Past, Present, and Future

Have you ever had one of those moments that you dread? You know the type I mean. You know you have to have this moment, but you really, really, really don’t want to go there. But, you know you should. It’s the type of moment that many in the LGBTQ community know well. Well, I’m about to have one of those moments. Three years ago, when we took custody of Cassandra, we questioned what might happen if something happened to us. Who would get custody of Cassandra? What would prevent her from going into foster care? And, the worst thing […]

The Work and Why I Do It

A few days ago, I went to trivia night with some new friends. Midway through the game the question asked which composer had written the Hungarian Rhapsodies, an easy win for us because our team includes two trained musicians. We immediately set to the kind of frenzied, whispered conversation that makes trivia so much fun. We agreed that it was a sneaky question because Brahms was best known for his Hungarian Dances, but Liszt had in fact written the Hungarian Rhapsodies. A few minutes later the answer was announced. Some teams groaned and others cheered. Then, as we enjoyed the […]

Hagerstown Hopes Supports VDay

It’s been another busy month for Hagerstown Hopes. We’ve survived the snow and polar vortex and we’re excited to update you on our progress in several initiatives! We just hosted our first open meeting at our community center, the Hagerstown Hopes Hub! We hold open board meetings every other month to give the community a chance to meet us, learn more about our work, and to get involved. This was our first meeting at the Hub and we’ve been eager to show off our space. Located in Mulberry Lofts, the Hub is the center of our activities. We’ve hosted meetings […]

Let Us Go to Hell

For the majority of my adolescence, my rock was my faith and spirituality. Even at maximum-angst-levels, when I touted myself a Goth teenage Marxist, my black nail polish and lip-lined self was in the pew every Sunday. In high school I was an acolyte and a member of the praise band. By the time I finished high school, I was attending university with plans to become a youth pastor myself. Even as I began to understand my own sexuality and gender, it was not my decision to walk away from my faith until much later in my life. And even […]

Adoption: Double-Edged Sword

For the most part, I’m a fan of adoption. I’m adopted. My brother is adopted. I have three cousins who are adopted. I have two cousins who have each adopted two children. And, as you know, I’ve adopted 16 times. Adoption is more a part of my understanding of how to make a family than any other method. As my family, we adopted some through the state foster-care system, some through private adoption, and some through agencies. The only type of adoption we have not experienced is international. Our children were all born in the US. However, one of my […]

A Hand Worth Holding

A few months ago, I needed a date. My favorite movie (Dario Argento’s Suspiria) had been “re-imagined” by Oscar-nominated director Luca Guadagnino into what critics were calling a “grim and glorious work of madness,” centering around a coven of witches who channel and direct their magic in plain sight under the guise of a world-renowned dance company. With Tilda Swinton as the antagonist in a movie built around sexy-scary witch dancing, I knew I had to be there opening night. I also knew I needed a hand to hold. I began looking for a date in July. Presumably this would […]

Hagerstown Hopes: Trans Support and Outreach

Like all of you, we at Hagerstown Hopes are deeply troubled by the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow the transgender military ban to go into effect. It was a surprise of the worst kind and, when the local news reached out for comment, we banded together to draft a statement: … * WE BELIEVE everyone has the right to safety and to fully participate in society without fear of discrimination and violence. The announcement on the transgender military ban from the Supreme Court today comes as a blow to not only the transgender community, but to the LGBTQ community […]

Bad Words and Broken Memories

That is 18-year-old me in the picture with my best friend at the time. Before adulthood firmly separated our paths, we went on the adventures of sitcoms. Like most adolescent friendships, ultimately the experiences we go through are what tie us to each other forever. I’ve had the normal share of best friends forever growing up, and while we have all followed different paths, there are parts of our personalities that have been forever shaped by each other. The blurred face next to me had a flourish of hateful and ignorant rhetoric he needed to shout at my wife via […]

Hagerstown Hopes Ramps Up For 2019

Hagerstown Hopes had a great holiday season, and we thank you for being a part of it!  Now we’re gearing up for a new year, following the recent success of the Snow Ball and Silent Auction.  The annual holiday show and personal project of Nicole James, reigning Miss Gay Maryland America, brought the community together for a night of fun with proceeds generously benefiting Hagerstown Hopes.  Santa visited for selfies, items were auctioned, and over twenty performers gave us their all in a fun and memorable show.  When it was all said and done, the community raised over $10,000 to […]

Ditch the Bucket, Get A Well

January can be cruel.  It’s the start of a new year, it’s cold, and our custom of making resolutions to be better versions of ourselves can sometimes invite unwelcome introspection into who we are and the way we live our lives.  For me, January is especially cruel because it’s also the month of my birthday, a double whammy of a reminder that the clock is ticking and I’m not getting any younger.             To be clear, I’m not afraid of getting older.  Getting older only means one thing: that we didn’t die.  That’s good, right?  Well, yes and no.  I […]