Once a year, Fire Island gets conspicuously blacker for FIBO, Fire Island Black Out, one of America’s biggest black gay and lesbian parties, held in Cherry Grove over a Summer weekend. It is an interesting disruption to the usually very white Fire Island scene, making the island, if only for one weekend, a shining star of hedonistic Afro-homosex. And luckily for me, it coincided with my trip.
On Saturday morning the trains and ferries brought in thousands of gay men and women of colour – ready to party. Many of them were dressed immaculately in chic Summer casualwear, with the fashion on show almost as tempting as the endless parade of buff torsos, perfect pecs and spandex-covered bouncing crotches, as the cruisy crowd mingled in their haute beachwear on the streets, bars and beaches.
The day before I arrived at Fire Island I had had an interesting conversation with a friend about dating in New York, and he had told me he was disillusioned because in a city filled with so many choices, and so many beautiful men, no-one would commit even for a minute, fearful that something better was just around the corner. It was true, I thought. How many times had I seen an absolutely stunning man on the subway, only to see one even more handsome a block later, promptly forgetting the earlier revelation.
FIBO was a brutal case in point. Each hypothetical pool-party crush – complete with porn star bod, sexy tattoos and cocky swagger – was quickly forgotten as a newer, improved version entered the scene. It was the highest concentration of incredibly good-looking men I have ever seen.
For the evidence see the photos below or some slightly NSFW pictures after the jump.
At the beach many of the lesbians went topless and one (male) exhibitionist walked around stark naked all day long, but for most attendees it was all about the perfect swimsuit, the perfect shades and admiring the talent on show for later reference at the numerous house parties happening that night on the island.
Unfortunately, the official FIBO party itself was somewhat lacklustre – many of the participants had opted for private events or taken the ferry back to the mainland and attendance was sparse, and the music, I thought, patchy. For a black gay celebration it felt surprisingly…lifeless.