Rise of the Digital Queerspace

The world feels weird, and I like everyone, am struggling to make sense of it. A week ago, more people clambered about whether our now reality was a pandemic or a panic, and when this prints in a week, who knows what normal will be. Being queer is a bag unto itself, but adding in quarantines, speculation and fear about our medical limits, and the collapse of the service, airline and hospitality industries-three industries that employ a vast majority of us- and it becomes quite easy to see why I have spent a lot of this week in my kitchen, […]

In Another Universe

It had been a rough first couple of months. Thanks to puberty blockers, my body had not had any hormones running rampant in two years, and when I started testosterone injections immediately following my 16th birthday, the mood swings and flares of anger caught me off guard. Being consciously aware of my height kept me from lashing out at the vocal bigots in the cafeteria, but I found myself storming into the stalls in the boys’ room on multiple occasions. I knew teen boys felt anger, having a brother 18 months younger than me had keyed me into that. But […]

The Gravity of Bullying

I wore an eye patch from third grade through sixth grade. I was the mixed-race tomboy with one eye. While my obvious differences rarely reared their ugly side in elementary school, they became my sole identifier by middle school. The first time I was called a homophobic slur was when I was referred to as a Pirate Dyke on the school bus. After my flute was stolen and thrown into the yard of an aggressive dog and the school deemed it not their problem, I changed bus stops, where I was pelted with rocks on my way home each day […]

A Reluctant Valentine’s Plan

The last time my wife and I had Valentine’s Day off together, Barack Obama was in the middle of his first term in office. She was a college freshman, and I was preparing to transfer after attending a community college while I cleared up an outstanding student loan balance from my time at Wesleyan. We had tickets to the professional orchestra that was housed at our university and made plans to go out for dinner after the concert. To top off our romantic evening, I bought us a bottle of Boone’s Farm; and we spent the rest of the night […]

A Blast from My Past

A couple of months ago, I wrote about my struggles to reconnect with people from my past. In the 15 years since I graduated high school, I’ve changed a lot more than my name and gender. Hailing from conservative western Maryland, the reality is a lot of my former peers have tenets that, while forged in the name of morality, mean little more to me than an absolute dismantling of my equal rights. Trans, queer, and progressive or not, I still want a connection to my roots. We all crave that sense of grounding that both tethers us to our […]

Neil and I

During one of my weekend trips with my baton teacher to a competition in Ohio, my parents sent me with a Rush cassette for my Walkman. It was Permanent Waves, and I rewound “The Spirit of the Radio” so much the tape was ruined by the time I crossed back into Maryland the next evening. I want to say that Rush – specifically, Neil Peart – is the reason I became a drummer, mediocre or not. But honestly, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to play the drums. I’m a second generation band geek, the child of […]

A Boy, Interrupted

Pre-puberty me wasn’t much different from the rest of the little boys I identified with. I played baseball, loved Nintendo, and had dirty, scraped knees and holed-up jeans. Even at ballet or baton twirling, two extremely effeminate things, it was okay, because my brother also participated in them. Baton twirling is something I don’t talk about as an adult. It’s the most clock-able thing about me. I also don’t have a lot of good memories involving it. The combination of trans and not being the pretty little blonde girl who loved pink meant that competitive baton twirling did not want […]

Hagerstown Hopes Roars Into the 20s!

As we say hello to a brand-new decade, I proudly proclaim that 2019 was the most expansive and successful year for Hagerstown Hopes yet! First off, we just want to say a tremendously heartfelt thank you to all of our volunteers, patrons, and allies. We could not do anything without each and every single one of your bodies, minds, and ideas. And what a year it has been! From adding a spousal group that meets concurrently as our Trans Group, to getting our Youth Group up and running, and putting on the first pride prom for Washington County and the […]

The Force is with Me

Star Wars is my favourite thing. Obviously, I love my wife, pets, and family / friends more than Star Wars, but as for physical items, Star Wars wins, and has for a vast majority of my life. I was six or seven when in an attempt to enjoy child-free silence and get some work done, my father, flipping through the channels, stopped at the beginning of the trash compactor scene. When I used that moment to remark that I like space and science, I opened Pandora’s box with a sledgehammer. I have had a Star Wars cake every single year […]

A Holiday Plea

As I write this, I want to start by saying that today is November 30th and I was over this year’s holiday season by 3:15 pm on Thanksgiving. Which, considering my shift that day did not start until 3, is a pretty quick turnaround from me walking in just minutes prior with a bellyful of turkey, excited to see the decorations outside of the hotel in all of their winter glory. I had yesterday off, and while spending the day with my wife, my dog, and in my quiet, peaceful house helped rekindle that magic, coming back to work today […]