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Best Way to Spend Independence Day


Fire Island consists of three very different parts—the gay Pines, the more lesbian Cherry Grove, and the straight rest of it. (Although not involved in the following legend, the straights do still manage to turn out every Fourth of July for the Invasion of the Pines.) As the story goes, in 1976, a drag queen from the Grove visited the then-conservative Pines and, trying to get a drink, was denied service simply for being a dude in a dress. She returned to the Grove to alert her friends, who returned via ferry to the Pines, a group of nine very tall ladies who convinced the men of the Pines that they deserved a drink! Since then, hundreds of be-wigged folk have been storming the Pines year after year in a special celebration that gives new meaning to “Independence Day.” Anyone is welcome to vogue their way off the ferry to the cheers of adoring masses, but a look is essential—otherwise, you’ll be relegated to the sidelines or, in the case of the rich straight families on Fire Island, to your private yacht, to stare, horror-stricken, at the proceedings. If straining to see the Macy’s-sponsored fireworks still sounds like a good time, then we can’t help you.