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 […]

Year of the Beard

A lot happened in 2018, but for me it was the year of the beard. I’ve had a beard of varying length for years, but dress codes and social norms generally kept it in check. Every few weeks (or months) I’d go to a barber and tidy up so I would look like a respectable young man. Then my barber closed towards the end of 2017 and because I was working in a more relaxed environment, I decided to conduct my own social experiment and not trim my hair or beard for a year. Here’s what happened. At first I […]

Happy New Year from Hagerstown Hopes

Hagerstown Hopes has a lot to be thankful for and we want to thank the community for supporting us all year, but especially for helping us break a fundraising record at the recent Snow Ball & Silent Auction hosted by The Lodge. The holiday show, featuring 20-plus performers, has long been the pet project of Nicole James, reigning Miss Gay Maryland America, and has become a staple in our local community. This year, the community showed up for some great entertainment and to support Hagerstown Hopes, the beneficiary of the night. In just three short hours, the community raised over […]

Baby, It’s Time to Talk About Consent

This has been a year filled with headlines and social movements (#MeToo) about sexual politics, so it isn’t much of a surprise that we’re now reconsidering our feelings about the holiday song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Rather than rehash what’s already been said about a song that could easily be interpreted as inappropriate, I’d rather address the larger issue: consent. Sexual consent is a tricky topic. Each state has a different definition and our approach to consent is still evolving. Gone are the days of “no means no,” thus paving the way for the new “only yes means yes.” Many […]

Happy Holidays from Hagerstown Hopes

As 2018 comes to an end, we here at Hagerstown Hopes have been reflecting on the last year and how far we’ve come as an organization. We have you and our community to thank for that – it’s sometimes hard to believe the progress that’s been made in our small town in recent years, let alone this year. It’s been an exciting, sometimes arduous journey, to bring services and resources to the LGBTQ community in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas, and we thank you for your support. Our community center (the Hagerstown Hopes Hub) opened May 1st and ever since […]

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 […]

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 […]