Brookings

Sioux Falls

The city of Sioux Falls first held its Pride parade, aka Sioux Falls Pride, in the mid-2000s. Sioux Falls Pride, then known as the Center for Equality, was the leading LGBTQ+ non-profit that offered support to the community and also advocated for the city’s and other surrounding areas’ LGBTQ+ communities. 

When you move here, be ready to attend the city’s annual LGBTQ+ celebration, also known as Sioux Falls Pride Festival. The festival includes lots of LGBT vendors, performances, family-friendly entertainment, food, and opportunities to meet new people and have fun! 

Over the years, the Pride festival has grown in leaps and bounds and now welcomes more than 10,000 people from all over the state. The event has now also grown to include Pride Week, which offers engaging community efforts. The city’s metro area includes Minnehaha, Turner, Lincoln, and McCook. 

Some of the LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods in Sioux Falls include Pettigrew Heights, 10th and Western, All Saints, and the Cathedral Historic neighborhood, all with active organizations that promote the safety and beautification of these neighborhoods. Sioux Falls is the state’s largest city, with a population of 180,920. If you’re looking for city life, this is the neighborhood for you. 

The downtown area is the heart of the city, and the Big Sioux River is quite the natural attraction as it flows past streets, businesses, shops, bars, restaurants, and cafes.

Sioux Falls has lots of green spaces and offers a variety of outdoor activities, complexes, world-class hunting grounds, and recreational fields. One of the largest parks in the city is Great Bear, with around 220 acres of land for jogging, picnics, hiking, and so much more!

best gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - Sioux Falls

Rapid City

Rapid City is one of the best places to live in South Dakota. It is located east of Black Hills, on the western side of the state and is an excellent choice for those who are looking for luxury living. The city also features a beautiful natural landscape and isn’t devoid of shops, cafes, restaurants, and many attractions anyone would be happy to enjoy. 

Rapid City is South Dakota’s second-largest city but is still considered a small and chill city. If you want to get to Mt. Rushmore, you have to pass through Rapid City. Even if this isn’t your thing, there are many more attractions that locals and tourists can enjoy all through the year. 

Rapid City was once the home of miners that had the dream of starting businesses and opening up the area for a range of opportunities during the Black Hills gold rush in 1876. While the city still carries a Midwest atmosphere, it is also home to art galleries, eateries, bars, taverns, shops, and museums. 

Rapid City offers a range of activities, safety, and a lower cost of living. It is also a tourist magnet thanks to its many diverse attractions that visitors come to see each year. Whether it’s attractions like Crazy Horse or other historical monuments, events, and activities, there’s something here for everyone that wants to explore. 

Some of the most popular activities in Rapid City include fishing and hunting through the prairies and forests of the city. The city’s Black Hills is home to turkey, game birds, bighorn sheep, whitetail deer, and mountain lions for hunters that love diversity. 

Even though the hunting season is at its peak from September to January, locals love to hunt during August. You will find locals heading to the hills for hunting or the lakes and streams for fishing, where they mostly catch bluegills, trout, and walleye.

best gay-friendly cities in South Dakota - Rapid City

Finding Gay Realtors In South Dakota

When looking for the ideal realtor, why would you consider someone’s sexuality? This may seem strange at first, but there are several reasons why contacting a gay realtor in South Dakota is a great way to find your dream house.

After all, when it relates to one of life’s most significant transactions, it’s not unreasonable to expect fair, equal, and honest representation from someone who understands the queer community’s particular needs and wishes.

Furthermore, unfortunately, many people (up to a third of Americans) believe that our community does not deserve protection and dignity in housing, adoption, employment, and other areas of life.

So it’s no surprise that LGBT people who use mainstream realtors often describe feelings of discomfort, unnecessary trouble, unenthusiastic representation, or even antagonism or outright contempt.

Everyone deserves a pleasant, stress-free home buying or selling experience while being adequately represented, and this is why we feel you should hire a gay realtor to assist you in finding your future home.

gay realtor in South Dakota* gay real estate  in South Dakota* lgbt realtors  in South Dakota* lgbt friendly real estate agents near me  in South Dakota

LGBTQ realtors are more likely to be familiar with the diverse communities in their area and know which ones may be best suited to you when looking for a home.

That’s not to say a heterosexual realtor isn’t capable, but they’ve probably never had to address many of the issues LGBT people face.

Rather than just being concerned with how bustling, fashionable, or up-and-coming a neighborhood is (or what it may appear like), gay realtors conduct extensive research into the neighborhoods in which they sell homes to ensure that clients are safe.

It used to be challenging to locate professional LGBT-friendly real estate agents in South Dakota, and it was virtually impossible to find one if you were relocating here from out of state and didn’t have access to a local referral.

You no longer have to search for a realtor without knowing whether or not they are accepting of others because you can use a list of gay, lesbian, and gay-friendly agents in South Dakota to do all of your homework for you.

Simply go to the page, and you’ll be presented with a free list of gay, lesbian, and gay-friendly agents who can help you with your relocation as well as other useful information like LGBT+friendly schools, shopping, storage firms, tradespeople, and more.

Read the biographies of LGBT real estate agents, then choose the one who is right for you. It’s critical that you find someone who will be by your side and support you and your family during one of life’s most exciting occasions.

Even better, there is no hidden motive, cost, or obligation whatsoever!

gay realtor in South Dakota* gay real estate  in South Dakota* lgbt realtors  in South Dakota* lgbt friendly real estate agents near me  in South Dakota
gay friendly realtors near me