Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Bears, Bears, and more Bears

In the mid-1980s men on the heftier and hairier side began to gather in San Francisco and call themselves "Bears."  I first heard the term used in 1984 in New Orleans.  By 1987 Chris Nelson and Richard Bulger founded Bear Magazine, and we were off on tangent that became a sort of movement for men who felt excluded by mainstream gay life, whatever that was.  There were bear runs (conventions), bear beauty contests, bear clubs, bear cruises, bear flags. and even bear resorts.  The original magazine was eventually joined by American Bear, Grizzly, 100 Percent Beef, A Bear's Life, and some others I can't recall.  That was a good thing, at least partly because Bear Magazine was so poorly managed that buying a subscription felt like buying a lottery ticket.  You never knew when (or if) the next issue would arrive.  I think the IRS eventually shut them down for failing to pay employee taxes.  Anyway, it's Bear Day on the blog!