Not If, But When

I wondered when I would see him again – not if, but when. It’s a question that has lingered since my father passed away exactly four weeks ago and I returned home to a now empty house. My eyes were red from crying, my heart feeling both heavy and empty at the same time. I didn’t know what would happen next, but I knew somehow, instinctively, that I would see him again. It’s not that I’m an avid believer in the paranormal, though I know that’s how it may seem. I enjoy entertaining ideas about the existence of things we […]

A Blast from My Past

A couple of months ago, I wrote about my struggles to reconnect with people from my past. In the 15 years since I graduated high school, I’ve changed a lot more than my name and gender. Hailing from conservative western Maryland, the reality is a lot of my former peers have tenets that, while forged in the name of morality, mean little more to me than an absolute dismantling of my equal rights. Trans, queer, and progressive or not, I still want a connection to my roots. We all crave that sense of grounding that both tethers us to our […]

The New Year’s Resolution

Happy new year! It’s nice to read my Facebook friends’ resolutions for 2020, most being losing weight, being nicer, and being more responsible. While these are all great and valid goals, what if we strived for that better self? Some called it self-actualization during the 1980s while others gave it a more religious overtone. But in the end, what could we do to make 2020 a better start to a new decade? It seems that the world has taken a huge step backwards, which trickles down to all facets of life. In my naiveté, I thought as we moved into […]

The Last Story

My father was an outdoorsman. He called himself a hunter, and he was, but one-on-one he would confide that he really just enjoyed being in nature. As he got older, he began leaving his rifle in the truck before trekking through the woods to sit, surrounded by nature and alone with his thoughts for a few hours. Hunting was just a pretense, an excuse to wear camouflage and disappear into the trees. My father also liked to tell stories. I imagine he used his time in the woods to collect his thoughts and spin them into a yarn with just […]

Neil and I

During one of my weekend trips with my baton teacher to a competition in Ohio, my parents sent me with a Rush cassette for my Walkman. It was Permanent Waves, and I rewound “The Spirit of the Radio” so much the tape was ruined by the time I crossed back into Maryland the next evening. I want to say that Rush – specifically, Neil Peart – is the reason I became a drummer, mediocre or not. But honestly, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to play the drums. I’m a second generation band geek, the child of […]

Transition and Tragedy

I lost my darling husky, Rosa, on January 7th. We had eight amazing, frustrating, beautiful years together with my other husky, Misha. The decision to let her rest was the hardest choice I’ve ever made in my life. She was my family. Since then, I’ve grieved her and tried to get my life in order. Misha and I are going to be okay together – we’ll adjust and we’ll go on. But I’ve had this thought repeatedly about just how different this experience has been because I transitioned – or more specifically how it’s been better for it. Even just […]

A Boy, Interrupted

Pre-puberty me wasn’t much different from the rest of the little boys I identified with. I played baseball, loved Nintendo, and had dirty, scraped knees and holed-up jeans. Even at ballet or baton twirling, two extremely effeminate things, it was okay, because my brother also participated in them. Baton twirling is something I don’t talk about as an adult. It’s the most clock-able thing about me. I also don’t have a lot of good memories involving it. The combination of trans and not being the pretty little blonde girl who loved pink meant that competitive baton twirling did not want […]

Hagerstown Hopes Roars Into the 20s!

As we say hello to a brand-new decade, I proudly proclaim that 2019 was the most expansive and successful year for Hagerstown Hopes yet! First off, we just want to say a tremendously heartfelt thank you to all of our volunteers, patrons, and allies. We could not do anything without each and every single one of your bodies, minds, and ideas. And what a year it has been! From adding a spousal group that meets concurrently as our Trans Group, to getting our Youth Group up and running, and putting on the first pride prom for Washington County and the […]

Socialized Male

A couple months ago I decided to take some supplies to a person who was having housing issues. I packed up a bag full of essentials they had asked me to bring and I started to walk towards the McDonald’s where we’d agreed to meet. It was dark and I let my friends and partner know where I’d be walking and that I’d bet back in a bit. And then my metamour (my partner’s boyfriend) showed up at the McDonald’s and insisted on giving me a ride back home. My girlfriend gave me quite the talking to about it, essentially, […]

Happy Holidays from Hagerstown Hopes

With the holiday season upon us, we at Hagerstown Hopes have been thinking about the importance of community. All of our work is meant to strengthen and support the LGBTQ community in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas, as well as the wider community. This work cannot be done alone, and we hope that you’ll join us this holiday season in bringing people together during a very special time of year. If you live in Hagerstown, you may have already noticed a bit of holiday cheer. This year Hagerstown Hopes was invited by the City of Hagerstown to collaborate in decorating […]