Launch party celebrates inclusion of gay community

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Montgomery County’s gay community had plenty to celebrate Wednesday night at the MoCo Pride Center launch party in Rockville.

It was the ultimate coming out party, as MoCo Pride hosted more than 125 LGBTQ community members and allies, including representatives from the Montgomery County Council and Police Department.

“They have learned about the Montgomery County Police Department and see perceptions that they see on TV and learn who we actually are,” said Officer Nicholas Augustine, Montgomery County Police Department. “Just to gain another level of trust is huge for us.”

There are several groups helping LGBTQ people in Montgomery County, but MoCo Pride plans to tie all those groups together with networking help and support to those who need it.

“It’ll act as a center where we pull everything together, and it can be a resource center depending on what the needs are,” said MoCo Pride, Co-Chair, Jill McCrory.

Many people here hope that uniting these groups under the MoCo Pride flag will help establish a stronger identity for the LGBTQ community in the area.

MoCo Pride has some pretty big plans for the year ahead, such as establishing the counties very first gay pride event festival.

The group’s goals are already supported by local leaders, including Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton.

“It is an acknowledgment of the diversity of our city, and it is an acknowledgment of the people we want to be,” said Mayor Newton. “We are welcoming and accepting, and that is very important to me. It is very important to the city.”

The City of Rockville was able to celebrate its own recent contribution to the gay community, as last week it was awarded perfect marks from the Human Rights Campaign Index for its consistent LGBTQ support.

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