LGBTQ+ voices in West Virginia: ‘All we all want is to just be a person’

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(WBOY) – LGBTQ+ topics have been making headlines in Appalachia over the past few years, and 2019 was no exception. In this web story, three people from the LGBTQ+ community share their stories on how they developed their identity.


For me, it’s been tough to balance my experience within the LGBT community and trying not to be pigeonholed, and I find that a lot of LGBT people experience that, especially trans people.

Where somebody sees them and they can only imagine them as a trans person in a one-dimensional kind of world. And trans people have so many other components because we’re just people.

Rosemary Ketchum on being in the public eye


I had intended on going as far away from Mannington, WV as possible…I assumed that the rest of West Virginia was also like my experience, and so I had to get as far away from this place as possible because my identity as a lesbian and my identity as a West Virginian were inherently incompatible, and it was never going to work.

Adia Kolb on picking a college


Dimitria is so bold and so unapologetic. She’s just there, and she might be as big as a barn, but she’s pretty. She knows she’s pretty, and she’s not afraid to tell you she’s pretty.

And it’s the complete opposite of Paul. I struggle with my image. I struggle with my weight. I struggle with everything every day…and so Dimitria takes me away from all of that.

Paul Liller on becoming Dimitria Blackwell

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