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Queen Coco Love and Her Subjects Seize the Pines in 30th Anniversary July 4 Invasion

Photo by Marco Herrera

Thirty years ago, late Fire Island Pines entrepreneur John Whyte refused service to a patron in drag from Cherry Grove. She came back with a group of friends, whose business Whyte declined to lose, so the queens declared victory and have returned to the Pines on the 4th of July ever since, by now with a ferryboat full of hundreds of cross-dressers, determined to invade the colony to the east.

With Invasion founder Panzi, in purple, coordinating and announcing, bullhorn in hand, Grove Homecoming Queen Coco Love, in a body stocking as a “nude” Botticelli Venus “gone wrong,” and made modest thanks to strategically placed scallop shell and jewels, led Invasion 2006, accompanied by an entourage two dozen strong, including Charity, China, Lois and Meryl, Margo, Donna Piranha, Joann Tavis, Joan Van Ness, Urban Sprawl, and Bobbie and Doreen. Coco was carried onto the Pines dock on a litter, shouldered by handsome Roger Cortez, Bobby Ferri, Invasion virgin Dan Daly, Brandon and Joey, in black leather armbands, collars and boots and white briefs, to strains of “I’m your Venus, I’m your fire.” She had decided to debark first instead of last, which is customary, because she “felt it would be more comfortable” that way. Mr. Fire Island Leather 2006 Master Tom escorted her into the Pines. Porsche and Robin Byrd were among those there to greet us all.

For more ... visit GALLERY ONE by Bruce-Michael Gelbert

Reigning New York Emperor Fantasia and Empress Gefil Tefish, in red and gold, were on the prow of the boat with Cobra as we sailed to the east. The founding New York Empress was Sybil Dreydl for the day, celebrating Chanukah in July. Empress Anne Tique was once again the Mona Lisa. Reigning Miss Fire Island Ginger Moore was at the front of the lower deck with Dowager HQ/reigning Miss Grove Hotel Ivanna Cocktail, Miss Cherry’s Titania, and Ariel Sinclair, as Britney Spears, with babe in arms and another on the way, protesting, “I’m a good mother!” Dowager Empress Robin Kradles and Miss FI 2004 Dakota Sue were also in evidence, as were Viva Sexx and Nikki Starr, Ursala Major, Aneeda Greenkard in Native American headdress, Mistress Sharon, Frau Mathilde von Sluttenberg, and the Drag Repair team. Mustachioed Denise and Sherri helped with security on board the boat, as did Matt and Norman, making a fine pair of babes, swaddled in pink.

Gusty Winds and friends came as the Brady Bunch. Steve Menendez, Dirty Martini and a colorful group out of antiquity called themselves the House of Atlantis. A contingent in dirndls, carrying steins, elected to be styled the Heidi Ho’s. Some familiar bears, in tap shoes and a rainbow of big hair, gave their name as the Cherry Grove Hoofin’ Heifers.

For more ... visit the GALLERY TWO by Bruce-Michael Gelbert

Trying out a new variation on a familiar theme was “Carmen Miranduck,” with shower stall and rubber duckies. Orangeena, adorned with fan blades, declared, “I’m standing on my political platform shoes,” encouraging wind power to “save Fire Island.” John DeMarco was Colonel Sanders, carrying a sign saying, “No bird flu at KFC.” Joe and Jerry were chickens and a doctor and nurse accompanied them. The Cherry Grove Airline stewardesses doubled as choirboys, ringing bells and heralding Bishop Harold Seeley, celebrating his 25th Invasion. Rose Levine, fresh from her previous night’s Arts Project show, “Broadway Rose,” was there, escorted by Michael. Jacqueline Jonée, fresh from her own show, “Born on the 4th of Jonée,” made a gorgeous Follies dancer in white.

For more ... visit the GALLERY THREE by Marco Herrera

A duo called Tina Turnstyle and Loco Expresso wore costumes of MetroCards, subway tokens, and the Q that designates the Q train. Juicy and Chicklet, who were brides for Pride in the City, came here to celebrate, wearing a little less. Martha came as a tough guy and Ellen, another Invasion virgin, accompanied her, as a nun.

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