This is an exciting time of year for us at Hagerstown Hopes. We recently elected a new board of directors, as well as an executive board of officers. Along the way, we’ve met a number of passionate, dedicated individuals committed to strengthening, supporting, and serving our community. Together, we’re working to provide activities, programs, and services that are needed in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas.
November is an important month for our trans community, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating and supporting our trans community, as well as remembering those we’ve lost over the past year. The mayor of Hagerstown will be issuing an official proclamation, recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance as an official day of remembrance in Hagerstown. The proclamation will take place on Tuesday, November 19th at 7 pm at City Hall (1 East Franklin Street) on the second floor in the Council Chambers. The proclamation will take place during the opening ceremonies and we ask that participants arrive on time to ensure the council sees our support of the transgender community.
The following day, November 20th, we will be participating in the Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil on the square in Downtown Hagerstown. Transgender Day of Remembrance occurs annually on November 20th and is a day to remember those in the transgender community we’ve lost to violence over the past year. This is a public event and allies are encouraged to attend both the candlelight vigil and the proclamation. The vigil will take place from 6 to 7 pm at 5 Public Square in Hagerstown.
Numbers make a statement and we encourage members of our community and our allies to attend both the proclamation and the candlelight vigil. Attending increases visibility and also helps to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
Our Trans Meetup Group meets the first and third Sundays of every month at the Hagerstown Hopes Hub from 4 to 7pm. Meetings are open to all trans people (including non-binary and agender friends) who can attend. There is also a Trans Partner Meetup Group that is open to the partners of trans, non-binary, and agender folks. Meetings are held at the same time as the Trans Meetup Group, but the Partners group will meet at The Nook, also located in Mulberry Lofts.
We are also committed to providing safe spaces for members of our community. Young people aged 14 to 19 are welcome to attend our Youth Group, which meets the first Saturday of the month from 1 to 4 pm. Information is available in Washington County public schools and information will be shared through Facebook and our website HagerstownHopesMD.org.
We are also excited to begin our arts outreach program. We’ve begun organizing local musicians to sing at public events, such as Transgender Day of Remembrance. We’re starting small and once we have a group, we will begin planning full concerts and performances. These opportunities are available to everyone in the community (including our straight allies) and our goal is to unite the community through arts programs that are otherwise not available. Stay tuned for updates!
Our last Drag Bingo of 2019 is coming up soon! Country Hoedown Drag Bingo will take place on Sunday, November 10th from 1 to 6 pm at Breakaway II Sports Lounge Warehouse and proceeds will benefit Hagerstown Hopes and For Otis Sake. Tickets are $35 in advance for 20 games of bingo and includes lunch! The price goes up to $45 the day of the event. VIP seating is available and includes priority seating, food and dessert, and a meet-and-greet with our queens! We hope you’ll join us in supporting two great causes.
As always, we hope you’ll follow us on Facebook and check in at HagerstownHopesMD.org to stay up to date on what we’re doing. We’ve been hard at work developing new ways to reach out to the community, including new social opportunities, health care resources, and the arts!
- 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.