Hagerstown Hopes Kicks Off Pride Season

Happy Pride from all of us at Hagerstown Hopes! This is one of our favorite times of year, a season of community, fun, and celebration for the LGBTQ community. We’ve been hard at work planning and making preparations for Hagerstown Pride. Along the way, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to add a few events leading up to the Hagerstown Pride festival, scheduled for July 13th from noon to 6 pm in the Central Parking Lot in downtown Hagerstown. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate Pride season. Pride season begins with our Pride Kickoff Night Out at […]

Communal Pride

Less than 24 hours ago, I was sitting in a room with a dozen and a half other trans and enby [non-binary] folks from the Delaware-Virginia-Maryland area and I found myself feeling homesick. Homesick is the incorrect word. I was surrounded by the most trans and enby folks I have ever been around at the same time, and seeing each and every one of these amazing people shine and share their stories and triumphs was something that I have not been able to see in person in my activism and advocacy. I was the lone Western Marylander, and I realized […]

The Wounds of the Closet

We wouldn’t have Pride if we didn’t have the closet first. The closet isn’t a good place to be. It’s dark, it’s lonely, and, over time, becomes a kind of prison. It’s a difficult problem everyone in our community has faced because the closet exists for a reason: it keeps us safe, helps us maintain relationships with people we care about, and, in some cases, is necessary for survival. Each of us has a different relationship with the closet. Living in rural Maryland, I’ve met a number of people of all ages, genders, and sexualities who have an active relationship […]

Hagerstown Hopes: Pride, Youth Group, and More!

We’re on a roll at Hagerstown Hopes and we’re excited to tell you all about what we’ve been up to! Earlier in the month we participated in Washington County Gives, a day of giving and fundraising for nonprofits in Washington County. The bad news is that we’re still awaiting a final total of funds raised. The good news is that the delay is due to the sponsoring organization’s calculations of matching funds, as well as cash prizes awarded for a variety of criteria. As of now, we believe we’ve raised at least $3,000. We had some of the most generous […]

Problematic Policies

Sometimes being busy is a good problem to have. I say this because the last few months for me and the gang at Hagerstown Hopes have been nothing but busy. Now that we’ve established a presence in the community, we’ve been asked to participate in, contribute to, and partner with more organizations than I can think of without making a list and scrolling through my ever-growing inbox of emails. At a certain point I realized that the world really is changing quickly and that we no longer have to ask to be included because others want to include us. This […]

A Call for Cameraderie in Combat

This week, in its ever-growing battle to keep American social progress back as many centuries as possible, Alabama passed the most sweeping abortion ban in the country, to date. Heartbeat bills have now been passed in four states, with another one waiting the signature of its governor. There are two states who have had their versions of the law struck down by federal courts, and one that was struck down by the state court. There are three states with similar bills having passed halfway through their respective state houses. That is over a fifth of states that have or have […]

NO! ……

Our dear little angel has hit a milestone. Normally, we’d be so proud. We’d post it on Facebook and tell our friends. But, this one has a different ring to it. Finally, at three-and-a-half years of age, our little sweetheart has become defiant. Kassandra has had the benefit of growing up with lots of older siblings. She has lots of playmates and, unfortunately for her, a group of teens and young adults who are always ready to remind her when she needs to follow the rules. Now, in the past couple of weeks, Kassa realizes that she doesn’t like the […]

Hagerstown Hopes: Open Meeting and Updates

It’s been another busy month for us at Hagerstown Hopes! We recently hosted our first ever LGBTQ+ prom, attended by dozens of young people from three states. Prom was our first event exclusively for young people in our community, and we’re glad that everyone (including the chaperones) had a great time! A lot of work went on behind the scenes to make prom a success, and we’re just getting started! If you’d like to learn more about our work, along with new opportunities to volunteer, please join us at our open meeting! Our open meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May […]

One Year Later

The last year of my life is a blur, a series of events that feels like one long day. Sure, there are highlights and landmarks, events that stand out and memories I’ll never forget; but still, all the days run together and I often find myself remembering having a conversation, but not with whom or when. Or, I remember an event, but not when it took place. It’s almost as though I’ve lost all sense of time. This occurred to me a few days ago when I was leaving a meeting at the Hagerstown Hopes Hub. We had met to […]

Breaking My Chains

Today, a guest yelled at me. Usually I deal with one to two disgruntled (re: absolutely brutish) guests on a shift. It is currently at the halfway point in my shift this evening, and I am on my second hand of counting individuals who just needed to use me as an emotional outlet. On one hand I am sympathetic – there is nothing more exhausting than an entire day of traveling. As someone who has been all over this country and a couple international places, traveling is exhausting. Vacationing is wonderful – the getting there is not. However, as a […]