WHITE PLAINS, Md. – Organized by members of the HIV and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) teams at the Charles County Department of Health, PrEP 4 Pride took place on May 20, 2023, at the Charles County Department of Health. This marked the first time a pride event has ever been hosted in Charles County.

PrEP 4 Pride was created as a health and wellness festival to raise awareness and educate the public about issues that disproportionately affect the LGBTQ+ community. The event coordinators hoped to provide a safe and inclusive space for attendees to explore and learn about LGBTQ+ history, advocacy, and available resources in the community. 

Over 1,500 People Attend Charles County’s First-Ever Pride Festival
Photo credit: Lindsey Pommerenck – The BaynNet

“We are proud and honored to have hosted the first pride festival in Charles County to recognize and show support for our LGBTQ+ community,” Jenifer Droneberger, the HIV Program Coordinator and PrEP 4 Pride’s Co-Organizer, told TheBayNet.com. “It was a beautifully vibrant day full of diversity, inclusion, and positivity.”

Over 1,500 People Attend Charles County’s First-Ever Pride Festival

The festival featured many things such as, a festival dedication remembering the lives of James Johnson and other HIV program clients that have passed, a governor’s citation commemorating Charles County’s first pride festival presented by Jeremy Browning from the Maryland Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, a pride walk of LGBTQ+ community members and allies to show support of diversity and inclusion in the community, and so much more.

Over 1,500 People Attend Charles County’s First-Ever Pride Festival

HIV testing, PrEP enrollment, COVID vaccinations, MPOX vaccinations, Narcan training; a timeline history and milestones in LGBTQ+ history; and 60+ vendors and food trucks were also a part of the many things that were offered at this historic event for the county that had nearly 1,500 to 2,000 people attend.

“PrEP 4 Pride was an important event for our community and provided a great opportunity to learn about the challenges and successes of the LGBTQ+ community and to support the various organizations that are working to make a difference for our residents,” Droneberger explained. “This event was also a great opportunity for us to introduce the Charles County Department of Health as a place that supports diversity and inclusion of all residents regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.”

Over 1,500 People Attend Charles County’s First-Ever Pride Festival

Droneberger also expressed the team’s desire to continue hosting this event in the future.

Contact our news desk at news@thebaynet.com

JJ AtchisonWriter/Photographer


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