/Fire Island Stars Recall Their Wildest Nights Out On New Yorks LGBTQ Beach Haven

Fire Island Stars Recall Their Wildest Nights Out On New Yorks LGBTQ Beach Haven

Joel Kim Booster and Matt Rogers put a queer spin on two of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters in the 2022 romantic comedy “Fire Island.”

As it turns out, the two actors have had some wild, real-life adventures ― and a few misadventures ― of their own at New York’s premier LGBTQ+ beach destination that would also make for an entertaining film or two.

Booster and Rogers are featured on this week’s episode of “Finding Fire Island,” a new documentary podcast that examines how a sleepy Long Island beach town became the internationally renowned queer mecca that it is today.

HuffPost caught a sneak peek at the episode, titled “Tea” and available on streaming platforms Thursday. It covers Fire Island’s famous “Tea Dance,” which was established in the 1960s as an outlet for queer men to gather outside of Manhattan. In the episode, Booster and Rogers recall the “most insane thing” they’ve each witnessed while visiting Fire Island.

“I’ve been to a 200+ person orgy on the island, and there’s nothing like watching a bunch of guys get railed as the sun is coming up over the ocean,” Booster says. “The amount of sex and sex acts that I’ve seen on that island in public, in front of an audience, is sort of wild. I don’t know what it is about Fire Island that unlocks people’s inhibitions a little bit.”

Rogers echoed those sentiments, quipping: “I’m out there being a full gay man on that beach, and that comes with its maladies and successes.”

Listen to a clip from the July 20 episode of “Finding Fire Island” below.

Warning: Audio contains NSFW language.

Produced by the Broadway Podcast Network, “Finding Fire Island” is hosted by journalist Jess Rothschild. A New York native, Rothschild is best known for her candid interviews with Sandra Bernhard, Rosie O’Donnell and other stars on “Hot Takes & Deep Dives,” an LGBTQ-inclusive pop culture podcast.

Though Rothschild has been vacationing on Fire Island for years, she found herself dissatisfied with books and other forms of media that served as historical documents of the destination. Hence, she sought an opportunity to capture the history of Fire Island from a woman’s perspective, “while weaving in the present-day rituals” that can be found there now.

Jess Rothschild is the host of "Finding Fire Island" and "Hot Takes & Deep Dives."
Jess Rothschild is the host of “Finding Fire Island” and “Hot Takes & Deep Dives.”

Upon delving into research for the eight episodes of “Finding Fire Island,” Rothschild took note of many longstanding misconceptions about the town ― the first being that it had always been an LGBTQ-friendly environment.

“The truth is [the village of] the Pines was very closeted and originally envisioned as a straight community,” she said.

She’d also like her podcast to help dismantle the stereotype of Fire Island being a haven strictly for white cisgender gay men, noting: “The truth is, it is filled with women and trans folks, particularly in [the village of] Cherry Grove. There are also great efforts being made to show that it is becoming a space for people of color as well.”

From left: Matt Rogers, Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang, who starred in "Fire Island."
From left: Matt Rogers, Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang, who starred in “Fire Island.”

Future episodes of “Finding Fire Island” will cover the “Invasion of the Pines,” an annual tradition that brings boatloads of drag queens to the island for a raucous Fourth of July celebration. Another episode focuses on residents who make Fire Island their year-round home. Other installments will take a peek behind the curtain at Madonna’s and Liza Minnelli’s now-legendary Fire Island visits.

“The same socioeconomic, racial and political issues that play out across the U.S. are played out in these tiny, remote gay communities as well,” Rothschild said. “It’s all just a microcosm for the rest of the world.”

Original Source