Gay Country Rank: 23/50

The largest urban area between Denver and Minneapolis, Sioux Falls is a mixed bag. This city is part bustling metropolis and part sleepy Great Plains town, with lots of outdoor activities and shopping malls.

Visitors will find all sorts of surprises here. For instance, gay Democratic politico Steve Hildebrand calls Sioux Falls home, as does couture designer Hugo Sarmiento. But many of Sioux Falls' gay population are a bit shy about their lives, and those that are out have to contend with South Dakota's discriminatory laws.

Still Sioux Falls is a friendly, rather open-minded community, with many nearby universities. The arrival of Citibank and other major white collar employers has created demand for more culture and diversity. There is a move afoot to create more support for local arts, and seen in the creation of a new arts council. Gays, as usual, are leading the way.

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