Hagerstown Hopes Furthers Outreach, Programs, & Events

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 […]

The Big, Bad Scary

As a bona fide horror buff, one of the things I love about the genre is that it’s constantly evolving. Looking back, we can see trends. The 70s brought us religious horror with films like The Exorcist and The Omen. The 80s established the teen-slasher flick with titles like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. More recently we endured a celluloid sea of zombies before venturing into arthouse horror films like The Witch and Hereditary. What I find to be so interesting is that horror films, like all films, have to be relevant to audiences to be […]

America’s Pastime and Me

I remember getting my first baseball glove. I was five, and it was from Kay-Bee Toys. Growing up there was a vacant lot between my house and our neighbor’s to the right, so every spring and summer I would drag cinder blocks across the grass and make a diamond. Sometimes I would get the other kids in the neighborhood to play a full pick-up game with me, but usually it was just my brother, father, and myself. When I was ten, I begged my parents to buy me a tee-ball set, but only because it had a genuine rubber home […]

3rd Annual Keystone State Gay Rodeo – October 12

The location of the 3rd Annual Keystone State Gay rodeo has been changed to: Red Man Ranch and Arena, 359 Strawberry road, New Freedom PA 17349 The third annual Keystone State Gay Rodeo rides into action October 12th starting at 11:30 am at Spring Valley County Park (9777 Crest Road, Glen Rock, Pennsylvania). Spring Valley County Park is located two miles off Interstate 83 in Southern York County. The event is a family-friendly, inclusive rodeo and country event that merges traditional rodeo favorites with some non-traditional fun and hilarious events all in a safe and inviting atmosphere where everyone feels […]

An Open Letter to Parents of Queer Teens

When I came out (three times!) my parents were immediately supportive. Support is easy, love is easy. Unconditional love of a child and understanding that child are profoundly different. Teenagers today have a vast wealth of information and resources available with one click. When I was first trying to figure out myself, I spent hours on an extinct chat-advice site with other people just as confused as myself. Dial-up connection, way too much Mountain Dew, and my teenage angst, furiously scrolling in the hopes of making sense of everything within my brain. The information scope of today is beyond what […]

Hagerstown Hopes Expanding Outreach and Community Service

Hagerstown Hopes exists to serve and support the LGBTQ community. After spending our summer attending Pride festivals throughout the state, meeting and listening to members of the community, and getting a sense of what is wanted and needed in the community, we’ve been hard at work preparing for our next year. Over the past year we’ve worked to build the foundation of Hagerstown Hopes and the programs and services we offer to the community. This is an exciting time for us, and we hope you’ll join us in our work to strengthen and support the local LGBTQ community! The foundation […]

Fathers & Sons

Part of growing up is letting go of the dreams we had as children and young adults. Most of us didn’t grow up to become astronauts or rock stars or princesses, and that’s okay. Each of us has different talents, skills, and interests that shape the person we ultimately become. All of these have a way of changing and growing over time and, during that process, we begin to accept that some things just aren’t in the cards for us. Usually that’s okay because we’ve outgrown some of our dreams, but others still sting a bit when we think about […]

On Yearbooks, Memories, and Trans-Disconnect

The early 2000s. A mixed bag of gender identity / sexual orientation / hobbies left teenage me scrambling to find more than a couple people who understood me in anything more than simplistic terms. I was able to cultivate a handful of friendships that withstood the volatile mess that most of my 20s were, and while grateful to have those people still in my life, the more removed I am from my teenage years, the more I feel a physical wall between my present and my past My reality is one where the person who lives in my old yearbooks […]

Calling All Wannabe Cowboys & Cowgirls

So what’s a rodeo school? A rodeo school is an event dedicated to teaching newbies how to perform the events in a gay rodeo. At a gay rodeo, you’ll find traditional rodeo events like barrel racing, bull riding, and calf roping. Gay rodeos also add in some fun crowd-pleasing camp events that even those who don’t know how to ride a horse or have never been around livestock can do. The three added camp events that you’ll find at a gay rodeo are goat dressing (a team relay race to put underwear on a goat), steer decorating (a team event […]

Fall into the New Season with Hagerstown Hopes

The summer days may be winding down, but the folks at Hagerstown Hopes are only heating up! Fresh off the heels of another successful Hagerstown Pride, we recently supported our community to the north as a part of Franklin County, Pennsylvania’s annual pride celebration on August 4th. “Drag Race” star Kalorie Kardashian led the festivities with help from Hagerstown Hope’s own Queen of Pride, Miss Chasity Vain, as well as many of the area’s many talented drag superstars. It was a perfect way to wind down Pride season with a family-friendly event that truly allows Hopes to bridge new relationships […]