After a year of planning, numerous surveys, and multiple listening sessions, Montgomery County is finally getting its own LGBTQ community center.
While there’s currently no brick-and-mortar building, the newly launched MoCo Pride Center will serve as a virtual resource for LGBTQ people in the nearby Maryland suburbs. Before it was established, local residents were forced to travel to Baltimore or D.C. in order to participate in LGBTQ clubs, support groups, forums, or social events.
“As more LGBTQ things cropped up, the question became how do you communicate information to everyone in the community,” says Mycroft Masada, co-chair of the Pride Center.
“While we know there are LGBT people in Montgomery County, pulling folks together is very difficult,” adds co-chair Jill McCrory. “Montgomery County is diverse, but we don’t have any place like a Dupont Circle. There are no gay clubs, no gay neighborhoods that you could start forming around. There are several support groups, but no place to arrange for events to be held.”
To celebrate, the Pride Center is holding a launch party on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at Bar Louie in Rockville. The event will introduce the wider community to the Pride Center’s founders and board of directors, and will feature a cash bar and happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers.
There will also be a silent auction to help raise money for upcoming programming and a future physical space. Prizes from the auction will include gift certificates to local businesses and restaurants, and even a home-cooked dinner by the firemen of the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department.
“It’s a party, a grand celebration,” McCrory says. “We hope that the launch will allow people to meet new people from around the county and find common ground.”
The MoCo Pride Center’s official launch party is Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Bar Louie, 150 Gibbs St., Rockville, Md. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and $5 for students. Visit mocopridecenter.org.
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