The summer days may be winding down, but the folks at Hagerstown Hopes are only heating up! Fresh off the heels of another successful Hagerstown Pride, we recently supported our community to the north as a part of Franklin County, Pennsylvania’s annual pride celebration on August 4th. “Drag Race” star Kalorie Kardashian led the festivities with help from Hagerstown Hope’s own Queen of Pride, Miss Chasity Vain, as well as many of the area’s many talented drag superstars. It was a perfect way to wind down Pride season with a family-friendly event that truly allows Hopes to bridge new relationships with our surrounding communities.
With the area’s pride festivities wrapping up, we are quickly transitioning into our fall activities. With back to school season upon us, our youth group is ready to assist and support our queer teens and their friends ages 14 to 19! Our next meeting is Sunday, September 8th, from 1 to 4 pm. Check out our Facebook and Twitter as well as our webpage with more details to be announced. September is a busy month for Hagerstown Hopes as it’s election season. We will be holding elections for openings on our board of directors. Are you a passionate, driven person who wants to help helm the amazing work going on at Hopes? Do you have a drive to help our local LGBTQ community? Do you want to be a part of the positive change in Western Maryland? If the answer to all three questions is a “yes,” then be on the lookout for the link to apply on our Facebook page and website.
September is also going to be the inaugural meeting for the new Parent Support Group. This is a group designed to allow parents a safe, bias-free environment to learn, grow, and support each other. Led by Trans Group co-organizer and boardmember Asher Kennedy, it will meet at the Hub on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 6 to 8 pm, with the first meeting on September 16th. Our Trans Support Group and the Spousal Support Group are ready for the changing seasons as well. Both groups will begin collecting winter coats and toiletries for our transgender and non-binary folks in need. The details for both the coat and toiletries drive as well as our next meetings for each group will be available on our website and social media closer to the beginning of the month.
If you’re looking for a fun way to get to know some of us more and see for yourself what we are up to for the fall and beyond, our next Night Out will be on Thursday, August 22nd from 5 to 9 pm at Benny’s Pub (on Eastern Boulevard, Hagerstown), where 10% of proceeds go directly to putting on more events for everyone. And mark your calendars now, because our next Drag Bingo is already scheduled for November 10th. In partnership with For Otis Sake Dog Rescue, we are bringing you a Country Hoedown, just in time for everyone to don their fanciest Western wear and boots and come out to have a great time that supports two great causes. As always, the best way to stay up to date with everything going on with Hagerstown Hopes is to sign up to receive our newsletter. Everything going on with the board, to each of our committees and groups, and what we have on the horizon can all be found within its pages
As the days start to end earlier and we begin to head back into our fall routine, we at Hagerstown Hopes are excited to be part of the positive upswing happening within Washington County and western Maryland as a whole. If you have never come to an event before, there’s no better time than now!
- Asher Kennedy is a writer, activist, transman and cisnerd living an hour outside of Washington in the Eastern Panhandle of WV. An alumnus of Shepherd University where honed both his writing and musical skills, he is the current treasurer of Hagerstown Hopes, serving as a member of its Board of Directors. He is also the co-facilitator of both the Trans and Spouse groups. Through his work with Hagerstown Hopes, he works alongside Trans Healthcare MD to bridge the gap for medical knowledge and coverage for the trans and non-binary communities throughout Maryland. He has been featured on RoleReboot (rolereboot.org) and is an avid speaker for local college and community panels. He is on Twitter @ItsAsherK, and can be found re-watching the same six episodes of The Office in his spare time.