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 […]

It’s All About the Kids

Okay parents, it’s time to gather around in a circle and have a little conversation. Just find a seat anywhere and get comfy. Everybody ready? Then, let’s talk. I need to address those among our group who don’t support their kids. Don’t look around the room at everyone else. You know what you are. You’re the parents who attend your child’s events, yet have a negative attitude. You’re the parents who try to talk your kid out of doing a particular activity because it’s not your thing. You’re the parents who see yourself through your child’s achievements and aren’t happy […]

Hagerstown Hopes Presents Hagerstown Pride 2019!

Happy Pride from all of us at Hagerstown Hopes! As you may know, 2019 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. It was the Stonewall Riots that began our community’s long journey to where we are today. Along the way we fought, and won, battles for equality and civil rights. Every member of our community has a different relationship to these events. Some were pioneers, leading the movement; others were born into a more progressive, accepting world created by those who came before them. It is our history and culture that connects us, and that’s cause for Pride and […]

The Perks of Pride

This seems to be the year of Pride. Over the last few years we’ve been seeing more and more small towns and communities celebrating Pride. Only a few years ago it seems that only major cities celebrated Pride; now, Pride is everywhere, and I couldn’t be happier about that. Every town has its own personality, made up of all the folks who call it home. This means that every Pride is different and is a reflection of the wants and needs of the community. Having attended several Prides already this year (with more to come), I’m happy to say that […]

How Lizzo is Bringing More than an Award Show’s House Down

My wife and I watched Lizzo’s performance from the MTV Movie and TV awards a combined 30 times this week. My YouTube now has a row entitled “Watch Again,” which consists of just that video. I have at least a dozen albums that are not a part of our music subscription’s licensing that I enjoy playing along to, and an unhealthy and longstanding obsession with The Lonely Island’s videos, and the only video that has ever prompted this new category is Lizzo. I love both the homage to Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. Alli is far less a […]

Why Are We Like This?

My young friend came out to his parents today. It was his own Independence Day. He sat them down and told them in no uncertain terms. His mother cried. His dad was silent. He was scared. That scenario plays out in so many households. It’s a shame that in this day and time we have to worry about what people think about our sexuality. It’s a shame that our young people still think they need to live in a closet. It’s a worse shame that there are some places where closets still keep people safe. Our children should be able […]