As someone who has been part of the bear and gay community as a whole for twelve years now, I have seen a bevy of trends come and go in our culture, yet there is a constant that remains throughout it and that is an incredible lack of respect from younger and older gay men to each other that needs to stop immediately. Seeing as we can be a culture that hardly comes together as a community with how vicious we can be, it can be something as simple as this that can break these walls downs and we can unite better as a culture. [Read more…] about There Needs to be Mutual Respect Between Older & Younger Gay Men
Television shows can generally be addicting, but in recent years, one that really comes to mind in the LGBT community is “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. The show has become a cultural phenomenon, with millions tuning in each week to see who shantays, and who sashays away. Whereas this show has been a vital movement in the media presence of LGBT over the past decade, I have to wonder why this is the only damn show on television right now where the entire cast is gay, and not just a supporting character, IE “Modern Family”. [Read more…] about Why, as a Gay Community, Do We Only Have RuPaul’s Drag Race?
I’m always on the lookout for the next great thing in gay brands, especially in the fashion industry. With the summer still in full swing for another month, many gay men are on the hunt for their last big vacation to take before the warm weather makes its exit and the brisk Fall weather makes its way in. So why not try to find some really great fitted tees that show off your physique, have a great pop of color with some awesome and sexy graphics to go along with? This is where Bare Beef Tees come along.
I discovered Bare Beef on Instagram actually, where that particular page alone has amounted to 6,000 followers in a short period of time. Pretty impressive for any Instagram page. The page is chock full of super hot beefy guys modeling some of Bare Beef’s signature and great tees for the masses to enjoy (including myself). I was very curious to know more about how the brand came about and so much more, and got the opportunity to do so. I sat down with owner Al Bare who told me more about the business, how his shirts are for men of all sizes, upcoming events, and so much more. Take a look.
So how did the concept of Bare Beef tees start?
The idea of Bare Beef tees came about from several compliments and conversations shared with friends, followers and admirers regarding my artwork. It was our collective belief that there was a community out there that would both enjoy and appreciate fantasy images of bear and leather men on quality tees and tank shirts.
When it came to coming up with a name for them, how did you land on “Bare Beef”?
A friend and I were brainstorming with one another about a name that would both suggest and sort of be a twist for the word “bear” and the word “beef” to denote images of sexy muscular hairy-beefy–bare chested fantasy men. So we thought it was just a good marriage of words to come with Bare Beef as our company name. While there are numerous t-shirt companies geared for the bear community that featured cartoon oriented designs and phrases we however wanted our designs to feature actual images of beefy muscular guys.
Design wise; was there anything you drew inspiration on when it came to making the tees themselves?
As an artist, I drew upon images from tv, movie and photographic prints as well as everyday men I saw at the gym , bear events, clubs or just regular guys on the street with a strikingly handsome face or aspect about their bodies that I could draw and even enhance wherever i chose.
You use very bold and strong colors on your tees such as a sharp red and black for instance. Do you tend to shy away from a softer color palette due to the intensity in how the models wear the shirts?
Since the original drawings are grey from their inception and then outlined digitally, a lighter color palette would not necessarily provide as great of a contrast as it does with the bolder t-shirt colors. This way the bolder “colored fabric canvas” provides a backdrop that stands out more and shows off the artwork a little more prominently. As we continue to grow and designs become more varied we will very likely incorporate different color palettes accordingly for their respective designs.
Are these shirts designed for men of all sizes?
Currently our designs are available in Medium to XXXLarge sizes. Even though most of our customers are members of the bear community (bears cubs,otters,chubs) as well as the leather community, we have however more recently received many requests from smaller framed guys that we will of course be certainly fulfilling in the very near future.
What is your take on gay men’s fashion today. Do you find that it is a bit one note or do you think we are improving when it comes to body acceptance in the community overall?
When discussing body image acceptance as a whole within the gay community and all of its sub-cultures I personally believe that there is still need for improvement. The bear community has long been identified as one in which body image shape, size; etc has been much more accepting and less critical when compared to the other sub cultures. The other cultures have both promoted and continued to revere a more slender, fit contoured physique and thereby have not embraced nor been as accepting of fashions which were casual or otherwise.
You have amassed over 5,000 Instagram followers which is quite impressive. How were you able to build on that with your brand?
