Every so often an article pops up listing everything that is wrong with the bear community. The tone is always the same. The author moans and groans because he doesn’t feel welcome in the bear community. “Why do bears have to be so cliquey. I go to bear events and no one talks to me. When I go to bars it’s hard to meet people.” Blah Blah Blah. Here’s an idea, maybe you’re ugly and boring? (just kidding… kind of) Is it wrong that I don’t feel sympathy for these people? So you don’t feel welcome or comfortable amongst bears… so what?! Find people you do feel comfortable with. There are many groups who I don’t fit in with and that’s why I don’t hang out with them. For example, I don’t have a lot in common with leather guys and therefore I don’t hang out with them much. Does that mean the leather community is awful and unfriendly? No. It just means that we like different things. Yes, bears can be cliquey and yes its difficult to meet people at a bar. Here’s a news flash for you, it’s like that everywhere. Its called life. You know who else is cliquey? Muscle guys, leather guys, twinks, chubs, sports guys, drag queens, and straight people. often bring up a point that Bear culture developed because a segment of the gay populations felt different and unwelcome in the larger mainstream community. Therefore the bear community is sometimes touted as one that welcomes everyone. Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses… Not quit. That sounds perfect if we were living in an after school special or a Harvey Milk documentary. In reality bears are just a group of guys who gravitate toward one another because they have similar interests and usually that interest is having sex with bears.
There’s one other point I need to address. Often the author says something like “That’s why I hang out with my straight friends.” I reject the notion that straight people are the social equivalent of a welcome wagon. You like your straight friends because they are the straight version of you. They’re probably blogging at this very moment about how arrogant the guys at the gym are. Straight people are just as cliquey and judgmental as any gay group. Think about it, straight nightclubs use a velvet rope to keep out ‘undesirables’ and ask any chubby girl how comfortable she is hanging around models. As much as we are different we are also very similar. Gay or straight there’s a little Regina George and Mother Teresa in all of us.
For the record, I’m a bear and I love the bear community. Bears are my second family. Going to bear runs is a blast because I get to party with old friend and see new one who live far away. I love my little bear world. It should also be mentioned that there was a specific article that prompted this post but I chose not to call out the author because he has a right to his opinion and I support fellow bloggers. Plus, I didn’t want to give him any more attention.