cherry grove fire island pines drag

Jose & Jane

pride street festival

Tousif, Chad & Doug

pride street festival

Doug & Chris

pride street festival

Fans of the E Train

It’s Sunday afternoon in Jackson Heights and it is Queens Pride! It’s a beautiful beach day on Fire Island but who can resist the hot Latino guys and girls that attend this festival! So, feeling adventurous three friends and I donned our tank tops, designer shades and ever so cool hats and made the trip out from the city on the 7 train. No sooner than we exited the elevated train did we find ourselves completely in the thick of the Pride Street Festival. I was completely smitten by a group of shirtless, tattooed Latino muscle guys rubbing each other with sun block while one friend found himself completely transfixed by the Virgin Mary wrist watches. Pulling ourselves together we realized we were in serious need of alcohol so we headed off to the bar Atlantis where other friends were already two deep in frozen Margaritas and watching drag queens salsa on the dance floor. After some cold refreshment it was time to move the party to a happening rooftop. Imagine our delight upon landing here and finding a few hundred of the most diverse gays and lesbians ever to come together drinking cold Corona’s and eating Hot Dogs off the grill. This was not the fussy green Astroturf roofs of Manhattan. No, this roof top was black tar paper with grill smoke billowing, the sun shining hot above and even hotter shirtless guys standing below. After gathering our senses and focusing through the Margarita haze it appeared that every nationality, race, age and gender was represented. The Asian guys were smoking and holding steadily in the shade of the building next door, the African American guys standing in full sun seemed to be either shirtless or in muscle tank tops and gazing coolly through Ray Bans, the bears with full beards and bellies were keeping the beer iced and flowing, the twenty something twinks in Prada sunglasses and tight short shorts were hovering near the fierce Asian DJ while the cute young Latino lesbians decked out in Pride Tie Dye shirts danced Meringue. As I watched this celebration far from the many over produced circuit parties and bar theme nights I’ve attended in the past 10 years I was overcome with a sense of simple joy and pride for the Gay & Lesbian Heritage that brings us all together this month!