When the original idea came up to begin this line of tees and tanks we asked friends, acquaintances and models to wear a tank or tee and had a photographer take several provocative pics of the guys. Then, we slowly released the pictures one by one via Instagram exclusively and we gained an impressive following right from the start with the release of the first couple of pictures. From there it just grew and grew until the launch of the line in May. We have had several customers who have purchase a tee or tank then took a selfie of themselves in their tee or tank and then we posted those and received even more attention and more followers from those postings. We also try to keep up with our customers by liking and commenting on their posts.
Price-wise, what does an average Bare Beef shirt cost?
Industry-wise we are on the low end since some of the retailers actually sell their tees and tanks from anywhere $40-$50. Our tees are only $26.99 and tanks for only $24.99.
Do you have any events coming up with Bare Beef that my readers would like to know about?
Yes thanks very much for asking …International Bear Bash in Orlando, FL in September; Hibearnation in St. Louis, MO. in November; and North American Bear Weekend in Lexington,KY in February. There’s also a chance that we’ll have our shirts at the Mid-Atlantic Leather in Washington, DC in January although that is not yet confirmed. At each of those events, our line of tees and tanks will be available at the Vendor Market at the Torso Menswear booth.
What is your ultimate hope with the Bare Beef brand?
We hope to expand from just the line of tees and tanks and broaden the line to include items such as hats, underwear, shorts, swimwear or even gym bags. Ideally we’d like to see our line crossover into the other cultures and be worn by guys of all genres.
It’s come to my attention that the bears, and cubs, and otters, and wolves, and whatever other Patronuses we gays are using, are forming themselves into “packs.” What’s a pack, at least to gay men, and not animal behaviorists? Beyond it being a group of friends who go places and hang out, I’m honestly not sure, though I have a feeling that after this article is shared on the internet, we will all know a little bit more. [Read more…] about Are Gay Packs Really Just Cliques?
When you are a man of a certain size (like me), shopping for good fitting underwear can be just as much of an issue as finding a shirt of pants that showcase the goods all in a great way. I ran into that particular issue last weekend when I was picked to be a Gogo Bear at Furball NYC, which happened during Pride Weekend at Space Ibiza last Friday night. I had some options readily available for myself however I didn’t like the way it fit me and the colors of them didn’t gravitate the eye the way they wanted to. Luckily, one of the sponsors for Furball NYC was this great clothing line called Bear Skn who also provided underwear for all the GoGo Bears for the evening. I tried mine on, which had a great green color to it, and was ecstatic with how it looked, felt and got me through the evening (If you are dying to see how it looks just go to my IG- @musiccub. #selfpromotion.)
With so many mainstream and gay underwear lines focusing on the muscled and chiseled dude, it can be difficult to navigate the world of boxers and briefs for the huskier and thick dudes who want to feel just as hot and sexy as the fit ones do. Bear Skn does exactly that. Their attention to detail when it comes to size, color and body type really shows and with a line of underwear that goes up to 6XL you can guarantee that you’ll be able to find something that fits you to perfection when you try it on.
I recently sat down with their fabulous owner Jody Koenig who explained to me about the history of Bear Skn, its hopeful future and honest thoughts about their competitors in the market right now. Take a look.
How did the concept of Bear Skn begin?
It all started when Co-Founder Bjorn R-G was a member of an underwear of the month club and wasn’t really getting anything to suit his needs. When there was a style he liked typically it wasn’t offered it in his size. We started asking our friends about their underwear and it became clear that there was a need for comfortable and stylish underwear for bigger guys.
Conceptually and design wise what was your original image for the brand?
At Bear Skn, we think of ourselves as craftsmen. While the tools of our trade may be a bit finer than a hatchet, we wanted an iconic logo that conveyed a sense of craftsmanship and masculinity. A hatchet is not merely a blunt tool. It can be also be used to shape something new. We think that Bear Skn has shaped something new that you will truly appreciate.
We started with our standard issue in basic colors black, red, green, blue, and a purple. Then for our premium Backwoods Button down that features the classic buffalo check print. The backwoods really shows the masculine image that we want for the brand.
The name too, how did you come up with that, in particular the spelling of SKN?
