Wonder & Joy

The holiday season is under way and, once again, I’m completely overwhelmed with a sense of wonder and joy. As soon as lights start to appear on houses and streets, I am transported back to childhood. It was a time when anything could happen; miracles were expected; and love abounded. At least, that’s how I remember it. Having a small child in your home for the holidays helps bring this wonderment to life. We decorated a little early this year, at least it was early for our home. Thanksgiving weekend was spent putting up the trees. We have five. We […]

The Kindness of Strangers

As a short, skinny kid with an eye patch who became a short, less-skinny, permanently-winking adult, people always assumed what I could not do. As a child, people took one look and concluded that I was either feeble-minded or -bodied. I applaud my mother for always being vocal with others about that reality, but I never thought about how exhausting that must have been. Now, as an out-and-flag-wearing trans man, I realize that I’ve traded one assumption for another. Between my work for Hagerstown Hopes and my slowly-growing potential reader base, I realize that I’m constantly representing something bigger than […]

Your Spirit and the Holidays

Recently I, along with members of Hagerstown Hopes and other community members, participated in the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It was a moving experience, all of us bundled against the cold while holding candles to bring light to the violence and injustices that have increasingly affected the transgender community in recent years. Asher Kennedy and I read the names and causes of death of those we lost to violence over the past year, mostly trans women of color. It all seemed so senseless and I began to wonder how, in 2018, we as a country are still struggling to accept […]

Hagerstown Hopes Crowns Queen & King of Pride

November 30th was a big night for Hagerstown Hopes and our local community. This was the night of the pageant to crown the Queen and King of Hagerstown Pride for 2019. Yes, you read that correctly – Queen and King. Pride festivals have long had a Queen of Pride, but Kings of Pride are relatively new to the scene. In an effort to better represent the diversity of our community, Hagerstown Hopes decided to open the pageant to all applicants, including cis-gender persons, to be the official spokespeople of our organization and to represent us to the public and in […]

Rule-Bound

I think my favorite season is fall. The weather gets cooler. The outdoor chores wind down. The kids are back in their normal schedule. There are leaves to play in. This fall season even included a significant snowfall. All around it’s a great time of year. Cassa loves the snow. I don’t think she remembers much of it from last year. She just turned three last week, after all. But, when it snowed at our house, Cassa headed out, bundled up to look like the Michelin Man. She and one of our teen boys ran around, threw snowballs, built a […]

Project Potluck

By the time you read this, the holiday season will be in full swing. My anxiety will also be in full swing because, as a nervous and incompetent cook, I will be preparing to face down my old enemy: holiday potlucks. Don’t get me wrong. Overall, I like potlucks. I like getting together with friends and loved ones and catching up. And sure, it’s nice to eat other people’s food, especially if they know how to cook. But for those of us who struggle in the kitchen, this can be a stressful time of year. Potlucks are like a “Project […]

Hagerstown Hopes: Updates and Advocacy

It’s been a busy month at Hagerstown Hopes! We’re happy to say that Golden Girls Drag Bingo, a fundraising event in partnership with For Otis Sake sold out, raising substantial funds for both our organizations. Everybody had a great time and our special Golden Girls performers put on a memorable and crowd-pleasing show. You can look forward to more drag bingo events from Hagerstown Hopes and For Otis Sake in the future! We’ve also been working to support our transgender community. On November 20th we participated in the Transgender Day of Remembrance, held in downtown Hagerstown to remember those in […]

Exhaustion!

Let’s face it, Moms and Dads, we all get there once in a while, right? We try so hard to get it all done – work, family, volunteer activities – that we sometimes commit more hours that we can reasonably do. In addition, if you add in any sort of chronic health issue, that makes it even more complicated. The last two weeks have been tough for me. My work responsibilities suddenly increased. The family has been particularly needy. And, to top it all off, one of my grown daughters decided to attack me with gossip and didn’t believe me […]

The T in Our Community

Do you remember what the world was like 20 years ago? I do. Back then, we were not equal citizens. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was still in place, and we were still years from achieving Marriage Equality. We were not protected by policy and the murder of Matthew Shepard lingered in the back of our minds, giving validation to our worst fears – that what happened to Matthew could happen to us. I was a teenager, desperately wanting to come out and find my tribe, but afraid to do so. During those times it wasn’t uncommon for us to be […]

Hagerstown Hopes: Supports the Trans Community

This is an exciting time for us at Hagerstown Hopes. Our organization was founded to serve the LGBTQ community and this is a responsibility we take very seriously. For months we’ve been working on developing programs and activities to meet the needs of our community not only in Hagerstown, but the surrounding areas as well. Our goal is to create quality programs that benefit the community, and we’re taking every precaution and attending to every detail to ensure that things run smoothly and with minimal hiccups. Now that I have your interest, I would like to formally invite you to […]