Hagerstown Hopes Supporting Youth & Giving Back

There’s always something happening at Hagerstown Hopes. Our mission is to strengthen and support the LGBTQ community of Washington County and surrounding areas. It’s a big task, and we’re up for the challenge! Continue reading to find out more about what we’ve been doing, as well as what’s coming.When we decided to branch out into community outreach, we knew we needed to develop programs and services for our young people. LGBTQ youth often face unique challenges that are different than their straight and cisgender peers. Without support, queer youth can be vulnerable to problems their age and experience have not […]

Not If, But When

I wondered when I would see him again – not if, but when. It’s a question that has lingered since my father passed away exactly four weeks ago and I returned home to a now empty house. My eyes were red from crying, my heart feeling both heavy and empty at the same time. I didn’t know what would happen next, but I knew somehow, instinctively, that I would see him again. It’s not that I’m an avid believer in the paranormal, though I know that’s how it may seem. I enjoy entertaining ideas about the existence of things we […]

The Last Story

My father was an outdoorsman. He called himself a hunter, and he was, but one-on-one he would confide that he really just enjoyed being in nature. As he got older, he began leaving his rifle in the truck before trekking through the woods to sit, surrounded by nature and alone with his thoughts for a few hours. Hunting was just a pretense, an excuse to wear camouflage and disappear into the trees. My father also liked to tell stories. I imagine he used his time in the woods to collect his thoughts and spin them into a yarn with just […]

Happy Holidays from Hagerstown Hopes

With the holiday season upon us, we at Hagerstown Hopes have been thinking about the importance of community. All of our work is meant to strengthen and support the LGBTQ community in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas, as well as the wider community. This work cannot be done alone, and we hope that you’ll join us this holiday season in bringing people together during a very special time of year. If you live in Hagerstown, you may have already noticed a bit of holiday cheer. This year Hagerstown Hopes was invited by the City of Hagerstown to collaborate in decorating […]

The Spirit of Christmas

What does Christmas mean to you? Each of us experiences the holiday differently. Some of us throw ourselves into the hustle and bustle of the season, decorating and baking until we’ve created a winter wonderland that would make Santa himself blush. Others of us give our time, volunteering for causes that are close to our hearts. Some of us are more mindful of being “nice,” while others indulge their “naughty” sides at holiday parties. If you are a religious person, you’ve probably already made plans to attend one (or more) church services – after all, “You can’t spell Christmas without […]

A Real Holiday ‘Tree-t’!

Hagerstown Hopes was honored to be asked to collaborate with the City of Hagerstown on decorating the Community Christmas Tree. In an attempt to be inclusive of other organizations in the community, we offered sponsorship of customized silver Christmas balls and were pleased to have over 40 participants. The tree was officially lit on, November 30th. We hope you have the opportunity to visit downtown Hagerstown and check it out!  

King and Queen of Hagerstown Pride!

Hagerstown Hopes is thrilled to congratulate Maranda Rights and Chase Anthony on their respective wins as Queen and King of Hagerstown Pride 2020! Competition was fierce among all of the deserving contestants, including first runner-up to the Queen, Siren Kelly, and first runner up to the King, Damian Poe. We would like to thank everyone who competed, as well as our Queen and King of Hagerstown Pride 2019, Chasity Vain and Butch Kelly. (front, left to right): Ashley Bannks, president of Hagerstown Hopes and Queen of Hagerstown Pride 2017; Maranda Rights, Queen of Hagerstown Pride 2020; and Stephanie Micheals. (center): […]

The Golden Rule

“Our hair matches. We’re best friends.” These words came from my niece who, at three years old, is one of the happiest people I know. It was a beautiful bonding moment, one of the first in her young life that she fully understood that I am her uncle and not just a random stranger she sees from time to time. We were lucky to be able to capture the moment with a selfie (or seven), and her proud Uncle Brian has told everyone about his sweet, adorable niece and how her simple words melted his heart. Yes, it’s a great […]

Hagerstown Hopes Supports Trans Community, Youth, and Arts

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 […]

Letters from The Wolfman

Ten days before Halloween, a letter was left on my front porch, sealed in a plastic bag. A neighbor found it and, having received a similar letter two days prior, called the police. We were told not to touch the letter and to await the responding officer. While we waited, my neighbor gave me an overview of the contents of his letter and his reason for concern: a mentally ill man, believing himself to be a warrior of God, was living in the woods and had written a dozen pages of rantings and ravings, Bible scriptures, and implications that he […]