We went through a number of different names actually. We tried using our initials but that sounded more like a law firm than a men’s clothing brand. The name “Bjorn” actually means “Bear.” It worked out that it was a fun name that had a great image, and still had personal elements to it. We continued to play around with the name but the SKN spelling came down to what was available as a URL.
What are the options of apparel you can get?
Currently Bear Skn is focused on underwear. We have a brief, trunk and soon to be released boxer brief style. We listened to feedback on our first line and made the adjustments that our customers we asking for. Bear Skn also has plans for socks, loungewear, shorts, swimwear to mention a few.
Do you find bears are still underrepresented when it comes to clothing options in the community?
For a larger man, finding a good fit can be difficult. There are options out there, but you really have to dig and try things that maybe your not use to. There are not many brands that focus on providing new and stylish looks for this size range. You are limited to one outdated look.
What’s your opinion on well known gay clothing labels such as Andrew Christian and Nasty Pig? Do you think they miss the mark when it comes to men of a certain size?
I think they are serving their market very well. As a business you have to find your ideal customer and market directly to them, they have found their group and going after it. That’s where Bear Skn comes in to focus the men of size!
What is next for the Bear Skn brand?
The main focus for us is on growing the breath of our product line and getting into more retail locations. We see more fun colors and introducing more interesting new style.
For more information on Jody’s fantastic line, check out their official website. Right in time for the upcoming Bear Week in Provincetown as well! Happy Shopping everyone!
I am someone who can honestly say, and it is hard to believe this, am proud that I have been an out gay man for 15 years now. Coming out so young in life (freshman year of high school), I am fortunate enough to have grown up in a conservative area yet never once being bullied or made to feel less than due to my sexuality. I had the same experience when I went to college in Providence for five years, and even though my experience with the gay world was small it was never on the negative side and I developed some pretty great friends during my time there. Then I came home to Long Island and New York City and ventured into the gay world here, where things became drastically different for me.
I never saw my size as a hindrance growing up. What was a hindrance was being gay, not because anyone picked on me for it but because I truly was the only out and proud person in my school and I felt somewhat that i was in this heterosexual bubble that I couldn’t see my way out of. I needed to be around like minded people which is why I chose a city like Providence as it has a large gay community for such a small city and ultimately state. Problem for me then became my size, which shortly developed when I came into New York City and realized that your overall look became something to be judged heavily. This include factors outside of size such as race, cultural background, income and an array of others facets that for someone as young as I was at the time became a bit much for me to handle. I would walk through Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, workout at the local gyms and consistently be surrounded by men I saw as inferior to me and would constantly judge myself compared to them and wonder where I could improve. The funny thing is, I never did this growing up. I felt like all of this was making up for lost time as both men and women tend to do these things to an extreme when they are in middle school & high school as this is when insecurities breed on such a higher level as you are stuck with hundreds of other kids on a daily basis. This time around it was happening in adulthood and I feared that it would send me into a depression if I didn’t get some sort of validation from this community on the point that even if I had a great personality, charming and/or funny, that really it came down to if I was good looking or not. Sad but true, a good part of the gay world relies on vanity in order to determine friendships, fuck buddies, relationships, and so much more. Deny it as much as you want, but it is factual.
My weight has spiraled up and down over the years, my lightest I was at 215, heaviest I was at 270. Now I am somewhere in the middle and can honestly say that I am content with where I am at today. So what caused this shift in perception seven years after my initial fears were brought to the forefront? It is simple- you start to realize that all of that chaos that you create in your head is just that. You hopefully develop a maturity as you go throughout life and realize what is truly important to you and the high school bullshit you thought was vital to your everyday life becomes non-existent. I am happy that I have never really conformed in this community when it comes to being in an exclusive group, sticking to a particular body size and only dating one body type as that is what turns me on more than anything else. I hang with people from all sorts of groups, eat more when I want to and date whomever I want to because I hate staying inside the lines.
I still deal with the shade that comes with this community, the gossip and some of the negative connotations associated with. We all do, however I try not to let it get to me anymore as all that is is simply just chatter. I’m aware of who I am and my worth and that has taken years and years of confidence building and a great support system to understand that. Even if your situation seems bleak, understand that there is at least one person around you who greatly cares for you regardless. See the positive, see the glass half. Like spending time with your adorable nephew (pic above). That is unconditional love and what is really important in life.
