Bears | New York | News

New York Investigates Bears in Central Park


Tim Murphy from New York magazine heard there were some bears in Central Park last weekend, and went to investigate. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Best part of that video is when the self-proclaimed "more masculine gay man" tries to catch a football.

    Posted by: crispy | May 12, 2009 2:42:53 PM

  2. YAY! Bears on TOWLEROAD! This makes me extremely happy to see!

    Posted by: Jim | May 12, 2009 2:48:09 PM

  3. The whole bear culture is so strange.

    Posted by: bucky | May 12, 2009 2:49:46 PM

  4. Bucky - Was that comment necessary? I don't understand the twink culture and think it is strange to be so waifish but I do not comment on it when there are post about it.

    Posted by: Donald | May 12, 2009 2:53:23 PM

  5. Well, the "bear culture" is strange if you take it at all seriously. I'm in this video, the interviewer, like most people, started by taking the whole taxonomy thing way WAY too far - which I think he got by showing the answers of meercat, groomer, and racoon.

    It's basically about guys who like facial hair and who don't see the need to spend a lot of time primping and plucking and shaving to hang out with friendly people who feel the same way.

    Posted by: greg | May 12, 2009 3:00:28 PM

  6. i knew there were bears!

    Posted by: chris | May 12, 2009 3:00:50 PM

  7. A quote from one of the guys in the Time Out New York Urban Bear Weekend feature pretty much sums it up: that being a bear is pretty much about beer, food, and lots of really horrible puns.

    Posted by: andrew | May 12, 2009 3:06:23 PM

  8. Well, I figure that's kinda why these things are posted, right? To engage conversation? I didn't mean to offend and I don't think I was clear in what I meant. I don't find the "look" of bears to be strange or those attracted to bears to be strange. People are attracted to what they're attracted to. What I do find strange is this group of guys that all kinda look the same and act the same and, for all intents and purposes, are just as gay as the rest of us, think they're somehow more masculine because they say "woof" and have a gut. I guess I just find it odd that the gay community self-segregates so much. I could make the same argument about gym bunnies, twinks or whatever else.

    But who am I? Whatever makes people happy, right?

    Posted by: bucky | May 12, 2009 3:07:51 PM

  9. for Bucky and those not getting it, or not wanting to get it, or not realizing bears don't care if non-bears get it:


    it's not to be exclusive or inclusive or political or phobic. if you don't think construction workers, cowboys, truckdrivers, lumberjacks, or an individual's natural bodyhair suits your taste, then that's fine, but it's central to bearishness. beyond that, bears come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. i might be wrong, but i think the most maniacally pro-bear bears are the spanish! btw, don't be afraid if you hear the word "daddy", it's as innocuous as "baby". and saying "woof" is as visceral and celebratory as a fratboy saying "whoo!"

    Posted by: dean morris | May 12, 2009 3:52:53 PM

  10. @Bucky:
    You are right the gay community does self segregate too much. IMHO especially with regards to men from women.

    In fact, though some folks may say I am wrong, in my experience the Gay-Bear subculture grew out of the exclusion and snubbing that heavier, hairier men felt amongst the twink-centric and clone-centric gay focus of the 70's and 80's. Which was perpetuated into the 90s when gay culture morphed into gym-bunnies.

    I can recount the many times I've seen other gay men respond to a bearish guy as though being heavy or hairy is a character failing.

    However as America's median age has risen, so has the ranks of the bear movement (many of us do tend to gain weight and grow hair in new places as we age). And so now, you will find segments of the bear-culture that've started to snub the less bearish in some places.

    But I have to say: by and large, they are less snubby and exclusive by a large factor than the other subcultures (twinks, gym-bunnies, A-gays et al).

    In the vast majority of cases, a twink, gym-bunny or preppy-fag will be made much more welcome at a bear event than a truly bearish man will ever be made welcome at a twink-centric (most mainstream gay dance bars) or Gym-centric (circuit party) gay place or event.

    The sad possible exception to this is drag queens, it seems that some bears are hyper-sensitive to their own perceived masculinity and so shy away from gender bending.

    Posted by: dego | May 12, 2009 3:53:00 PM

  11. There are a lot of "Micro-Climates" in the gay community.

    "Birds of a Feather..." blah-blah-blah.

    And within all of those groups are even more sub-groups.

    We need like a Gay Dewey Decimal system to catalog us all... and I don't mean like with colored bandanas in your back pocket!

    Like, I can't believe I, like, said "Like" so many times in one, like, Post!

    Like Wow!

    Posted by: MikeinSanJose | May 12, 2009 3:53:03 PM

  12. Do they allow drag queen bears? or Bear Drag Queens? T'aint right to exclude folks. I did see one Black Bear.

    Posted by: Derrick from Phillly | May 12, 2009 3:53:11 PM

  13. I travel in the bear community and am considered, I suppose, an otter myself, but I have a big (no pun intended) issue with the pronouncement that bears like men that are more "masculine." WTF does that mean? I know plenty of bears who prance and mince with the best of them and love it. Just because you don't shave your hairy back does not make you more "masculine."

    More masculine, puh-lease.

    Posted by: David | May 12, 2009 3:56:10 PM

  14. I love bearish men, but to a certain extent the bear scene is a support group for overweight guys who assure each other that it's good to be fat. It's been heavily commercialized over the years with a growing list of events like this one, plus websites, magazines, bars, etc. There's even "bear" shampoo!

    Posted by: Keith | May 12, 2009 3:59:49 PM

  15. @derrick

    There are HEAPS of black bears (its a natural term after all!) and IMHO they are some of the hottest... :)

    but as I mentioned above.. Drag is a little less represented than in most gay circles I've been to. and if it is there.. its often HIGH CAMP drag.

