On November 5th, WGLZ DJ Sean Whorton had the opportunity to speak with Rosemary Ketchum on the air. Rosemary is the first openly transgender official ever to be elected in the state of West Virginia. She is also the Associate Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Wheeling. Rosemary and Sean first spoke about her work around the community. She works as a councilwoman on Wheeling’s city council and works closely with clients of NAMI who need support during the COVID health crisis.
The main issue these two discussed how people around Wheeling can be better allies toward the Transgender Community. As the first ever transgender person elected in West Virginia, Rosemary explained that representation is the most important thing to strengthen the support. Every person wants someone in a position of power that they can relate to, that knows their personal struggles, that can empathize with them. Rosemary also highlighted the importance of not just being an ally performatively. It is crucial to call out and stand up to hate when it is seen in person. Rosemary was able to offer insight into how being a better ally can benefit others, a topic that demands to be discussed more than ever.