Throughout the United States, people gather to celebrate independence day at parades and parties — but for those celebrating on Fire Island in New York, the 4th of July takes on a different meaning. Stephen Mayes muses on Susan Kravitz’s images of Fire Island and its unique history for those “on the sexual margins of society.”

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Coco Love aboard the ferry in 2011. “I just don’t think there’s anything quite like it,” said Michael of the Invasion. “It’s a visual spectacle … and it’s [in] no way similar to anything that I had witnessed before.” As an outside spectator in the early 1990s, he originally saw the Invasion from the Pines’ side, but he gravitated toward the Grove after that first summer, drawn by its eccentric cast of characters. Photo by Susan Kravitz

A spit of sand impertinently defying the north Atlantic Ocean to the east and hetero social tides to the west, Fire Island is a minor geographic feature on the American continent that has assumed a disproportionate significance for many of us on the sexual margins of society. …


Stephen Mayes

Stephen is Executive Director of the Tim Hetherington Trust with 30 years experience managing photography in the areas of fashion, art, commerce and journalism

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