June 2021 marks over two 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 Louise, a community a digital communications pro and community organizer, on what Pride is to them.
Then share what Pride means to you with #PrideIs or fill out the form below to share your story.
Born and raised in South Dakota, Louise has spent the majority of their career focused on building strong, vibrant, and inclusive community by collaboratively strengthening the local food system as well as organizing social and political action.
In 2020, they ran for state office to represent their hometown district and was the first openly gender-queer candidate to run for state office in South Dakota.
Despite losing the election, Louise remains dedicated to shaping a liberated future for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit South Dakotans.
Pride is ______. (Fill in the blank)
Pride is resilient.
How do you show your Pride year-round?
Educating, empowering, and mobilizing my community to support and protect BIPOC and LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit South Dakotans.
What is your go-to song that gets you ready to take action?
I am energized by ABBA. Before a public speaking event, interview, or testimony – anything that makes me anxious – I play "This is ABBA" on Spotify, belt out the lyrics, and dance on my coffee table.
What businesses do you see supporting Pride month that should be showing up outside of these 30 days to support queer folks year-round?
Many businesses use Pride month to virtue signal, while remaining "neutral" or silent during legislative session while the humanity of trans and queer South Dakotans is villainized. I no longer want to see that rainbow flag in your store window in June, I want to see businesses make a commitment to using their influence to advocate for safe, inclusive, accepting communities.
How can visibility in local government affect change in South Dakota?
We are valued, dedicated, passionate, talented members of our communities and holding positions in local and state government reflects that.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Join Louise's work to make South Dakota better for everyone my taking the Pride Pledge today!