The Bear Man

Straight guys everywhere, I have a question for you. Many might say that I’ve led a pretty sheltered life. Even more might say that after I make the following revelation. I was always lead to believe that a bear can be one of two things:

Either an animal or a big burly strong man (preferably Russian), right? Did any of you know that a hairy homosexual can also be a bear?!? This much was made aware to me when I created my first myspace page, and gave myself the name “Big Brady Bear.”

Since that time, I noticed that they refer to the gay man in American Wedding as a bear. I guess I saw it then and thought they meant like a teddy bear. Who knew what I was thinking?

Are there any real bears out there? Do any bears ever read this? If so, you are a segment of the gay community I never knew about or even thought about for most of my life. But now I know.

And I will never see the zoo in the same light.

2 Comments so far

  1. anna in philly (unregistered) on March 9th, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

    in the old days Bears were big hairy gay men….but these days anyone can be a Bear….im a Liberty Bear (

    i joined because i love the atmosphere, the causes they work for, the sense of community….there are several other female members but most of the members are gay men…either hairy gay men or guys who are into hairy gay men.

  2. Christopher (unregistered) on March 9th, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

    Another bear reader checking in… the “bear movement” got started in the late 80’s/early 90’s as a form of solidarity amongst the gay men that don’t really fit in the young/thin/bronzed/fabulous-hair crowd. (The majority of us are much more teddybear than grizzly, so you weren’t far off! It gets even sillier when you start adding younger “cubs” and “otters” — thinner yet hairy gay men — to the mix.) As Anna mentioned, there are social/community service clubs for bears all over the US and elsewhere in the world, and the Philly bear community is pretty active and diverse.

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