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.

Rosemary

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

Adia

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

Paul

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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