Picture a summer beach party dribbling with hot gay meef in shorty shorts where beach, bar, bump, party, pool, perve or shag are your toughest daily decisions.

As i was packing my bags to leave Sydney for New York my friend Tom said “Gurl you better be packing drag for Fire Island. Queens run the world up here on July 4 , you & I are gettin fierce”… She’d flown domestic before, first class of course, but international.. this will be interesting I thought.

The question was how to squeeze a drag queen, even a dismantled one, into a suitcase already overflowing with short shorts and summer gay essentials, the hair alone took up more space than 3 pairs of adidas hi-tops! Of course “Do I really need to schlep this ladybird all the way to NewYork?” wasn’t even a question.

Finally packed, the sequin, nylon & heavily made up soul of a drag queen scattered through enough harnesses and jockstraps to dress a small but dirty Folsom party, and a questionably large stash of fake tan ( I was being a tan mule for an ex pat friend). I had a question and more of a twisted hope of being searched at customs. I was curious for the reaction to a suitcase carrying, among the usual pants, polos and toothpaste,

  1. The scattered sequin, nylon & heavily made up soul of a drag queen
  2. A leather harness and enough jockstraps to dress a small and dirty parade
  3. A questionable stash of fake tan ( I was being a tan mule for a friend who’d recently moved)
  4. I imagine this is what it would look like if Liberace threw a leather party with Valentino.

 

I land in New York, we hit manhattan, Deborah Cox slays the Pride Pier Dance to Fireworks, and The Cock.. all i remember is $3 down a gogo boy and someone shouting “more Petron!”. I definitely wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

So Fire Island day arrived and we cruised into The Pines. I was fascinated by it’s history – how a (rumoured) lesbian broadway showgirl created a not so secret gay getaway in the 50’s, and that the culture thrived through the 70’s and 80’s, to host todays bearded hotties in hightops. It’s literally built on lesbian DIY foundations and the glbti life with pride, glitter & every meaning of blow you know.

Picture a summer beach party dribbling with hot gay meef in shorty shorts where beach, bar, bump, party, pool, perve or shag are your toughest daily decisions. Now place everything you need, from meat rack to a pomegrante margarita, within a handy little half hour beach or boardwalk shimmy.

Some people say gays should all be sent to an island…. calm down haters, we’ve got this.

Cut to July 4: American Independence Day and yes gurl, the Queens do rule the island. We frocked up and headed off.

In 1976 a restaurant in The Pines refused service to a visiting drag queen. Stomping her pumps in disgust she flicked her weave, rustled up a few frocked up fellas from The Grove, and invaded the restaurant by water taxi.. to a  surprisingly welcoming crowd.

This event began the July 4 tradition that is “The Invasion”….  A ferry load of drag queens now “invade” The Pines, try not to melt in the heat, drink for free at the Sip’n’Twirl and between the bars, the pool party, the beach and house parties everyone gets their happy on… it’s a bloody, fabulous, hilarious way to celebrate July 4!

I heard a voice shout “oh honey love your weave, where did you get it?” An afternoon of bumps and vodka holler back as Aussie as you can be “A dumpster, I thought it was a neglected poodle so you can imagine my delight when it was new hair”. Classy.

Broken heels, a drunken, scarring tumble off a boardwalk, a beachside show and a sandy faceplant…

Fire Island, I think I’m crushing on you

 

This article originally appeared on CraigOnToast.com.