Hagerstown Hopes Presents Hagerstown Pride 2019!

Happy Pride from all of us at Hagerstown Hopes! As you may know, 2019 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. It was the Stonewall Riots that began our community’s long journey to where we are today. Along the way we fought, and won, battles for equality and civil rights. Every member of our community has a different relationship to these events. Some were pioneers, leading the movement; others were born into a more progressive, accepting world created by those who came before them. It is our history and culture that connects us, and that’s cause for Pride and […]

The Perks of Pride

This seems to be the year of Pride. Over the last few years we’ve been seeing more and more small towns and communities celebrating Pride. Only a few years ago it seems that only major cities celebrated Pride; now, Pride is everywhere, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Every town has its own personality, made up of all the folks who call it home. This means that every Pride is different and is a reflection of the wants and needs of the community. Having attended several Prides already this year (with more to come), I’m happy to say that […]

Hagerstown Hopes Gears Up for Hagerstown Pride!

Happy Pride from all of us at Hagerstown Hopes! This is one of our favorite times of year, a season of community, fun, and celebration for the LGBTQ community. We’ve been hard at work planning and making preparations for Hagerstown Pride. Along the way, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to add a few events leading up to the Hagerstown Pride festival, scheduled for July 13th from noon to 6 pm in the Central Parking Lot in downtown Hagerstown. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate Pride season! Pride season begins with our Pride Kickoff Night Out at […]

The Banner

Having been in marching band for six years, I’m no stranger to parades. My school participated in all kinds of parades, celebrating virtually every holiday and local festival imaginable. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we would march and play to commemorate the opening of an envelope. I thought I’d seen it all, then I marched in the Baltimore Pride parade and realized my years of middle and high school band had not prepared me for a Pride parade. At all. When I was asked to march in the parade, I immediately said yes. After all, I knew […]

Hagerstown Hopes Kicks Off Pride Season

Happy Pride from all of us at Hagerstown Hopes! This is one of our favorite times of year, a season of community, fun, and celebration for the LGBTQ community. We’ve been hard at work planning and making preparations for Hagerstown Pride. Along the way, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to add a few events leading up to the Hagerstown Pride festival, scheduled for July 13th from noon to 6 pm in the Central Parking Lot in downtown Hagerstown. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate Pride season. Pride season begins with our Pride Kickoff Night Out at […]

The Wounds of the Closet

We wouldn’t have Pride if we didn’t have the closet first. The closet isn’t a good place to be. It’s dark, it’s lonely, and, over time, becomes a kind of prison. It’s a difficult problem everyone in our community has faced because the closet exists for a reason: it keeps us safe, helps us maintain relationships with people we care about, and, in some cases, is necessary for survival. Each of us has a different relationship with the closet. Living in rural Maryland, I’ve met a number of people of all ages, genders, and sexualities who have an active relationship […]

Hagerstown Hopes: Pride, Youth Group, and More!

We’re on a roll at Hagerstown Hopes and we’re excited to tell you all about what we’ve been up to! Earlier in the month we participated in Washington County Gives, a day of giving and fundraising for nonprofits in Washington County. The bad news is that we’re still awaiting a final total of funds raised. The good news is that the delay is due to the sponsoring organization’s calculations of matching funds, as well as cash prizes awarded for a variety of criteria. As of now, we believe we’ve raised at least $3,000. We had some of the most generous […]

Problematic Policies

Sometimes being busy is a good problem to have. I say this because the last few months for me and the gang at Hagerstown Hopes have been nothing but busy. Now that we’ve established a presence in the community, we’ve been asked to participate in, contribute to, and partner with more organizations than I can think of without making a list and scrolling through my ever-growing inbox of emails. At a certain point I realized that the world really is changing quickly and that we no longer have to ask to be included because others want to include us. This […]

Hagerstown Hopes: Open Meeting and Updates

It’s been another busy month for us at Hagerstown Hopes! We recently hosted our first ever LGBTQ+ prom, attended by dozens of young people from three states. Prom was our first event exclusively for young people in our community, and we’re glad that everyone (including the chaperones) had a great time! A lot of work went on behind the scenes to make prom a success, and we’re just getting started! If you’d like to learn more about our work, along with new opportunities to volunteer, please join us at our open meeting! Our open meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May […]

One Year Later

The last year of my life is a blur, a series of events that feels like one long day. Sure, there are highlights and landmarks, events that stand out and memories I’ll never forget; but still, all the days run together and I often find myself remembering having a conversation, but not with whom or when. Or, I remember an event, but not when it took place. It’s almost as though I’ve lost all sense of time. This occurred to me a few days ago when I was leaving a meeting at the Hagerstown Hopes Hub. We had met to […]