On Saturday, July 18th, Empire State Pride Agenda held its annual Tea Dance at Nova’s Ark in Water Mill. This year’s event celebrated the legalization of gay marriage across the country.
“It’s the biggest celebration for the LGBT community in the Hamptons,” Nathan Schaefer, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, shared. “We’ve been out here for more than a decade. People always look forward to coming out here and celebrating and supporting a really great cause.”
Schaefer said that Pride Agenda has been hosting this party for such a long time that they have the planning down like clockwork. Just like previous years, Lady Bunny came out for the night. The fan-favorite was behind the DJ booth all night, dancing and playing a range of music that got the crowd up and dancing.
Luckily for attendees, the weather held up for the four-hour long party and guests were able to enjoy themselves on the breezy evening, as they mingled around with cocktails in hand.
Although the large dance floor was packed the entire night, guests also had fun taking professional photos with fun props and a rainbow backdrop, courtesy of Dirty Sugar. Partygoers were able to snack, courtesy of Silver Spoon, who offered hot dogs, Asian noodles, delicious edamame dumplings and more. For those who brought their children, there was a section where the kids could color, play games and run around with bubbles.
“This event is super energy and the spirit here is amazing,” noted Steve Rosati, a volunteer at the Tea Dance. Rosati recently moved to New York City and he said that he wanted to be a part of the event because he wanted to support the good cause and do something good. “Everyone is in high spirits in a really happy joyous mood.”
While the LGBT community has had many accomplishments over the past ten years, Scaefer said Pride Agenda’s work isn’t done just yet. “It’s an opportunity to come out and celebrate our victories, but also to recommit ourselves to the work ahead,” he said about the party. The next thing the group is going to really focus on is the gender expression non-discrimination act.
“I think folks know that they’re going to have a good time here at the Tea Dance and that their money is going to a good cause at the Pride Agenda, so it’s really a win-win for everybody involved,” said Scaefer.
For more information about Pride Agenda, visit www.prideagenda.org.