After 35 years, there was bound to be a change in the event. But no one would have thought it would be stimulated by fire. The Pavilion that housed the downstairs club [that the girls filed into for free drinks -- after being introduced one by one off the ferry], the pizzaria, and everything else had burned down earlier in the year.
So when the girls came off the boat this year, they had to follow a temporary wooden path around the new building to the back, and then upstairs to the newly rebuilt Sip & Twirl: there was no replacement for the downstairs bar, and subsequently no easy path to the free refreshments that had been awaiting the girls in years gone by.
The Blue Whale had a simultaneous poolside party in full swing, though this year there seemed to be more people just strolling around dock area. It was a different feel; not better, not worse, just different. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, to mix it up once in a while.
While dance floor space was in shorter supply this year, there was no shortage of fabulous! The girls and guys went all out with makeup, clothes, and great costumes. Some of the costumes were very intense, like theHow some of them endure the heat is beyond me: I always preffered to attend the invasion in a sun dress, or bikini!
It was a typically sweltering hot day, although we did have a breeze this year, making it pleasent. Another pleasentry was that there were more girls there thsi year than any prior that I can recall; gay and straight. In fact, I saw packs of girls in the Pines all week. Sitting on the beach a few days after the event, I asked one of them "Hi, where are you from?" When they said they were from Vermont, I had to ask how they found the Pines. She said she had been to Fire Island once before, and this year wanted to try a new community on Fire Island. I said "You do know this is a gay enclave, right?" She said she did, then continued "but, that doesn't bother us. It's beautiful here."
Chrissy, me and Rey spent most of our time at the pool, as well as the deck of the condo we’d been staying at all week. So the Margaritas were flowing!
There were a lot of the regulars that you come to expect each Invasion, such as China, and that group of fellas [with tool belts full of bobby pins, hair spray and other assorted essentials] known as the Drag Repair Team.
Who was missing this year, however, were all the Jersey and Long Island girls, such as Jamey Swan, Lily, Lorna Taylor and Erica Forman. Father Jerry was there, as was Genifer Teal with a group of friends. It was great to have a chance to reconnect with her: she and her friends Jamie, Porcha Jones, and Shauna came back to the condo deck for Margaritas, and then we all went to Cherry Grove for some late-night dancing.
Until next year, be happy, be safe, and always think pretty! And, make sure you apply your lipstick BEFORE you’re drunk!
See the Invasion photo gallery here
Watch Porcha's video from Cherry Grove to the Pines on TGLIFE.com