When a Pelvis Needs Some Elvis

May is National Pelvic Pain Month from which an estimated 15% of men and women suffer. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Alicia Bolden-Jeffers, a fellow physical therapist who not only has treated women and men for pelvic pain but is also a survivor of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain in general terms would be any pain “down there” in the groin, taint, anus, and tailbone. This can lead to sexual dysfunction ranging from erectile dysfunction in men to painful penetration in men and women, pain when riding a bike, sitting in the car, or even having a bowel movement. […]

Baltimore observance of National Honor our LGBT Elders Day

The struggles and triumphs of LGBT elders will be remembered during a night of laughter, inspiration and recognition at Baltimore’s upcoming National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day event. The celebration will take place Thursday, May 16th from 5:30 to 8 pm at Baltimore Center Stage, featuring storytelling vignettes from community leaders as well as a buffet dinner. General admission tickets are $30 and are available at Tinyurl.com/elderday2019. We asked the Center’s director, Sam McClure, to share a preview of the event and discuss its importance: Why is it so important to set aside a day and hold a celebration to […]

Travel Tips: Staying Active on Vacation

With summer quickly approaching, people are already making travel plans to squeeze the most out of summer and maximize on all the sunshine and fun times. Depending on where you’re traveling to, you may not have access to workout equipment. While you’re on vacation, it is important to get rest and relaxation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy some physical activity! Here are some tips to stay active on vacation. Whether it’s a trip to the Carolinas, backpacking through Spain, or cruising the Caribbean, make sure to squeeze in some unconventional exercises to keep your body and mind […]

Scissoring: Afraid to Ask?

Dear Andre, I’m hoping you’ll settle a debate between my girlfriend and me. She’s been trying to sell me on “scissoring,” but I’ve only ever heard guys talk about it and I’m convinced this isn’t a real thing that authentically queer women do. What’s the deal? Sincerely, Alyson B.   Alyson, Not only is scissoring a real thing, but way more queer women engage in it than you’d initially think! In 2015, the progressively feminist web blog Autostraddle conducted an Ultimate Lesbian Sex Survey (open to all women who sleep with women), and a whopping 40.7% of the 8,556 women […]

Maybe Stars in His Eyes

Queer singer/songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine is that rare out artist who isn’t shy about his faith. Raised in the church, Valentine has found a way to make those two sometimes conflicting aspects of his life work in harmony. For instance, the live performance schedule on his website (in July at the time of this interview) includes dates at both Pride festivals and churches. Talk about versatility! One thing’s for sure, chances are good that you will hear Valentine singing songs from his luminous new album Maybe Stars (BobbyJoValentine.com). Gregg Shapiro: Bobby Jo, when did you begin playing guitar and how […]

What’s Cooking?

Award-winning filmmaker Crystal Moselle makes her dramatic feature directing debut with Skate Kitchen (Magnolia). While it’s at least 20 minutes too long, Skate Kitchen (the first of 2018 skateboarding movies – the second being Jonah Hill’s Mid90s) is nevertheless worth seeing for the performances Moselle gets out of her cast of mostly newcomers. Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), a socially-awkward 18 year old, lives with her single mother (Elizabeth Rodriguez from “Orange is the New Black”) on Long Island. She enjoys going to the skateboard park and working on her skating skills. She also posts videos of herself skateboarding on Instagram. When […]

Creative Reading

Pride 2019 is taking on special meaning with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots being incorporated into celebrations across the country. With that in mind, it’s never too early to begin assembling a reading list for the celebration as well as for the summer of 2019. Visit your favorite independent bookseller or the love-it-or-hate-it Amazon.com to reserve and order copies of these forthcoming LGBTQ books for readers of all (rainbow) stripes. Poetic paths – It’s hard to believe that The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press, 2019) is only the third full-length collection by gay African-American poet Jericho Brown, because he’s […]

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 […]