Believe it or not, not all gay men are the same. I mean we don’t all enjoy Broadway music, the latest fashion, or worried about social status. There are some gay men that don’t turn their noises up in disgust at sporting events, outdoor activities or even manual labor. The LGBT community is a cornucopia of men that each have different interests, body types and tastes. It is completely ridiculous to assume that every single person within a particular culture is representative of the culture as whole.
Within the gay culture gay men at times will use terms and classifications to identify other groups within their own that at times confuse our straight friends. One such sub-group are the bears, and within that are subcultures each with different classifications of bears, with their own unique taste, looks and attractions. Now not being a bear myself, I had to ask some friends to clear up the misconceptions of who they are and what attracts them to each other. The definition of a Bear: Are men within the gay community who have hairy bodies and facial hair. Most are stocky and/or muscular (larger in mass than any other classification of gay men in the community I might add). Often they portray themselves as the epitome of masculinity through their rugged appearance and demeanor.
Despite their appearance most are friendly, polite and easy-going. They tend to be some of the kindest, if a bear were to accidentally step on you at a bar; they would be the first to apologize and feel awful for potentially hurting you. Now don’t mistake that kindness for being weak; when provoked and prodded they can be as aggressive as any straight man. I men their size alone would be enough to take down an entire gaggle of gays. Bears tend to travel in packs and stick together. One would be surprised to learn that they have a wide verity of interests. Most bears enjoy beer, it seems to be the drink of choice (just note that it’s not always the case), I mean you don’t see them sitting around drinking a Cosmo or calling themselves a vegan. They tend to indulge in the simpler pleasures of life such as camping, fishing and even hunting.
These men are not slaves to fashion, therefore, you will find them mostly wearing flannel shirts, jeans, t-shirts, baseball hats, combat boots, or tennis shoes. Don’t get me wrong when the situations calls for formal wear; trust me they come out in their finest and lord knows they know how to fill out a suit. But for the most part tend to be at home wearing lose fit, extremely casual clothing.
So you understand the term Bear does not apply to every hairy gay man. The fact is within the subculture you can a slew of different classification. Here are just a few that I managed to find out about, it was an eye opening experience to say the least.
Before I start with these descriptions, please don’t take any offence. Like most outside I may not know all of the terms used and how they might be applied. This is a general description of a subculture.
Bears come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and interest. If you really want to learn more I would suggest you find a Bear, and befriend him. Trust me you’ll be glad you did.
Image: istockphoto.com. Purchased for commercial use.
Source: Wikipedia/Bear/Gay Culture