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 […]

Rise of the Digital Queerspace

The world feels weird, and I like everyone, am struggling to make sense of it. A week ago, more people clambered about whether our now reality was a pandemic or a panic, and when this prints in a week, who knows what normal will be. Being queer is a bag unto itself, but adding in quarantines, speculation and fear about our medical limits, and the collapse of the service, airline and hospitality industries-three industries that employ a vast majority of us- and it becomes quite easy to see why I have spent a lot of this week in my kitchen, […]

Social Media and Relationships Part 2

Social media has affected how we interact on all levels. Why is it when someone texts, the first reaction is one of negativity? I know that when Facebook came out, I had to learn as not rile the recipient, like when – oops! – I hit the caps lock and they thought I was yelling at them. Or if you want to stress a word, you couldn’t italicize it. So I would cap it, again causing miscommunication. I learned my lesson when I lost a very good friend because of misinterpreting messages in the chat room we were in. So […]

In Another Universe

It had been a rough first couple of months. Thanks to puberty blockers, my body had not had any hormones running rampant in two years, and when I started testosterone injections immediately following my 16th birthday, the mood swings and flares of anger caught me off guard. Being consciously aware of my height kept me from lashing out at the vocal bigots in the cafeteria, but I found myself storming into the stalls in the boys’ room on multiple occasions. I knew teen boys felt anger, having a brother 18 months younger than me had keyed me into that. But […]

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 […]

The Gravity of Bullying

I wore an eye patch from third grade through sixth grade. I was the mixed-race tomboy with one eye. While my obvious differences rarely reared their ugly side in elementary school, they became my sole identifier by middle school. The first time I was called a homophobic slur was when I was referred to as a Pirate Dyke on the school bus. After my flute was stolen and thrown into the yard of an aggressive dog and the school deemed it not their problem, I changed bus stops, where I was pelted with rocks on my way home each day […]

Social Media and Relationships Part 1

Social media has certainly affected society and relationships. Years ago, we actually had to either talk to someone on a device tethered to a wall and bare callused fingers to actually dial or push buttons with numbers on them in order to speak to someone live! And, (gasp!) prior to the telephone, people actually had to write letters, in stellar penmanship and no spellcheck! Now, everything is done through texting, and yes I am guilty of it, however not only texting, but also SM (social media, like a disease!) has steered how we interact, see ourselves or hide behind a […]

The Kids are Alright

I had the absolute pleasure this weekend to get to answer some questions about trans and other LGBTQ issues for a class of young folks, they had a lot of great questions and my thoughts about the experience are all piled on top of each other like a box of necklaces I need to untangle before I can put them on display. Our panel was beautiful varied. Some of us were binary trans folks, some of us were non-binary, some of us were elder, and some of us were still in high school. The children were all younger but I […]

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day. Some cynics will avow this holiday is nothing more than another corporate means of cashing in on something called love, which should be celebrated every day with that special person in my opinion. However, it’s always nice to get chocolate, especially since dark chocolate is supposed to be a great substitute for love – or that’s what the Internet says! Some will state it’s a holiday celebrating “singleness.” Of course, the Hallmark Channel exhibits nice young and attractive white people always finding love with the same storylines, just different actors! But what exactly are we supposed to […]