A Straight Girl on Fire Island

Written by Lotus on Saturday, 2 of July , 2011 at 5:03 pm

We DoWater, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

This past weekend I was fortunate to be invited to a friend’s lovely beach house in Fire Island Pines, NY, a predominently gay community. It was a happy coincidence that the weekend was scheduled for just after I joined the GOProud Advisory Council. GOProud is a group for gay conservatives and their allies. It also became a historic weekend for gay New Yorkers when late Friday night, the Republican Senate in New York passed a bill to allow gay marriage. More about that later.

In addition to my dazzling personality, I think I was also brought in as a political prop. One of my hosts is a die-hard independent (he doesn’t want to call himself a Republican or conservative) who likes to stir things up among his friends on Facebook. I was the real-life version. There were 10 men and two women in the house. The other girl, Betty, is a gorgeous bulldog.betty.JPG

There was some political talk the first night. La Belle Pinot and La Belle Butch (the fake names they came up with when I mentioned I might write about the weekend) cooked a fantastic dinner. As they chopped and busied themselves around the kitchen, I learned that LBP admired Palin, but disagreed with everything she says. He likes her guts. LBB mentioned he liked her hair. I asked, “If gay marriage were off the table, would you vote Republican?” LBP said he would vote for a purely fiscal Republican. If that’s the case, I told him, don’t you think the Democrats have a vested interest in keeping gay marriage as a wedge issue? He agreed that they do, but didn’t think they would do that solely to keep the gay vote. Perhaps I’ve been in D.C. too long because I think that’s exactly what Democrats are doing.

LBP asked if my Republican friends knew I was spending the weekend with a bunch of gay men. I said, “What do you mean? I came here to meet a man!” The search for my soul mate, much like in the real world outside Fire Island, became a weekend punch line.

In all seriousness, I told them my Republican friends have no problem with me visiting Fire Island and the most pervasive emotion was jealousy, not outrage. Too often, both sides present the other side’s least appealing spokesperson. I don’t believe the average Democrat is as awful a human being as Nancy Pelosi . Likewise, the average Republican is not the caricature of the anti-gay bigot that the media likes to present. It’s unfortunate that the bigots and media become allies. The bigots want a microphone and the media is all too happy to give them one in order to damage the entire movement. (Please note that I am not referring to people who support traditional marriage, but those who want to keep gays out of the conservative movement.)

Dinner that evening was a wonderful watermelon gazpacho with crème fraiche and avocado cream, filet of beef with béarnaise and asparagus. Dessert was blueberry cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

boardwalk.JPGThankfully the sun came out on Saturday, which meant I was making a bee-line for the beach. As I was walking on the boardwalk, I became unsure of whether I was in a section that was to a private or public beach. Fire Island Pines doesn’t allow cars and there are no sidewalks. You walk from house to beach to town by boardwalk. I stopped a couple and asked if I was headed in the right direction. They assured me that I was and welcomed me to the island. Now, I don’t want this to come off the wrong way, but the couples were a lot friendlier than the singles. The single guys in the house I stayed at were nice, but outside the house and in the small town area I felt like I was just in the way. To characterize it as resentment that I was on their island might be a little strong, but not far off. Barely a word was said to me when I purchased a $4.40 (!) 20 ounce Diet Coke. (Btw, I made a habit of announcing the price of things as dinner was being made. “Eight dollars for mayonnaise!” Everything is so expensive.)

Speaking of being in the way, one daily tradition on shoes.JPGFire Island is going to the Pavilion area for high and low tea. From what I can tell, it’s really an opportunity to drink and meet guys. I chose not to go with the group. They invited me several times, but I think it was my own insecurities that made me want to stay behind.

Saturday dinner was also fantastic. Chesty Rockwell (again, his self-appointed fake name), a Syrian, made the best Mexican food I’ve had in awhile. Soft and hard tacos with slow-cooked chicken and ground turkey with a buffet of accoutrements – bean and corn salsa, guacamole, heirloom tomato salad, to name a few. Dessert was simple – dried cherries, dark and milk chocolate and dessert wine that I mistakenly drank as a shot. It was rough going down, but the flavor that lingered wasn’t so bad. LBP remarked that it was like saying, “I prefer the memory of you.” (Hello, every relationship I’ve ever been in.)

Table talk turned to the previous night’s Senate vote to legalize gay marriage. One person wondered what would happen next. Someone guessed that “triples” would be next and pointed out there was a triple down the road. Most seem to agree that this wasn’t a realistic next step and didn’t seem to care either way. I said that if gay polygamy is legalized, then straight polygamy should also be legalized. Sure, I understand the complications this brings up, but I stand by what I said that night – The family on TLC’s “Sisterwives” is the most normal and well-adjusted family on reality TV. Actually, those in the house weren’t really concerned about the “next step” that some on the right use as scare tactics. They were happy for the victory and I took pleasure in reminding them it was thanks to a Republican-controlled Senate.

On Sunday most of the group spent the day at the beach. Prior to going to Fire Island, I had heard that bathing suits were optional. I didn’t see any naked men, but lots and lots of swim briefs (like Speedos). Men of all shapes and sizes enjoyed their skin-tight bathing suits. There a few men who looked pretty good in them, too. One minute a group was swimming sunset.JPGaround in the Atlantic, the next minute someone’s red Diesel suit was being tossed around from person to person. His modesty was amusing. He wouldn’t get out of the ocean unless someone threw back his suit. Eventually, someone brought him a towel and he made a run for the suit.

Dinner on our last night was sandwiches with leftover filet, tomatoes, basil mayonnaise, Roquefort cheese and horseradish.

Since I didn’t have to lift a finger for my meals that weekend, I jokingly said I would write a haiku for payment. To prove that some Republicans keep their promises, here it is:

Betty sleeps soundly
Diesel suit floats in the surf
My soul mate awaits

I’m not one of those annoying girls that boasts about her gay friends to prove that she is fabulous and open-minded. The only requisite I have for friendship is a beach house I can visit. Thanks to Chris and Anthony!

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LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.