During the summer of 1976, a restaurant in Fire Island Pines, New York, denied entry to a visitor in drag named Terry Warren. Fire Island Pines is a beach community on Fire Island east of New York City with a gay majority population that was at the time more affluent and conservative than the population of nearby Cherry Grove. When Warren’s friends in Cherry Grove heard what had happened, they too dressed up in drag, and, on July 4, 1976, with Cherry Grove’s 1976 Homecoming Queen Thom Hansen (aka Panzi) in the lead, sailed to the Pines by water taxi.
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