Decisions, Decisions

At this point in the pandemic, saying that life is weird is both obvious and an understatement. We’ve endured lockdowns, ongoing debates regarding the legitimacy and importance of science, and we’re living through several social movements that are changing the fabric of our nation. It’s becoming more and more clear that a return to pre-pandemic life is not possible because that world no longer exists. What comes next is anyone’s guess. It’s this aspect of the pandemic that I find to be both incredibly interesting and unbelievably frustrating. In some ways it seems the world has stopped while continuing to […]

In This Time And Place

I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Back in March, in what I’ve begun referring to as “The Before Times”, the idea of a lockdown wasn’t so bad. My two-and-a-half year tenure as my father’s caregiver had come to an abrupt end shortly before the new year. I was grieving and exhausted; I welcomed the opportunity to stay home and take care of myself. At first it wasn’t so bad. I thought of it like a snow day, a separate and almost surreal (in a good way) reality during an otherwise devastating […]

Desperately Seeking Dazzle

(Or How I Got My Groove Back) Social isolation is hard. A few weeks ago I reached the point of full blown existential crisis. I had been alone for over a month and there wasn’t much positive news coming in. It was hard to imagine the world, and life, after the pandemic. Many of my plans have been derailed and, not knowing what the future holds, I was feeling lost and dismayed. It felt like life as I knew it was over and I didn’t know where or how I would fit into the new world. I was telling a […]

The Importance of Lilacs

The lilacs are blooming. I can smell them through the open windows, their scent wafting into my home on a warm, gentle breeze. It’s a beautiful day and somehow that just makes everything more surreal, more strange. The outside world is coming in and, in these days of lockdown and disinfectants, that’s a dangerous thing. I know that I’m being silly, know that coronavirus isn’t carried on the wind like a leaf or a bird. I know that I’ve taken appropriate safety measures, and I still worry that I’ll wake up with a sore throat, fatigue, and decreased senses of […]

The New Normal

Everything is weird now. Ever since the world went on lockdown, it feels almost as though we are suspended in time. We don’t know when restrictions will be lifted or what the world will be like once they are. There are countless variables and, as we’ve been learning, the stakes are high. For many folks I’ve been talking to, there’s a feeling that we’ve reached a point where lockdown and social distancing is the new normal and not just temporary measures to keep us safe. The past is gone, and the future has yet to arrive; all we have is […]

Living History

Right now, as you read this, we are living history. What we are experiencing is unprecedented – a global pandemic that has quickly and dramatically changed the way we live. All non-necessary businesses in the state of Maryland are now closed. People across the world are now living in social isolation in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. No one knows how long this will last or what will happen in the meantime. There are also questions about what the world will be like when this is over. These are uncertain times, which is why I’ve chosen to look […]

Hagerstown Hopes Begins Planning Hagerstown Pride 2020

Thanks for reading about whats new with Hagerstown Hopes! Spring is almost here and were happy to announce that weve begun planning Hagerstown Pride 2020 as well as a number of other social and outreach events. Are you keen on event planning? Are you able to pitch in and volunteer during Hagerstowns Pride Festival on Saturday, July 18th? Do you have ideas to contribute to our leadership team on what youd like to see included in this years Pride Festival? Join us Thursday, March 5th at the Hagerstown Hopes Hub (22 North Mulberry Street) from 5:30 to 7 pm for […]

Inside the Secret Society

For the past two and a half years Ive been a member of a secret society. We are all around you, hiding in plain sight. It is a secret society of benevolent people, carrying out not-so-secret missions in broad daylight. Sometimes youll see the fruits of our labors, but most of our work goes unnoticed and, therefore, is often unappreciated. We are the caregivers. We are the people who take care of others. There are a lot of us out there, and you probably know one or more of our members. We are the people who take care of sick […]

Hagerstown Hopes Labor of Love

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Hagerstown Hopes! Our organization exists to support, strengthen, and serve the LGBTQ community of Hagerstown, Maryland, and the surrounding areas. For us, this is a labor of love for our community. All of our board and committee members are volunteers, citizens who want to give back to the community and make life better in the places we call home. As always, we’ve made progress in our work and we hope you’ll join us for some of our upcoming events! Historically, there haven’t been many social opportunities for our community in Hagerstown and […]

A Community of Love

One of the things I like most about our community is that we are defined by love. It’s a simple notion that is also surprisingly complex. Unlike other communities that are defined by geography, beliefs, culture, and heritage, our community is a mishmash of members of all other communities, brought together because of who and how we love. Our community is defined by what’s in our hearts and through our actions we show the world that love is love and all love is equal. That doesn’t mean that love comes easily to us, though. Many of us were taught to […]