What the hell is a 'bear" anyway? I've heard they're part of the gay community but I have no idea what they are or where you find one? Curious in Newport.
A bear is a member of the gay male community who tends to be non-stereotypical in most ways, an average Joe who happens to be gay. At first the bear community consisted only of working class men who seemed to fit a certain type: large, macho, hairy, bear-like men with big beards and bellies. Today there are different classifications of bears, although every bear should have some facial hair and most are masculine. Otters and wolves are slender versions of bears, while cubs are younger bears. Chubbybears are portly men and musclebears are guys with big muscles and well-developed pectorals. Bears are also classified as to the amount of body hair they possess. A very hairy guy is known as a furrybear.
Bears hang out wherever they want but they congregate in certain "bear bars" that cater to bears, as well as in social groups such as Metrobears in New York. There are also bear meets and conventions and even beauty pageants, done tongue-in-cheek of course. Some of the more traditional bears look askew at things like beauty pageants. Bears are probably the largest sub-grouping of the gay male community. There are many, many more bears than there are drag queens for instance. It may not seem that way to some, but that's because bears just look like "average" guys.
In general the bear community is very friendly and down-to-earth with no attitude. Among bears, it isn't about how young, pretty or slim you are. Bears offer an alternative to the attitude that the only attractive men are twentysomething willowy thin guys with hairless skin and pretty faces.
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