A common thread in the people that I interview is that they started somewhere and in the midst of their life discovered a passion for what they love and turn it into something for others to appreciate. Larkin Magnus is a fine example of that. Larkin, who currently resides in San Diego by way of Chicago, is an amazing author who recently released his fascinating sci-fi book called “Death Lord”. Like other people that I have interviewed before, Larkin has also developed quite the following on his social networking pages, due in particular to his funny, positive outlook on things. Oh, and he’s just so freaking handsome and full of brains and wit. So naturally, I had to interview him about the book and so much more.
Take a look at my exclusive with Larkin including his inspirations into sci-fi growing up, his amazing body transformation, how he sees the gay community and what is next for him.
Hey Larkin, thanks for sitting down with us! So tell me about your book “Death Lord”, what is it all about?
Death Lord is a story set 10,000 years in the future. thousand years since humanity first began expanding into the wider galaxy. There’s been a cataclysm that nearly destroyed the empire and now humanity is nominally united but practically fractured and factious. The greatest force holding the empire together and protecting it from alien predation is the Archon Guard: superhuman gene-fabricated warriors designed to destroy the Empire’s enemies, both from without and within.
The story follows Captain Cain Sigarian of the archon IV guard core Death Lords, who commands the strikeship Nightwing. He and his squad, along with a crew of mortal warriors loyal to the IV, are on a priority mission whose parameters are secret to almost everyone except the captain himself. But Cain soon finds that while he has been keeping secrets, his commanders in the Death Lords have an agenda of their own that could tie him into a web much larger than he bargained for. The characters all struggle with their own secrets and loyalties and over the course of the story have to face decisions about betraying their oaths to the Empire and fulfilling their mission.
What inspired you to become a writer and ultimately choose the sci-fi route?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer since I was little, but for whatever dumb reason thought you needed an education for it. After a BA in English, and Masters in 19th Century Literature, and slogging my way to ABD in a PHD for Rhetoric, it dawned on me that I actually hated working at a university and didn’t need it at all to do what I wanted with my life. Lesson learned, if a few years too late. What really made me want to write was also what drew me to science fiction: growing up watching scifi and wishing the storied turned out differently. I would daydream about how I wished a Star Trek episode had gone, or how I thought an episode of X-Men could have been better, or how I wished certain characters got more face time than the others. So now I write stories and get them to go the way I want.
Did you have any inspirations in the writing and sci-fi world that led you to write this story?
I have many influences. I grew up watching Star Trek, but while I like it, the universe isn’t really my aesthetic. My imagination is a little darker and a little more pessimist about the human race. I took more influence from anime and video games I think. Death Note, Bleach, Gundam Wing, Iria, Big O, and Evangelion were all favorites, and I played Dawn of War, Starcraft, Halo, and Mass Effect as well. I like all Science Fiction but particularly I enjoy sprawling epic narratives like space operas with a darker hue. Not quite dystopian – a dystopia to me implies something fundamental has changed about human society, and I think at a basic level that mankind doesn’t change a whole lot from age to age. We just get better toys!
Speaking of inspiration, something you document on your Facebook page quite often is your body transformation which is quite incredible. As someone who has yo-yoed with their weight there is always a point where you reach your bottom at your heaviest. What was yours?
I was driving home from the grocery store when it happened. My car was loaded up with sacks of groceries for the coming week: hamburger patties and multigrain bread, whole wheat pasta and a few cans of diced tomatoes with basil and onion, a few boxes of lean pockets, three 12 packs of Coke Zero (they’re by 2 get 1 free!!), skim milk and Honey Nut Cheerios, a dozen eggs and a bottle of OJ, low fat sliced cheese and a couple pounds of deli meat, a head of lettuce and a sack of peppers, and a box of sugar free chocolates as a treat for later on. This was a Friday, though, so a couple of other things made it into the car: a box of Publix sushi (half consumed on the ride home), and a sack from Empire Cuisine next to Publix containing General Tso’s Chicken, Krab Rangoon, and Steamed Dumplings. Because while the groceries were there for the week, Friday was the day I could eat what I really enjoyed: Asian food. At that point in the afternoon I was basically starving, which is why my sushi was half gone on the ride home. I was racing, fast as I reasonably could through a part of town notorious for speed traps, to get home so I could toss the groceries on the counter, crack open a Coke Zero, and drop on the couch to dig into some General Tso’s Chicken. It was this amazing future that was on my mind as I drove too fast over the speed bump at the entrance to my apartment complex. And that’s when it happened. My boobs flew up and hit me in the chin.
