It's that time of year again: time to buff up, bare all and hit the beach. Any good gay knows that Fire Island Pines is one of the most beautiful, historic and hedonistic summer destinations in the world. You may also know that the Pines had it rough over the past couple of years.
Often when I watch other people on television who live in areas severely affected by storms I wonder why they live there. And I know that people watching my island on the news may now be thinking the same thing.
Hurricane Sandy took my house. When I started pondering whether we should re-build our house at all, since our house is on a barrier island, I realized we are destroying our planet. This storm brought the most powerful city in the world to its knees.
I'm the first to admit I'm not your typical Fire Island Pines visitor. I go to the legendary gay enclave as founding director of Dancers Responding to AIDS. But even more, I go because my heart still breaks when I learn of friends who have recently tested positive for HIV.
Suddenly we jumped from Miss Fire Island 1983 to Miss Fire Island 1998. Um, what? At first, I was like, "Are all those queens from the '80s and '90s really so busy they can't be here?" Then I got it: the missing queens weren't missing. They were gone.