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 the surrounding areas. Unlike larger cities, we simply lack designated safe spaces for the LGBTQ members of our community. We’ve been working to change that. In that spirit, we would like to announce our next Night Out! Join us Friday, February 28th at Pizza & Pretzel Creations in Hagerstown for dinner, drinks, and fun! This is an opportunity to socialize with old friends, meet new friends, and learn more about Hagerstown Hopes and how you can get involved in serving the community.
We’ve also been working hard to provide safe spaces and social opportunities for young people in our community. Our youth group meets the first Saturday of the month from 1 to 4 pm and is open to teens aged 14 to 19. Each meeting has an activity, along with free time for youth to socialize, hangout, and get to know each other. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Last year Hagerstown Hopes hosted our first LGBTQ prom for local teenagers. Over 50 young people from three states were in attendance and a good time was had by all. We’re excited to announce we have a date for our second prom! Our second LGBTQ Prom will be held on April 11th, 2020. We’re still squaring away a few details regarding location, catering, etc., but the date has been finalized. Tell your friends and start planning for what is sure to be another great prom!
We’re also happy that our Trans Meetup group is going strong! The group meets the first and third Sundays of the month and is open to trans, non-binary, and gender expansive persons. There is also a spouse/partner group that meets during the same time. We also recently started a free clothing drive for the trans and non-binary community. If you’d like to build your wardrobe, email Asher Kennedy (email@example.com) for more information. Visit us at hagerstownhopesmd.org for more information and to meet our trans leadership team!
If you’re looking for something different, consider joining our outdoors group. Hagerstown Hopes Queer Camp is a Facebook group for outdoors enthusiasts to meet and plan outdoors activities. The idea behind the Facebook group is to provide a way for people to network and plan activities with other community members. Let’s say you’re planning to go skiing. With the Queer Camp group, you can post the details and invite others to join you. It’s a simple way to strengthen the community and provide a wider range of activities. If this sounds good to you, join the Hagerstown Hopes Queer Camp group on Facebook today!
We’re also happy to announce that we’ve been invited to participate in a training about inclusion and understanding difference. Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic of Shepherd University is planning the event, which will have several breakout sessions for participants to learn more and engage in conversation about various topics. Hagerstown Hopes will be there to present information about sex, gender, and the ways that society objectifies and sexualizes individuals based on perceived differences. This training is still in the planning stages and we will be posting updates as they develop. We hope to see you there!
As always, like and follow Hagerstown Hopes on Facebook to keep up to date on what we’re working on. Or, join us at our open meeting Tuesday, February 11th at the Hagerstown Hopes Hub from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.
- 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.