Living History

Right now, as you read this, we are living history. What we are experiencing is unprecedented – a global pandemic that has quickly and dramatically changed the way we live. All non-necessary businesses in the state of Maryland are now closed. People across the world are now living in social isolation in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. No one knows how long this will last or what will happen in the meantime. There are also questions about what the world will be like when this is over. These are uncertain times, which is why I’ve chosen to look […]

Hagerstown Hopes Begins Planning Hagerstown Pride 2020

Thanks for reading about whats new with Hagerstown Hopes! Spring is almost here and were happy to announce that weve begun planning Hagerstown Pride 2020 as well as a number of other social and outreach events. Are you keen on event planning? Are you able to pitch in and volunteer during Hagerstowns Pride Festival on Saturday, July 18th? Do you have ideas to contribute to our leadership team on what youd like to see included in this years Pride Festival? Join us Thursday, March 5th at the Hagerstown Hopes Hub (22 North Mulberry Street) from 5:30 to 7 pm for […]

Inside the Secret Society

For the past two and a half years Ive been a member of a secret society. We are all around you, hiding in plain sight. It is a secret society of benevolent people, carrying out not-so-secret missions in broad daylight. Sometimes youll see the fruits of our labors, but most of our work goes unnoticed and, therefore, is often unappreciated. We are the caregivers. We are the people who take care of others. There are a lot of us out there, and you probably know one or more of our members. We are the people who take care of sick […]

Hagerstown Hopes Labor of Love

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Hagerstown Hopes! Our organization exists to support, strengthen, and serve the LGBTQ community of Hagerstown, Maryland, and the surrounding areas. For us, this is a labor of love for our community. All of our board and committee members are volunteers, citizens who want to give back to the community and make life better in the places we call home. As always, we’ve made progress in our work and we hope you’ll join us for some of our upcoming events! Historically, there haven’t been many social opportunities for our community in Hagerstown and […]

A Community of Love

One of the things I like most about our community is that we are defined by love. It’s a simple notion that is also surprisingly complex. Unlike other communities that are defined by geography, beliefs, culture, and heritage, our community is a mishmash of members of all other communities, brought together because of who and how we love. Our community is defined by what’s in our hearts and through our actions we show the world that love is love and all love is equal. That doesn’t mean that love comes easily to us, though. Many of us were taught to […]

Hagerstown Hopes Supporting Youth & Giving Back

There’s always something happening at Hagerstown Hopes. Our mission is to strengthen and support the LGBTQ community of Washington County and surrounding areas. It’s a big task, and we’re up for the challenge! Continue reading to find out more about what we’ve been doing, as well as what’s coming.When we decided to branch out into community outreach, we knew we needed to develop programs and services for our young people. LGBTQ youth often face unique challenges that are different than their straight and cisgender peers. Without support, queer youth can be vulnerable to problems their age and experience have not […]

Not If, But When

I wondered when I would see him again – not if, but when. It’s a question that has lingered since my father passed away exactly four weeks ago and I returned home to a now empty house. My eyes were red from crying, my heart feeling both heavy and empty at the same time. I didn’t know what would happen next, but I knew somehow, instinctively, that I would see him again. It’s not that I’m an avid believer in the paranormal, though I know that’s how it may seem. I enjoy entertaining ideas about the existence of things we […]

The Last Story

My father was an outdoorsman. He called himself a hunter, and he was, but one-on-one he would confide that he really just enjoyed being in nature. As he got older, he began leaving his rifle in the truck before trekking through the woods to sit, surrounded by nature and alone with his thoughts for a few hours. Hunting was just a pretense, an excuse to wear camouflage and disappear into the trees. My father also liked to tell stories. I imagine he used his time in the woods to collect his thoughts and spin them into a yarn with just […]

Happy Holidays from Hagerstown Hopes

With the holiday season upon us, we at Hagerstown Hopes have been thinking about the importance of community. All of our work is meant to strengthen and support the LGBTQ community in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas, as well as the wider community. This work cannot be done alone, and we hope that you’ll join us this holiday season in bringing people together during a very special time of year. If you live in Hagerstown, you may have already noticed a bit of holiday cheer. This year Hagerstown Hopes was invited by the City of Hagerstown to collaborate in decorating […]

The Spirit of Christmas

What does Christmas mean to you? Each of us experiences the holiday differently. Some of us throw ourselves into the hustle and bustle of the season, decorating and baking until we’ve created a winter wonderland that would make Santa himself blush. Others of us give our time, volunteering for causes that are close to our hearts. Some of us are more mindful of being “nice,” while others indulge their “naughty” sides at holiday parties. If you are a religious person, you’ve probably already made plans to attend one (or more) church services – after all, “You can’t spell Christmas without […]