Adam Dale Jorgensen (he/him/his)


Sioux Falls


ACLU of South Dakota

June 2021 marks decades of celebrating LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit Pride Month in our state. 

Yet we know Pride isn’t just about the parades, glitter, and festivals. Hear from Adam, ACLU of South Dakota digital media associate, on what Pride is to them.

Then share what Pride means to you online with #PrideIs or fill out the form below to share your story. 

Share your story

Outside of working at the ACLU, Adam is involved in various nonprofits, advocacy groups, and volunteer-led organizations. They’ve lived in South Dakota for their entire life, attended college at the University of Sioux Falls, and has watched the entirety of "Schitt’s Creek" at least three times. When they’re not volunteering, Adam is exploring hiking trails with their dog, Nina.    

Pride is ______. (Fill in the blank) 

Pride is action-oriented. It means showing up for our community even when it’s difficult. Whether that’s trekking to Pierre in the middle of a blizzard or making that tough phone call to a senator to ask they vote no on the latest anti-trans bill, rising up and fighting back is important both during and outside of Pride month.  

How does working at the ACLU help you show your Pride year-round? 

Working at the ACLU has afforded me so many wonderful opportunities to bring members of my community together over a common issue. Recently, that has been fighting legislation which aimed to harm us like House Bill 1076 and House Bill 1217, which we successfully killed.  

How do you show your Pride year-round?  

I show my Pride by being visible and being gay as hell. South Dakota often gets a bad rap for being anti-LGBTQ+ (and right fully so, if you look at recent legislation), but nothing will change if we force ourselves to hide. Keep in mind, visibility is different for everyone. It could be wearing a rainbow pin to a networking event or donning pronouns on a name-tag. Being visible, however you can do it, is important.  

What is your go-to song that gets you ready to take action?  

Over the last few weeks I have been playing Amber Mark on repeat. Their recent songs are amazing and help me power through the work day.  

What do you have to say to politicians who support anti-LGBTQ+ legislation?  

In the words of Scott Hoy, "Please stop." These policies have no place in the legislature. And if recent events show us anything, if anti-LGBTQ+ politicians come for our community, they’ll have to get through all of us -- and we have a history of winning.  

What businesses do you see supporting Pride month that should be showing up outside of these 30 days to support queer folks year-round?  

I see so many local businesses and national organizations putting out swag, statements, and signage where they exclaim their support for the queer community during the month of June. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this support isn’t welcomed and accepted, it’s great. Yet, companies cannot forget that queer people exist outside of these 30 days. We need companies – local, national, and everywhere in between  to show up when our communities are under attack by politicians.  
Keep in mind, showing up can look different for every company. It could be showing up to the capitol to protest with queer South Dakotans, sponsoring a bus ride to Pierre for protesters, or setting up a space in your shop where people can gather and write/call their lawmakers. I’m really proud of the work that local shops like Terra Shepherd and Hippie Haven have done with us.  

How can visibility in local government affect change in South Dakota?  

It could save lives. Right now, there are no openly LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit lawmakers in the state legislature. We are fortunate, though, to have several openly LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit people in municipal governments across the state and have for many years, which has led to incredible outcomes. Just take a look at Brookings which continues to score the highest on HRC’s municipal equality index. This proves that having representation from all parts of a community has a positive impact on the well-being of all constituents.  

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

You’ll be alright, you’ll find your people, and you will make it out of the slump you think you are in. Growing up in a small rural town, I didn’t always feel accepted or comfortable being who I am. After coming out at age 7, I wasn’t completely comfortable telling my friends, just my parents, who were thankfully very supportive. It’s their support and open minds that have allowed me to become who I am today.  

Join Adam's work to make South Dakota better for everyone my taking the Pride Pledge today! 

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