Hagerstown Hopes Expanding Outreach and Community Service

Hagerstown Hopes exists to serve and support the LGBTQ community. After spending our summer attending Pride festivals throughout the state, meeting and listening to members of the community, and getting a sense of what is wanted and needed in the community, we’ve been hard at work preparing for our next year. Over the past year we’ve worked to build the foundation of Hagerstown Hopes and the programs and services we offer to the community. This is an exciting time for us, and we hope you’ll join us in our work to strengthen and support the local LGBTQ community! The foundation […]

Fathers & Sons

Part of growing up is letting go of the dreams we had as children and young adults. Most of us didn’t grow up to become astronauts or rock stars or princesses, and that’s okay. Each of us has different talents, skills, and interests that shape the person we ultimately become. All of these have a way of changing and growing over time and, during that process, we begin to accept that some things just aren’t in the cards for us. Usually that’s okay because we’ve outgrown some of our dreams, but others still sting a bit when we think about […]

On Yearbooks, Memories, and Trans-Disconnect

The early 2000s. A mixed bag of gender identity / sexual orientation / hobbies left teenage me scrambling to find more than a couple people who understood me in anything more than simplistic terms. I was able to cultivate a handful of friendships that withstood the volatile mess that most of my 20s were, and while grateful to have those people still in my life, the more removed I am from my teenage years, the more I feel a physical wall between my present and my past My reality is one where the person who lives in my old yearbooks […]

Calling All Wannabe Cowboys & Cowgirls

So what’s a rodeo school? A rodeo school is an event dedicated to teaching newbies how to perform the events in a gay rodeo. At a gay rodeo, you’ll find traditional rodeo events like barrel racing, bull riding, and calf roping. Gay rodeos also add in some fun crowd-pleasing camp events that even those who don’t know how to ride a horse or have never been around livestock can do. The three added camp events that you’ll find at a gay rodeo are goat dressing (a team relay race to put underwear on a goat), steer decorating (a team event […]

Fall into the New Season with Hagerstown Hopes

The summer days may be winding down, but the folks at Hagerstown Hopes are only heating up! Fresh off the heels of another successful Hagerstown Pride, we recently supported our community to the north as a part of Franklin County, Pennsylvania’s annual pride celebration on August 4th. “Drag Race” star Kalorie Kardashian led the festivities with help from Hagerstown Hope’s own Queen of Pride, Miss Chasity Vain, as well as many of the area’s many talented drag superstars. It was a perfect way to wind down Pride season with a family-friendly event that truly allows Hopes to bridge new relationships […]

Pencils, Paper, Backpacks, and …… Liberties for queer students

As the August nights begin to chill it means that back-to-school season is upon us. You cannot escape the displays, school lists and giant adverts of pencils and apples that have popped up in stores and online. Even if you’re decades removed from your own schooling, it is impossible to wade through the latter half of August and not remember the smell of new school supplies and shoes. Picking out the best outfit and packing your new backpack to the brim, and anxiously awaiting seeing your friends while wondering which teachers live up to their reputations. Young me usually spent […]

A Hidden Pleasure in Frederick

By Gary Schwartz There’s a delicious little cupcake shop in historic downtown Frederick City called Angelcakes and Cupcakes on East Church Street (along Shab Row) that serves the best cupcakes ever and made from all natural ingredients and “never from any industrial mixes!” What makes this delightful shop so unique, is head baker  Jolynn Wright. You can walk into her shop and see her baking her little heart out, and sometimes singing a show tune or a classic oldie. At times, she’ll post on their Facebook page, come in and sing … and get a free cupcake. But what has […]

A Reluctant Case of Change

Change is an inescapable part of being human. Whether it is little changes, like expanding one’s taste in food or music to outside of their normal go-to, or even a big change, such as moving to a new city, all changes impact us differently. I have friends who have up and moved cross-country with what to me seems like minimal planning, and completely thrived in their new surroundings. The phrase “creature of habit” does not do me justice. There was a week straight where I ate Burger King for every meal, and while I am not proud to admit that, […]

LuPone vs Lindsey & the Ethics of Outing

A year and a half ago I needed a topic. The article I was planning to write fell through at the last minute and an unlikely hero emerged and saved my column. That hero is Patti LuPone. She had just performed at the 2018 Grammy Awards, singing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Evita, the role that launched her award-magnet of a career. Yes, she slayed the performance, but the real story was that in singing a tribute to Weber, she also buried the hatchet in their famously longstanding feud. She gave me an article about the […]

Hagerstown Hopes ‘Love Grows’: Our Greatest Pride Yet

Hagerstown Pride was a huge success, and all of us at Hagerstown Hopes would like to thank everyone for their support! This was our biggest Pride to date. We estimate nearly 4,000 people braved the heat to visit, enjoy some amazing live entertainment, and spend time with our local LGBTQ community. Beacon House provided a fun, family-friendly Kid Zone, complete with games and arts and crafts projects. Butch Kelly and Chasity Vain, King and Queen of Hagerstown Pride, performed with local favorites and gave the crowd even more reasons to celebrate. Maya Montana, our headliner and former Miss Gay Maryland […]