We were told there would be plenty of signs pointing us in the correct direction of Big Gay Beach Day, just past the Washout on Folly Beach Sunday. So I ambled my car up that way and looked for a sign, any sign. And then I saw it: huge flags lined up from street to beach, each flag its own color of the rainbow. We had arrived.

Stepping onto the beach, I was immediately cozy and calm. The sand was scattered with a couple of tents, many umbrellas, and several big groups of beachers. Under one tent, I found several members of CHAMP (CHarleston Area MPowerment Project) lounging with friends. Closer to the ocean, big games of beach volleyball continued throughout the day. My friends and I wistfully watched four girls in bikinis hurl a football back and forth, with sick spirals.

Really, Big Gay Beach Day was quite tame. I was a bit bummed that the DJ never showed, but was entertained watching three tug-o-war games that ended swiftly when the rope snapped in half each time. (I don’t dare presume to state who won. But I will say the girls’ side was demanding a rematch when I tiptoed away.) The stand-out event of the day was definitely the slip-n-slide. A man in tight shorts paraded around literally lubing participants up with I.D. Glide – priceless. It’s no wonder the sliders were wiping out at the water’s edge. Sand burn is no fun.

There were a few speedo cameos (one in tie-dye), and one fabulous man with a belly button ring. The late afternoon saw some chicken fights in the deep end and quite a turn-out. All in all, it was really just a pleasant beach day with less of the frattiness. The overall vibe was that everyone there was tight like family — quite refreshing.