“Oh my God…” was all I could say as my face bunched into a scowl and my car rolled into the parking space in front of my building. I sat there for a long moment, staring down at myself. My boobs had just hit me in the face. I was a 23 year old man and I had boobs. Serious boobs. That was it for me… I had to make a change.
How long did it take for you to transform your body to where it was?
The thing is I’ve been struggling with my weight my whole life. I grew up fat and was fat into my mid 20s. I tell people it took about 4 years to go from 310 down to 180, then bulk up to 260 where I am today but the truth is that it was a really long-term struggle, both physically and psychologically. You have to do a lot of mental and spiritual work on yourself to get this kind of transformation done. It is way beyond physical.
Health wise, what can you advise people do in order to get in better shape or stay in the shape that they have achieved?
The most important thing you can do to reach your goals is to be persistent. A river doesn’t carve through a mountain because of its power, but because of its relentlessness. If you stumble, get back up immediately. If you miss a workout, don’t miss the next one. If you eat off your program, get right back to it. Far too often we expect perfection from ourselves when we aren’t perfect creatures, and that expectation sets us up for failure. So when we do fall – and we all do – often that one slice of pizza turns into an all-day gorge, or that one missed workout turns into a week. But if we can accept that we will stumble and resolve to just get back up again, then that persistence will pay off.
We all have cheat meals, cheat snacks, cheat desserts, etc. What is your ultimate that you still indulge in every once in a while?
All you can eat sushi is my go-to. I love sushi so much. And while people may think “oh, but sushi can be healthy” you should make no mistake: I don’t want healthy sushi. I want the baked rolls covered in spicy mayo and cheese. And I want 7 plates of it. Nothing healthy going on here…
As an out gay man, did you notice a shift in how men viewed you when you were overweight and now that you are in shape?
I’ve had two experiences about this. On the one hand, yes, there is an element of what I call “revenge dating” when you’re an ugly duckling. There have been those guys who couldn’t give me the directions to Hell when I was obese and all the sudden see me in person now and throw themselves at me. There’s the temptation to get revenge and shoot them down, or better yet to bang them and never talk to them again. At the same time, though, I think that my transformation has given me an appreciation for the difference between genuine cruelty and just having your own tastes. I know for my part that I’m not chasing after guys who are seriously overweight: I changed my body from fat to bodybuilder because I’m attracted to bodybuilder and not to fat. So while some guys may treat me differently now, I look back and I can remember who was actually unkind vs. who was just simply not attracted to me physically. And I can’t really blame them for that.
On the other hand, what I’ve learned is that assholes exist at every strata of attractiveness. I expected – and honestly, judging by what people say to and about me, everyone else also expects – me to get whatever I wanted from men I was attracted to. I’d get all the ass I wanted, or have whatever boyfriend I wanted, or any combination of those things. Because I thought that how I got treated was strongly correlated with how I looked. The most attractive guy I ever dated was actually when I was chubby, and right now I get blown off, dismissed, rejected, trifled with, and completely stood up with alarming frequency. There is no golden ticket when it comes to how you get treated among the gays. A douche will be a douche no matter what you look like.
What has been your overall take on this community? Where can we improve on and where do you think we have made the most achievements in?
That’s a pretty sprawling question, but I’ll do my best. I don’t want to be that guy that attacks “the community” for whatever petty sins seem typical in a bar or on Grindr or something. The truth is that I thin the community is what you make of it. If you don’t like how you get treated at a bar, don’t go to that bar. If you don’t like how you get treated on Grindr, don’t use Grindr. If you don’t certain people, you don’t have to interact with them. Each venue and each group and each micro-social-ecosystem is what it is and no one forces us to participate. What I think the community at large can do to improve is to focus more on what we do have power over instead of always focusing on where we think we are powerless. For example, while I like bear culture and many of my friends are bears, I’m not really a bear. I don’t fit in. The bears are nice to me, but bears aren’t going to date me and aren’t going to invite me to things, not because they’re jerks but just because “bear” is a group and I’m not really in it. I could bitch and moan about the bears, or I accept reality and play to my actual strengths. I’m a giant, muscly, All-american looking, Power-lifter type. That’s not a bear, but it’s not nothing either. I think individually, and as a group, gay guys would be happier and stronger if we embraced our strengths instead of seeing every boundary as a fight.
I think we have made the greatest achievement in just being Out. A generation ago it would be lunacy for high school kids to come out and take a same-sex partner to prom… anywhere in the US. A generation ago it would be impossible to hold hands with your lover anywhere that wasn’t New York or San Fransisco. But now I have no problem being affectionate with someone I care about in public almost anywhere, and kids feel freer to be who they are, and even the guys who have the most to lose because they’re the easiest to hide – the much-derided “masc bro” types – can come out without the fear of thirty years ago. Of course there is still work to be done, but by just being visible we have made a cultural change in the United States that is undeniable.
You also recently moved from Chicago to San Diego. What prompted the move and are you happy where you are now?
I’m happy with the move. It’s dramatically warmer in San Diego than in was in Chicago, which is obviously a powerful reason to get out of Chicago haha. At the same time, I just like the social scene more in San Diego. Chicago is frozen for half the year and nothing really goes on because no one goes out. It’s easier to be social when it’s warm all year.
What are your ultimate plans for 2015 and beyond?
For 2015 I want to expand my brand and try to branch out in my training and fitness business. One problem with personal training is that you can hit your profit ceiling pretty easily. So part of that will be attempting a bodybuilding competition, expanding my modeling work (I’m in a forthcoming spread from Djak Azran in November actually), and doing more to diversify my online presence. And of course the sequel to Death Lord is in the works and I expect it to be released in the Spring. So yes the next year is very busy for me! I’m looking forward to it.
For more information on Larkin’s book Death Lord and where you can buy it, check the link here!
I came out when I was 14, and at the time, there weren’t a whole lot of options for me to meet like-minded teens and young adults. The internet was in its early stages, which meant I didn’t know much about chat rooms and the like (thank the gods, in a way, for that). What I did find, however, was a Houston based group for LGBT teens and the local gay coffee shop, Crossroads (r.i.p.). [Read more…] about Why We Still Need Queer Coffee Shops
As someone who has been in the bear and gay community for a little over ten years now (I am wondering when I am getting my sash or pin for all the hard work I have done. Emphasis on hard hehe), I have come to find a bevy of terms that gay men have come up to describe their physical appearance. Albeit a twink, cub, muscle bear, otter, wolf, and a new one that I heard recently, ram (big horns and like to charge. Giggity.) there is always going to be some terminology involved in describing yourself or to your friends about the guy you hung out with last night/cruised/hated for whatever reason possible.
Recently, I have discovered a brand new term that really doesn’t have much to do with physical appearance at all- Bearlebrity. This is a term that unlike words like “Chocolate” or “Buy One Get One Free Burrito at Chipotle” has a very negative connotation attached to it, yet for some reason no one really seems to pinpoint what it actually means. I recently made this a status update for my friends to reply and divulge what their true meaning of the word was, and the responses were plentiful and vastly different. Take a look at what people (who will be kept anonymous) thinks about what a Bearlebrity really is-
- “To me, a Bearlebrity is a guy who takes a zillion selfies each day just to get the satisfaction of the 300 likes they will get, many are from men that they have never met before. On top of the likes follows with 30 or 40 comments ranging from the same old shit such as “Grrr!” “Woof” or the tragic “I wish I was that cupcake (said bear is eating cupcake in photo)” and the added likes onto each comment made. They are narcissistic, rude and what is the worst about this community.”
- “It’s a myth, that term. It’s a label of status that a person generally uses only when they are talking about themselves. It’s a self-absorbed type of thing and a word that is rarely tossed around in social settings.”
- “A big hairy gay celeb. :)”
- “A “Bearlebrity” is a self-imposed title for someone who considers themselves popular and influential within the bear community. Another question that needs to be asked, is why the Bear community insists on putting “Bear” as a pre-fix in front of everything. What once was charming and humorous now comes across like Smurf Speak.”
- “An individual lacking in self esteem.”
