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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Catching Up With Hagerstown Hopes

  The folks at Hagerstown Hopes have been very busy. For months I’ve been seeing updates via their Facebook page: exciting news of a new community center, social outings, and of course, news of the upcoming Hagerstown Pride. I recently met with Jeff Rohrer, president of Hagerstown Hopes, to learn more about what they’ll be bringing to the community. Let me tell you, it’s everything I could have asked for, and more. First on the list is the new LGBTQ community center located in Mulberry Lofts, which is expected to open very soon. Rohrer says that they’re down to a […]

How Queer Culture Influences the March for Our Lives

What do you do when you have little to lose and everything to gain? You fight for what you believe in. This sentiment has been the backbone of LGBTQ protests in countless fights for equality since the early days of the AIDS crisis. It has helped us achieve what many, including some of our own, thought to be impossible. We’ve won the battle for marriage equality, our acceptance into the military, and many civil rights we had previously been denied. Now, students and anti-gun violence protesters have taken pages from the LGBTQ playbook to address the issue of gun-related violence […]

West Virginia Teachers Lead Movement

“Can I afford to do the job I love?” It’s an important question most of us have asked ourselves, especially if our passion lends itself to nontraditional employment; after all, the “starving artist” cliché exists for a reason. But now, teachers and public employees in West Virginia have to ask themselves this question on a daily basis. Can they afford to continue doing the job they love? No one goes into teaching for the money. In West Virginia there are 680 public schools, over a quarter-million students, and 19,488 teachers. There are also 727 teacher vacancies, a problem attributed to […]

Learning from LaPone

Patti LuPone doing a good job at singing may not sound like front-page news. She’s won a bunch of awards and has been nominated for even more, thanks to her powerful voice and Juilliard training in acting. She’s an icon and a living legend whose high belt has only gotten stronger and better with time. But what fascinates me most about her recent Grammy Awards performance of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from the musical Evita are the circumstances surrounding it. As a bona fide diva, LuPone has seen her share of drama (pun intended). She was famously in a […]

What Should We Do with James Franco?

Every year the Oscar nominations are somewhat of a mixed bag. If Meryl Streep was in a movie, you know she’s going to be nominated (and she was again this year, making 21 nominations in total); but there are always brilliant performances, films, and work that aren’t nominated, leading audiences and critics to the conclusion that they were “snubbed.” This year, the big snub is James Franco for his performance in The Disaster Artist, which he also directed and for which he won a Golden Globe Award. His performance may have been worthy of a nomination, but it seems his […]

What the Toddler Taught Me

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately. No, I’m not in the midst of an existential crisis and yes, everything is okay. I’ve been thinking about happiness because with the new year approaching lots of people are talking about their New Year’s resolutions and asking me what I’d like to be different in the new year. Please follow and like us: