Jacquelyn Heat is the derby moniker of one Rita Kelly. Rita has been involved in derby since 2009, starting with Philly Roller Derby and later moving to Brandywine Roller Derby. She was a bit of a pioneer as the first openly transgender member of each league.
In addition to playing as a skater, Rita has been an official, served on BRD’s leadership board, was captain of the Brandywine Brawlers in 2015, and has occasionally filled the roles of bench manager and bench coach. In 2017, Rita reduced her direct involvement in derby to focus on music and writing.
Outside of derby, Rita is a rock vocalist, songwriter, and author. In addition to working on her own original songs, she can be seen performing regularly with the “Grad School” group at her local School of Rock. Kat & Mouse is Rita’s first major work of fiction.
By day, Rita works in a clerical support role at a psychiatric facility. Rita herself lives with depression and anxiety and believes strongly in visibility as a means of fighting the stigmas surrounding mental illness.