This is an exciting time of year for us at Hagerstown Hopes. We recently elected a new board of directors and were humbled by the number of outstanding applicants we had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with. All applicants brought great ideas and showed a commitment to our mission to strengthen, support, and unite the local LGBTQ community. Now that we’ve secured the longevity of our organization and built a foundation for outreach programs, we look forward to bringing new and exciting programs, resources, and events for the community.
When we made the decision to branch out into community outreach, we knew that we needed to develop resources, supports, and programs for our youth. Now, we’re happy to announce that our youth group is up and running! Youth group meetings will be held the first Saturday of the month and are open to teens ages 14 to 19. Each meeting will have a structured activity (arts, life skills, guest speakers, etc.) based on what the group wants and needs. Participation in activities is optional; we understand that teens may just want a safe space to hang out, and that’s totally fine! For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you like music? If so, we hope you’ll join us for our first Arts Outreach meeting! We will be meeting Saturday, October 12th at the Hagerstown Hopes Hub to discuss forming a community choir and other musical ensembles. Our goal is to have a choral group to sing for public events, like Transgender Day of Remembrance in November and, later, full concerts presented by the LGBTQ+ community and our allies. Our vision is to be the voice of the community and perform music that is fun, different, and chosen by choir members. We hope you’ll join us! Email email@example.com for more information!
We’re also happy to have the opportunity to provide new and diverse social opportunities to the community. A community member approached us recently and proposed starting an outdoors group. It’s a great idea that has gained a lot of support, and we will soon have a Facebook group for anyone interested in getting together to hike, fish, camp, or participate in any outdoors activity. It seems that this will be a casual meetup group organized and run by members. Stay tuned for updates on Facebook!
There is also a new social group in the area! Western Maryland now has a new, informal social group that will meet the second Saturday of the month in Hancock, MD. This is an informal social group for those living in western Maryland and the surrounding areas. One of the concerns shared by members of these regions is being outed by attending or participating in Hagerstown Hopes functions. This group will meet at a private residence for a cookout, campfire, or similar outdoors gathering. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our last Drag Bingo of 2019 is coming soon! Country Hoedown Drag Bingo will be Sunday, November 10th at Break Away II Sports Lounge in Hagerstown. The bingo will feature several of your favorite country icons – old and new! Tickets are $35 in advance for 20 games of bingo – prices increase to $45 the day of the event. VIP tables with priority seating, desserts, priority lunch service, and meet-and-greets with the Queens are available! Check out our Facebook page for more information and to book your ticket before they’re sold out!
We’ve also been furthering our outreach work with Shepherd University. So far this year, we’ve presented about LGBTQ issues and etiquette, participated in a panel discussion about social activism, and provided information about sexual violence in the LGBTQ community in a facilitated community discussion. We’ve also provided information about sex and gender to two universities in Brazil and will participate in a Skype discussion in November.
As always, thanks for your support! Follow us on Facebook or visit HagerstownHopesMD.org for more information.
- 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.