    Posted by: dego | May 12, 2009 4:01:37 PM

  16. you have a taste for bear or you don't. you can belong to a group, just date one, or just troll bears on the interwebs. you can self-actualize, claim non-bear status or be indifferent.
    oh, and you're NEVER TOO OLD to be a bear. i swear, the grayer my beard got, the more looks i got from guys who never noticed me skinny and reddish-brown!

    Posted by: dean morris | May 12, 2009 4:11:25 PM

  17. What I find strange...Is how in this so called gay community gays put out all these labels and shit.It is stupid,shows arrogance,and shows that gay people are NO different from the homophobic bigoted jackasses who make life hard for ALL gays everyday.
    Whats with the
    Bear labels

    Im a young 22 year old gay man who is NO different from any other guy

    Im masculine and Im into things that any average masc guy would be into.It just so happens that Im gay.I dont do or say anything to make myself stand out from anyone.For most people its hard to tell that I am gay,unless Im in a gay environment.Just because Im young and slim does NOT make me a twink,I am NO different from a young 22 year old str8 guy.I just happen to be attracted to men.When Im in my 40s and I happen to grow alittle hair in certain areas where there was no hair before,does NOT make me a bear.It just makes me like any other natural middle aged man.

    The one thing I cant stand about some gay people is how they feel it necessary to label their peers into childish bullshit groups.I always drop the bomb on guys who label me as frat or twink.You address me as any other person you either call me by my name,you address me as young man or sir.In fact when Im at a social event like a club,bar,or party,most guys just see me as are those "no class" guys who will refer to me by those stupid labels,but of course they walk away feeling stupid once I tell em' whats up.

    My point is that,some gay men really need to take a good long hard look in the mirror if they intend on using labels to describe their peers.Yea some gay like being labeled and,I know for many these groups are like a community within a community,ok Ill buy that.However Im not one of them and I refuse to be affiliated with a label.When a guy is to approach and address me,they are to address me with respect.Otherwise hit the bricks.I prefer men with class,self-respect,respect for others,and actually has a brain between his ears and isnt a walking hollow skull.

    Posted by: Automotive enthusiast | May 12, 2009 4:29:37 PM

  18. It's good, DEGO & DEAN & GREG.

    Be around folks who appreciate you for who you are. Nobody should go through life feeling bad about yourself...unless you want to.

    Everybody doesn't have to hot wax their arschenhaller.

    Posted by: Derrick from Phillly | May 12, 2009 4:29:57 PM

  19. I coughed at the "more masculine" part too, but he really was referring to masculine physical traits, not to acting one way or the other. There are certainly no shortage of fairy bears or bears with a strong "gay voice" or bears who read _Bears Life_ because it's Martha Stewart with guys who look like them.

    The other thing that isn't talked about is that for the most part, bears are furry nerds. Lack of sports ability, often socially inept, but the possibility of lots of silly fun, lots of beer, and lots of good food.

    WRT drag, there are a lot of people (me included) who wonder why drag is so much a default in gay circles, not why there's less of it around bears. I love a good drag queen but really, *everywhere*? and usually not funny or entertaining?

    Posted by: gordo | May 12, 2009 4:38:23 PM

  20. " thing I cant stand about some gay people is how they feel it necessary to label their peers into childish bullshit groups"

    Hey, chill out, Automotive Enthusiastic Asphyxiation:

    Everybody wants to be part of something...feel special, you know? Everybody's got a gimmick, Auto....

    ....if you wanna' shake it, twinkle while you shake it

    if you wanna' grind it, wait to you've refined it

    if you wanna' bump it, bump it with a trumpet

    Now, get yourself a gimmick and you....too,...can be staaaaaar!

    Say, whatchu' think of the group labeled "Broadway Show Tune Queens", Automotive?

    Posted by: Derrick from Phillly | May 12, 2009 5:04:55 PM

  21. "I'm masculine and Im into things that any average masc guy would be into.It just so happens that Im gay"

    Right. So you've already bought into what society tells you is "masculinity," which usually excludes a whole lot of things -- bears, opera queens, drag queens, sissies, etc.

    Some of us have no problem with people being whoever they want to be. Some of us even like different types. I find bears hot, though I don't qualify. And I agree that it's much more likely for bears to accept different types than, say, twinks or the guys here who are always carping that [insert celebrity name] looks fat in that pic.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | May 12, 2009 5:20:40 PM

  22. Differences are appreciated, definitely. Once inside the bear community though, everybody continues to all look the same and play into the same personality. WOOF!

    Posted by: bucky | May 12, 2009 5:36:33 PM

  23. YAY at 0:59 he says "You're a raccoon"

    I'm a raccoon too :) but not in the "Bear community" sense.

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | May 12, 2009 6:12:56 PM

  24. As I recall from the 70's, a bear was a masculine, hairy, muscular gay man. It was later to be claimed by over weight guys--and then the sub-categories started happening. I remember Armisted Maupin once complaining about it. Speaking of nelly bear cubs, I always envision the Leonard and Larry cartoon by Tim Barella when a young bear cub comes onto Larry by baking cookies and wearing a cap that looks like a bear head. That kinda summed it up for me.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | May 12, 2009 6:16:18 PM

  25. Nothing says "masculine" like a bunch of men playing with hula hoops in the park.

    A lot of bears are hot, but let's be real, some people just use that label to justify binge eating, right?

    @Automotive Enthusiast - I have a label for you that you really won't refers more to a body part than a "type"...and I'll give you a hint - everybody's got one and some are hairy and they usually stink.

    Posted by: paul c | May 12, 2009 6:49:01 PM

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