In rural North Dakota, where Melanie Hoffert grew up on her family farm, discussing subjects like homosexuality and same-sex marriage is often considered taboo. Courtesy of Beacon Press hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Beacon Press

Joel Heitkamp smiles while broadcasting in 2009 at AM radio station KFGO in Fargo, N.D. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Elaine Thompson/AP