This is an exciting time for us at Hagerstown Hopes. Our organization was founded to serve the LGBTQ community and this is a responsibility we take very seriously. For months we’ve been working on developing programs and activities to meet the needs of our community not only in Hagerstown, but the surrounding areas as well. Our goal is to create quality programs that benefit the community, and we’re taking every precaution and attending to every detail to ensure that things run smoothly and with minimal hiccups.
Now that I have your interest, I would like to formally invite you to attend our next open board meeting! Open meetings are a chance to meet us and learn what we’re working on. It’s also a chance for you to participate and tell us what’s important to you. Please join us on Tuesday, November 13th in the Antietam Room of the Ramada Plaza (718 Underpass Way, Hagerstown). The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm and conclude at 7:30. We look forward to seeing you there!
The following week Hagerstown Hopes will be participating in the Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is an annual event occurring on November 20th of each year. TDoR is a day to remember those we’ve lost to violence as a result of transphobia (the hatred or fear of transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive people). During the memorial, names of those we’ve lost to violence in the last year will be read aloud. This is part of a national, ongoing effort to call attention to the continued violence affecting the transgender community, to show our support to the transgender community, and to provide comfort to those in need. The memorial will be held at 6 pm on November 20th on the square in downtown Hagerstown (5 Public Square).
In light of recent politically-motivated events, Hagerstown Hopes would like to voice our continued support of the transgender, non-binary, intersex, and gender expansive community. One in four trans people report having been assaulted for being transgender, and violence against the trans community has been increasing each year. We are concerned that the current social and political climate encourages further violence against our community, and we want to do our part to provide a safe place for the community to socialize, network, and discuss issues that are important to them.
The Hagerstown Hopes Trans Group is our effort to provide a safe place to the community. The safety of all our members is the highest priority; as such, it is a closed group open only to the trans, non-binary, and gender-expansive community. All members of the trans community are welcome and we ask anyone interested in attending to reach out for more information. This is to ensure the safety, privacy, and comfort of all attending. There have already been two meetings, which I’m told were fun, informative, and well attended. If you’re interested, you can apply to join the “Hagerstown Hopes Trans Group” on Facebook or email Paisley Grahl (firstname.lastname@example.org), our coordinator, to learn the date, time, and location of the next meeting.
With the holidays approaching, we ask that you mark your calendars (and shopping lists) for our next Night Out, December 13th at Hempen Hill BBQ. This event will benefit Children in Need (Childreninneedwashingtoncounty.org) and double as a drive to collect clothing, toys, books, and other items to benefit children in Washington County.
As always, please like and follow Hagerstown Hopes on Facebook, or visit us at Hagerstownhopesmd.org to stay in the loop, get involved, and be part of your community. We hope to see you soon!
- 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.