Bears are a thing in the queer community. They’re hairy dudes. Usually beards, often bellies, sometimes they smoke cigars and drink beer. Sometimes they like leather. It varies. The Vanguard‘s intrepid cub reporter whipped it out (his phone, that is) and chatted with some bears to get a variety of opinions on the matter.
First up, a powerlifting leather-loving bearish guy.
Hunguard69: wtf is a bear?
JD: A spectrum of butch-identifying gay men, usually bigger/fatter but not necessarily. They tend to fetishize body hair and (white?) working-class aesthetics. But you can be skinny or nelly or bald to some degree as long as you’re not overtly fatphobic.
Hunguard69: Oh. Cool. So…are you a bear?
JD: To some extent. I certainly pass as bearish. Any aesthetic critiques aside, I think beardom is the gay subculture I’m most comfortable in other than maybe leather. Neither are perfect fits, but the bear scene tends to be more relaxed.
Hunguard69: If you had to describe bears in one word…?
Next, we asked a non-bear bear-cuddler.
Hairymanbuttlvr: wtf is a bear
lilStanislovas: In the gay community there is tremendous pressure to be either a twink or a fit jock and a bear is any guy that either cannot attempt or refuses to attempt that standard of beauty.
Hairymanbuttlvr: Cool…so do you identify with the bear community?
lilStanislovas: I’m bear adjacent. Maybe one day my metabolism will give out and I’ll truly become a bear, but until then I’m stuck as an aged twink.
Hairymanbuttlvr: If you had to describe bears in one word…?
And finally a trip to the edge of the bear orbit for some plain talk.
xXhAwTvIkinGxX: wtf is a bear?
AD: A burly hairy guy who likes other burly hairy guys.
xXhAwTvIkinGxX: Ok cool…so are you a bear?
AD: Not technically, but I’m somewhere at the edge of the bear world.
xXhAwTvIkinGxX: If you had to describe bears in one word…?