November 30th was a big night for Hagerstown Hopes and our local community. This was the night of the pageant to crown the Queen and King of Hagerstown Pride for 2019. Yes, you read that correctly – Queen and King. Pride festivals have long had a Queen of Pride, but Kings of Pride are relatively new to the scene. In an effort to better represent the diversity of our community, Hagerstown Hopes decided to open the pageant to all applicants, including cis-gender persons, to be the official spokespeople of our organization and to represent us to the public and in outreach efforts.
Congratulations to Chasity Vain and Butch Kelly, Queen and King of Hagerstown Pride 2019! The competition was fierce (pun intended), and the judges had a difficult task in finding our new representatives. Contestants were judged in four categories, including talent, Pride wear, an off-stage one-on-one conversation with the judges, and answering a randomly selected question from a sealed envelope onstage. All performed well (check out our Facebook page for photos and videos) and we’re blessed to have so many people who feel passionate about serving our community. Congratulations again to Chasity Vain and Butch Kelly, we’re sure you’ll do a great job of representing our community!
We would also like to thank Araya Sparxx, Queen of Hagerstown Pride 2018, for her outstanding service over the past year. Her integrity, professionalism, and commitment have not gone unnoticed and we thank her for being a positive role model for our community.
We also debuted our new Pride pins, a button that’s half rainbow flag and half trans flag. Proceeds from pin sales directly benefit our Trans Group, and they look great! They’re available for a contribution of $3, but donors are free to donate more in support of our trans community.
Speaking of fundraisers, mark your calendars for our upcoming events! Tuesday December 11th will be our next Night Out, hosted by Hempen Hill BBQ. Nights Out are typically held on Thursdays, but we couldn’t let the opportunity to partner with Children in Need Washington County pass us by. Please print the flyer or show the flyer from your phone to ensure that 10% of your food bill benefits Children in Need and Hagerstown Hopes!
The event runs from 11 am to 9 pm and the Hagerstown Hopes Night Out will begin at 5 pm. We will be there to socialize and answer any questions about our organization. Santa Claus will be making a special appearance from 6 to 8 pm, so bring the kids! We’re also accepting donations of new and gently-worn clothing in all sizes to benefit Children in Need. Don’t forget your flyer to make sure 10% of your food bills benefits the hosting organizations.
Join us Friday, December 21st for Nicole James’s Snow Ball Christmas Show and Silent Auction Holiday Extravaganza! Hagerstown Hopes has been selected as the beneficiaries of the evening, and we are grateful to the organizers for their continued support. There will be live performances, as well as a silent auction. We are also looking for donations for the auction, so if you or someone you know would like to advertise a business and support a good cause, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lodge will be hosting the event, which is open to those age 21-plus with ID at the door. Doors open at 8 pm and the mainstage show will begin at 9:30 pm. Hagerstown Hopes will be there with our information table, Pride pins, and more. Please join us for some holiday fun!
As always, please like and follow us on Facebook and check out our website: Hagerstownhopesmd.org I’m happy to say that we’ll be making announcements regarding our community outreach efforts soon, and we’d love for you to be one of the first to know!
- Brian George Hose has been an advocate for LGBTQ persons and issues all his adult life. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Shepherd University and looks forward to pursuing a Master's of Social Work with a focus in mental health. A former musician, Brian served as minister of music for New Light MCC for several years and incorporates music into social work practice. He lives in rural Western Maryland where he has amassed a sinful number of books, yarn, and books about yarn. He has been writing for Baltimore Out Loud since February 2016.