- “Yet again, people who are stared at by other people have negative stories made up about them in order to make the starers feel better about themselves after they have made themselves feel bad.”
- “I think of bear performers. People like Kendall Kelly that make a living touring and performing at bear runs and such.”
- “I use this term all the time. Not derogatorily. In my opinion, it’s someone in the bear community who has high public visibility. They may own bear brands, organize events, DJ bear dances, act in bear films, model bear brands, have bear themed Facebook pages…etc.”
- “The most common bear term I have heard being used BY the people calling themselves it, is A-List Bears. Yes, I have heard people call themselves this. I mostly bear see Bearlebrity used by “others” to describe someone who is super popular in bear world. I think i may have heard once or twice someone call themselves that.”
Those weren’t even all the comments, but if you get the gist of the above it seems to be that this still has a negative viewpoint to it but there are some that think differently and use the term in a positive angle. It is also further proof in my writings that in the bear and gay community we consistently judge and label each other for whatever reason that may be. I don’t understand how even in the grown up world that we live in that many men resort back to our middle school and high school days where we become Regina George and label everyone based off of whatever qualities we deem to be not up to par with our likings in the world. Granted I am completely guilty of this as is many men, but this question does remain- how can we take a word like Bearlebrity and change it into something that is described in a positive way and not so negative way?
What is your definition of this? Do you feel we use labels all the time as a way to describe and ultimately judge other people? Hit me back with your viewpoints on this.
Looking for… Substance?
HBO’s highly anticipated and publicized show “Looking” premiered last night as the latter part of the comedy hour they are now sharing with “Girls”. There has been a ton of hooplah surrounding “Looking” even before it started, as social media exploded with its accusations of the cast alone looking very one note without much diversity (something that I agree with). Also, to some annoyance, it has been touted by websites such as Buzzfeed as “The Next Great Gay Show” which is a bit premature as I’m sure they only got a screener of the first episode and can only judge so much from that. Seeing as there isn’t much gay shows on TV where we aren’t supporting characters but much more an entire cast, I severely looked forward to dissecting this show to it’s fullest content.
Then I watched it, and my primetime erection went down faster than Chris Christie’s political dreams. This happened for so many reasons honestly, but there is a smidgen of hope I feel for this show as a whole. That hope is Jonathan Groff, who many people know as being Rachel’s love interest on the former hit now please cancel it before I shoot myself “Glee”. He plays Patrick, the lead of the show who starts at the beginning attempting to get fellatio in a park from a rather hot bearish type guy. This was the high point in the show as he nervously answers his phone in the midst of it as he thought it was his “Mother”. Cute.
Here is my problem with his character- the problems he encounters throughout the episode would be cute if he was in the 21-24 age range, but I feel if you are an out and proud gay man at 29- these things shouldn’t be happening to you still. The BJ thing maybe, but the awkward date, the “6 month relationship” and so on and so forth. I just think his character lacks maturity that is made up for in his cuteness and impressionable behavior which is lose it’s gum flavoring very fast if things don’t pick up.
Murray Bartlett, who most gays know as the shoe maven who stole Carrie away from her wing eating time with Aiden on “Sex & The City” plays Som, a pushing 40 waiter who whines and bitches that a twinky 20 something rejected him mainly because of his age. At the end of the show he tries to get redemption on said twink by going to the bar with Patrick to make himself feel better about the rejection. So boring, no depth and if there is one character that should be a one off it’s him.
Lastly the one diverse character we have in this show is Agustin, played by Frankie J. Alvarez, who is Patrick’s roommate. He is in a relationship with Frank, played by OT Fagbenie. They run into the ever so present problem of having an open relationship which seems to be a big topic of debate in the gay community and end the episode not necessarily wanting the same thing. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.
Overall I would give the first episode 3 out of 10. Sorry if it’s harsh, but “Looking” is “Queer As Folk” for the iPhone digital world. The semi digs at bears or guys that don’t fit the size 29 stereotype, the severe lack of diversity ESPECIALLY in a place like San Francisco, and the dialogue which no one really says (“Are You Drug and Disease Free”, on a first date) lead this show to be just like the rest. I am not saying I need to watch this show to find a guy exactly like me, however this show has been done before. So until I see some changes and maturity in the upcoming episodes, my thought process is this.