FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) – Tuesday marked the beginning of Pride Month, a time for the LGBTQ community to celebrate the freedom to be themselves.

Paying tribute to the stonewall riots of June 28, 1969, Pride Month is often celebrated with parades, festivals and other large gatherings, but local LGBTQ groups had to pivot to virtual events in 2020.

Now that pride has kicked off for 2021, concern remains on how pride events can be hosted safely.

The Frederick Center announced they would postpone their festival to October, leaving them better prepared and with hopefully better covid metrics.

“Having that couple of extra months gives us more time because 12-15-year-olds were just authorized for the vaccine,” Frederick Center Board Member Jessica Tuel said. “So by giving us that four extra months, that gives us time to vaccinate a lot more attendees as wells as adults who haven’t gotten vaccinated yet.”

In Montgomery County, various LGBTQ events were announced with both hybrid and in-person elements.

John grimes with the Moco Pride Center said they want everyone to have a chance to celebrate how they want, but to also know – Prde isn’t going away.

“We’ll be doing lots of great stuff next year, so if you’re still not comfortable coming out to events, that’s totally fine,” he said. “… But if you can get out, do get out. We’d love to see lots of faces that we haven’t seen in a couple years now.”

Hagerstown Hopes in Washington County also made the decision to avoid a large event, opting to host a virtual pride event and a family-friendly pride picnic later in the summer.

“Pride is so much more than a celebration or a party, or a singular event” Asher Kennedey with Hagerstown Hopes said. “Pride is a feeling, Pride is a sense of community, Pride is the lives we live every day.”