- Gay men on the East End were particularly festive this past Saturday, July 9 at the Hamptons Tea Dance
. With the passage of New York State Marriage Equality just a few weeks prior, the yearly event to benefit the Empire State Pride Agenda
sought an unprecedented amount of tipsy-though-camera-ready, white-jean-wearing, pristinely-over-coiffed gentleman in Tom Ford
Over 1,600 people flocked to Nova's Ark on Saturday's red-hot afternoon, baking under clear skies, pickling themselves in ever-flowing Belvedere
vodka, chili dogs, and ice cream courtesy of the hunky-staffed Silver Platter Caterers. Sun-stroke and mass dehydration might have been an imminent threat, had dusk not finally descended, letting slip a spray of appropriately-hued pink skies.
Designer Peter Som and Uli Wagner. (Thomas McKee)
Though the expected array of drag queens were missing (and missed) from the early evening's festivities, DJ Lady Bunny
, the gay New York institution herself, provided an ass-slapping soundtrack that corresponded perfectly with the happy slurs of the dance-floor-turned-mosh-pit. After all, nothing says I'm so happy I can legally settle down
than a house remix of Whitney Houston's
cover of "I'm Every Woman."
But amid the frenzy of air-kissing and bicep-flexing, LGBT advocate and community member Brad Bender
of the Independent Party, currently running for Southampton Town Board, offered some words on the fight for Marriage Equality. According to Bender, who has been married to partner Larry Carnevale
in the state of Massachusetts for the past seven years, "everybody was working hard to bring the law to fruition, so I'm not surprised that it passed. Though I am thrilled." And endless gratitude is owed to the Empire State Pride Agenda, who have been instrumental in securing the civil rights of the LGBT community, having been one of the largest statewide advocacy groups in New York since 1990.
Michael McConnel, IMG's Ivan Bart, and Producer Michael Flutie. (Thomas McKee)
Seen and being seen among the gaggle of Gay-Listers include adorably-friendly and endlessly talented designer Peter Som
(who claims a Hamptons boutique is finally
in the works), IMG model mogul Ivan Bart
, UNICEF's Thomas Pierce
, Jaime Jimenez
of Baccaurat, Elie Tahari
PR Executive Scott Curry
, reality TV Producer Michael Flutie
, and "America's Next Top" [Gay] Model Kim Stoltz
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