Ins & Outs Why coming out matters

One of the things I love about our community is that there’s no right or wrong way to be queer; the only criteria for membership is that you identify as LGBTQIA-plus. This itself can be a long and arduous process. We know we belong to the community, but not necessarily where or how. Finding your tribe isn’t always easy, though. When I came out half a lifetime ago, part of me expected to find my tribe immediately. I didn’t. Most of us don’t. Many of us are still looking for our tribe. It takes time, some experimenting, and personal reflection […]

Proud of Pride

When you’re raising kids, certain days are memorable. Birthdays, school events, religious holidays, and family vacations. In our house, Pride season is definitely a part of that list. My kids, both young and old, love going to Pride events. Our kids are quick to invite their friends to go along to Pride events because “Mom always goes.” I end up taking the kids in our family, extended family, school family, family friends, and random other people who come along for the fun. The kids have special Pride outfits they wear. Their shirts promote love and their colors are usually rainbow. […]

Frederick Pride, June 23rd

As Frederick prepares to celebrate its seventh annual Frederick Pride, the local LGBTQ community reflects on the history of the festival. Frederick Pride is hosted by The Frederick Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community of central Maryland through its resources and advocacy. The Frederick Center began in 2012 after a local college student began searching for others interested in starting a LGBTQ community center. The first Frederick Pride took place that same year. Held in a local park and garnering approximately 300 attendees, the response was clear: the Frederick community wanted and needed this organization […]

Introducing the Rodeo’s Grand Marshal: Jennifer Vrana

When the second annual Keystone State Charity Rodeo takes place later this month (June 22nd to 24th) Grand Marshal Jennifer Vrana will ride into the arena. Flanked by fellow rodeo riders Cindy Brendle (heralding the Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association [ASGRA] flag), Mark Zwiers (heralding the Liberty Gay Rodeo [LGRA] flag), and President Adam Romanik (heralding the Keystone State Gay Rodeo Association [KSGRA] flag), Vrana’s entrance will signify the culmination of her decades-long dedication to gay rodeo. “I was absolutely shocked when I was asked [to be Grand Marshal],” began Vrana. “I don’t feel that I’ve done anything different than […]

Still Good Friends

The end of the semester just happened and I felt it was time I told some of the people closest to me about me being trans. Now, I was not obligated to do so, and often I don’t feel that it is anyone’s business. But I thought that maybe they’d like to know because it is a small part of who I am. For the most part, I knew that they’d take it well. There was just one person in particular that I was worried about. For right now, we will just call him Kanye. He was one of the […]

When Bois Love Girls

I’ve been thinking a lot about high school lately. You see, my nephew recently attended his first prom and I was there for the obligatory pre-prom photo extravaganza organized by a group of students from his high school. As the couples took turns posing in their prom finery, the parents in the crowd talked amongst themselves about how much prom has changed. Moms spoke of home-made gowns and dads discussed renting tuxedos from a catalog that had, at best, seven options. I remember the tuxedo I chose for my senior prom. The jacket had tails, something the conductor of a […]

Who Knows Him Best?

Over the years, I have spent a considerable amount of time dealing with specialists. Doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, you name it, I’ve been there. However, it never ceases to amaze me how much most professionals push aside the advice of a child’s parent. Last week, I had a meeting with my son’s psychiatric treatment team. He has severe mental illness and has been living in a psychiatric hospital for months after he attacked one of our teenaged daughters with a knife. Our daughter is fine. Our son is not. He continues to struggle with his diagnosis. Medication has not proven […]

The Ups and Downs of Parenting

Sometimes, being a parent is hard.  Trying to keep it together when your child is sick or injured.  Knowing that you would do everything, but really can’t do anything to help.  And then, there’s watching when your child’s heart is broken.  Or, standing by as they take those first big steps of independence.    Yesterday, was a rough day.  Work has been stressful, with multiple overlapping deadlines.  I haven’t had as much time to spend with the kids as I’d like.  Then, one of my adult sons called to curse at me because his day had gone badly.  He’s seriously mentally […]

Hang on to Your Hat! The rodeo rides into town June 22nd to 24th

The second annual Keystone State Charity Rodeo rides into Diamond 7 Arena, Dillsburg Pennsylvania from June 22nd to 24th and is an all-inclusive family-friendly unique rodeo experience and community event. Men, women, members of the LGBTQ community, and their straight allies will be competing equally in all rodeo events. During the rodeo weekend there will be a junior rodeo on Friday night for youth participants ages 12 to 18; an IGRA (International Gay Rodeo Association) sanctioned rodeo each day both Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:30 am; vendors, events, and activities for kids; and line dance lessons and a country […]

Support Grows in Hagerstown

When I first met Jeff Rohrer, he shared with me a lesson he learned a long time ago: If you want something, you have to ask for it. This philosophy has served Rohrer well, helping him and his drag alter ego, Ashley Bannks, win Miss Gay Maryland America in 2002. Now, as president of local LGBTQ nonprofit Hagerstown Hopes, Rohrer is using his motto to help and serve our community, and with great success. May 1st was a big day for Hagerstown Hopes. The first day the new Hagerstown Hopes community center was open to the public coincided with Washington […]