WANDERLUSTY

The Beginner’s Guide To Fire Island Pines

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With the release of Tom Bianchi’s new photobook paying tribute to the beautiful male specimens of a lost era and the Pavilion making a comeback as highly anticipated among the gays as Cher‘s new face and/or album, interest in Fire Island Pines has been, shall we say, reignited. With that, as well as a day at the beach, in mind, Queerty sent assistant editor Lester Brathwaite (this gay) to the Pines to see what all the hubub was about.

I’ve actually never been to Fire Island and like any virgin anticipating the first time, I was nervous, anxious, excited and wishing I was a little drunker. The extent of my knowledge of Fire Island comes from the seminal gay novel, Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran. It paints a romantic but ultimately heartbreaking (like every gay novel from the 70s or ever) portrait similar to Bianchi’s book of Polaroids. And of course I had heard of and seen pictures of the pumped and primped Chelsea gays tonguing each other like cats in heat, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

On a Saturday morning I rolled out of Brooklyn and met my gal-pal Leon at Penn Station to begin our mini-odyssey to the gay mecca.

Photo: Tom Bianchi

Click through to read Lester’s Fire Island Pines Diary…