Credit: Ryan Shea

Last week, I was delighted and happy to write a piece called “I’m Gay, Fat, Single & 30.  I’m Fine.  Really”, which was met with a ton of positive feedback from hundreds of men and women who read it.  There is usually a mixture of positive/negative/constructive feedback, however this one was generally the former and that always makes any writer feel good.  However, there was one alarming factor that I saw written on a lot of my friend’s and their friend’s walls who shared my piece, and it is something that i didn’t realize was this much of a factor in the bear community.

The comment was this- “This dude is not fat”.  Or “LOL, this dude thinks he is fat“.  This is a similar sentiment to something I wrote back in November, about how you shouldn’t conform to society’s “negatives” about you and focus on what makes you the best you.  Now, I am all for criticism as that is part of being a writer, but the norm seems to be that the bear community might have a divisiveness about it when it comes to what really constitutes as fat in this community.

Not that I really want to share this, but I am roughly 260 pounds, so yes, by doctor’s terms… I am fat.  These are facts.  There are bears who see it a little differently than that, as they saw me (and other guys, from the quick assumption about me), on the slender side of what is considered to be a bear.  It’s sort of like my best friend who says that she likes shopping at Lane Bryant because she is the skinniest size there.  There is still, a big problem there, as the judgment runs pretty quick when it comes to how bears operate their minds on issues like this.

If someone says that they think they are fat, it is their choice to do so.  It shouldn’t be met with comments like, and I quote, “He’s not fat.  When you become my weight… We’ll talk.  Hit 400 pounds and be gay.  This guy has no idea what he is talking about”.  There is clearly a lot to break down from that particular statement.  One- who is he to judge on what I know about myself regarding my personal struggles with weight, and does a number in terms of pounds really separate guys who are fat and ones that aren’t?  It makes no sense, really.

Bears are advertised in so many different compartmentalized ways, in terms of figure, race, body hair, and whatnot, that it becomes somewhat “hodgepodge fuckery” when determining who you really are.  I have stated in the past that i do not need a label to define me, I’m me, and happy to do so.  But with the weight issue, do we really need to be put into groups that range from “Super Chub”, “Chub”, “Cub”, “Muscle Cub”, “Otter”, and everything in between?  Things are complicated as is, this is just getting silly at this point.

The first article I ever wrote about bears simply stated the following about the history of this world: “When the Bear Community started back in the 70’s/80’s, it was meant to be a community of guys that were in a way shunned from the norm and had an outlet to be themselves in a very stereotypical gay world.” So why do we feel the need to separate ourselves even further when it comes to our weight?  The word community needs to seriously be evaluated if we are doing so, because in recent years it seems that we are distancing ourselves further and further with the cliques, labels and whatnot, and forgetting why we formed in the first place.  Do your best to not judge others in this community for aspects that they are open about, and focus on how you can make them better, and ultimately yourself.

Also, if you don’t like my positive thinking, then that’s on you. 🙂