Drag queens in Fire Island

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, called Cherry Grove, lived a fairy drag queen.   One day, the sweet fairy decided to dress in her most queenly robes and visit her stepsisters in the neighboring town of The Pines.  Upon arrival, her evil stepsisters refused her entry beyond their harbor moat, exclaiming that her kind was not welcome in their land.  Sad and forlorn, the slighted queen returned to her Cherry kingdom to share the unfortunate shame with her friends, the Seven Drags.

Enraged by these events, the Seven Drags vowed war on the evil stepsisters.  After a few nights of alternating rest and vodka, the Queen and the Seven Drags were ready to attack.  Armed with the latest royal frocks and shades of eyeshadow, the Queen and her loyal followers descended on the neighboring Pines, prepared to invade the small-minded town.  However, surprisingly different from the previous interaction, the Queen and her Drags were welcomed in this new land and accepted as fabulous long lost sisters.  Throughout this feast of drink and mary-ment, the united communities vowed to celebrate this momentous occasion every year on the Fourth of July—a day that all can celebrate not only the birth of their lands but also the decision to rule their neighboring kingdoms with kindness and acceptance.  And they lived happily ever after.

That was 1976. Today the celebration continues.  Every Fourth of July, Fire Island marks the occasion with The Invasion.  A ferryboat packed with drag queens reenacts this journey from Cherry Grove to The Pines, the two popular LGBTQ+ communities on the island.  The ladies, dressed in all their glory, board the boat in Cherry Grove (you must be in full drag) and “invade” The Pines, which is packed with admirers anxiously awaiting the show.  What follows is a harbor party of boys and bosoms that continues throughout the day.  Start with a sea of shirtless boys, add a few hundred drag queens, place them on an island and feed them liquor in the hot July sun, and you have yourself the Fire Island Invasion.   Enjoy, America!

The Fire Island Invasion

3 thoughts on “The Legend of the Fire Island Invasion

  1. Fun post and very informative! I didn’t know the history surrounding the invasion of the gays on Fire Island, so thank you! I’ve never been there (I’m not gay and I don’t wear green eyeshadow – though I have a lot of friends who are and do!) …I hear it’s absolutely beautiful.

  2. I love this part of our F.I. History. It’s such a great day to experience. Being in Cherry Grove for the send off is a lot of fun, but I must say that for me the best part is when the ferry pulls into the Pines Harbor. I have often wondered what people in the Great South Bay think when they see a boatload of queens floating by ? If you have not been to this event , you are missing out on a chance to relive a part of our rich history.

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