Letters from The Wolfman

Ten days before Halloween, a letter was left on my front porch, sealed in a plastic bag. A neighbor found it and, having received a similar letter two days prior, called the police. We were told not to touch the letter and to await the responding officer. While we waited, my neighbor gave me an overview of the contents of his letter and his reason for concern: a mentally ill man, believing himself to be a warrior of God, was living in the woods and had written a dozen pages of rantings and ravings, Bible scriptures, and implications that he […]

Haircuts, Masculinity, and Me

I’ve been thinking about growing my hair out. Since 14, I’ve been slowly cutting it back, with the exception of senior year of high school, when I donned an afro that left people sitting behind me in class frustrated. These days, it’s shaved on the sides, with a fade at the top that I sometimes allow to grow to a length such that one ringlet of a curl can be seen. My journey with hair has been, well, arduous. As a child, it was my telltale giveaway that I was assigned female at birth. My grass-stained jeans and backwards cap […]

Pictures of You, Pictures of Me

The best photos that were ever taken of me pre-transition are from days where I almost died. There’s a resignation in my eyes in those photos – a kind of surrender that poked through every cheeky smile and goofy pose I could muster. I can see it and so can others, now that they know to look. A fair number of those photos exists – but that’s nothing compared to the number that exist of me from the last eight months, since I started transitioning. The photos I take today are nothing like those old ones. The old ones were […]

Hagerstown Hopes Supports Trans Community, Youth, and Arts

This is an exciting time of year for us at Hagerstown Hopes. We recently elected a new board of directors, as well as an executive board of officers. Along the way, we’ve met a number of passionate, dedicated individuals committed to strengthening, supporting, and serving our community. Together, we’re working to provide activities, programs, and services that are needed in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas. November is an important month for our trans community, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating and supporting our trans community, as well as remembering those we’ve lost over the past year. The mayor […]

What Scares Me

Halloween is my favorite time of year because I love all things spooky. It hasn’t always been this way, though. This year, instead of writing about the Snallygaster (a local monster legend) or personal spooky experiences, I’m instead going to tell you the story of how I learned to to be comfortable with fear. My body broke at 23. A rare autoimmune disease had emerged, slowly dissolving my organs to mush. When the diagnosis was given, it came with a series of ifs: If I made it out of the hospital; If my body responded to the non-standardized, experimental treatment; […]

A Vote Against Vote Courting

I loathe election season. The former-wanting-to-be-president child within me would scream if they heard adult me utter those words, but here we are. We have a dozen candidates for president, the cycle of pandering ads with dramatic effects is just starting, and I am completely over it. Former teenage anarchist cobwebs aside, I am here to remind those seeking to be elected into office of something that has increasingly become imperative to me. I am not seeking to be courted. While I get to spend the next year of my life listening to people who have never met me – […]

What is Dysphoria?

by Evey Winters One of the most common themes in questions I get asked by folks is on the nature of dysphoria. How do you know your body is wrong? What does that feel like? Communicating such a mental pain is really difficult so we reach for metaphors that hopefully can summon that particular misery, or some approximation of it, up for someone else to help them gain empathy and understanding. I’ve thought way too much about how to communicate that. The metaphor I used to reach for was that it’s like being in an iron maiden, but it’s your […]

Hagerstown Hopes Furthers Outreach, Programs, & Events

This is an exciting time of year for us at Hagerstown Hopes. We recently elected a new board of directors and were humbled by the number of outstanding applicants we had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with. All applicants brought great ideas and showed a commitment to our mission to strengthen, support, and unite the local LGBTQ community. Now that we’ve secured the longevity of our organization and built a foundation for outreach programs, we look forward to bringing new and exciting programs, resources, and events for the community. When we made the decision to branch out into community […]

The Big, Bad Scary

As a bona fide horror buff, one of the things I love about the genre is that it’s constantly evolving. Looking back, we can see trends. The 70s brought us religious horror with films like The Exorcist and The Omen. The 80s established the teen-slasher flick with titles like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. More recently we endured a celluloid sea of zombies before venturing into arthouse horror films like The Witch and Hereditary. What I find to be so interesting is that horror films, like all films, have to be relevant to audiences to be […]

America’s Pastime and Me

I remember getting my first baseball glove. I was five, and it was from Kay-Bee Toys. Growing up there was a vacant lot between my house and our neighbor’s to the right, so every spring and summer I would drag cinder blocks across the grass and make a diamond. Sometimes I would get the other kids in the neighborhood to play a full pick-up game with me, but usually it was just my brother, father, and myself. When I was ten, I begged my parents to buy me a tee-ball set, but only because it had a genuine rubber home […]