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October 29, 2014 by unclespike218

Bear culture needs to be taken down a notch.

I say this as a bitter man attracted to bears over the years. (And for those of you continuing down the path from my last blog, my apologies for beating this dead horse.) Only problem is, I never felt included by bears in anything. In large part, they’re attracted to each other. And bear culture, once spawned by guys who felt left out of the skinny, in-shape blond clone/twink culture that spurned them, now habitually excludes non-bears all the time.

So it was with a bit of glee that I learned of a Tumblr feed called Bearfugly (NSFW, of course) that takes individual bears to task and smacks them down. The impetus for this was a bear who loves – LOVES – to post selfies of his travels. He devotes assiduous attention to his subject – himself – and comes up with some admittedly impressive compositions from time to time. You start to wonder…how does he get pictures of himself from across a pool? Or fifteen feet away, walking toward me with luggage in both hands? The narcissist in question is “wooferstl,” (kinda NSFW) and I must agree with the owner of bearfugly: “Every time woofer pops up in my feed, a part of me dies.” I once subscribed to him, but he was so taken by himself that I quickly tired of him, then became nauseated with each picture he posted. So I unsubscribed.

Naturally, Bearfugly’s presence raises the hackles of bears everywhere who are offended at his comments. And yes, his comments are incendiary and laden with low blows. But I’ll take them, because 1) bears are being called out on their shit, and 2) they’re interspersed with dead-on commentary that other bears would be loath to employ. To wit:

  • “Number one worst thing about the bear community is how fucking infantile guys are.”
  • “I wish I could fly back in time and kick whoever made nose rings a thing square in the face.”
  • “The bear community, celebrating diversity by everyone wearing ugly tank tops, sporting ill-conceived facial hair, backward trucker hats, and wicked original sleeves, since who the fuck knows.”

One of the backpedaling arguments bears often have about this is that the idea of being a bear is purely a mindset. In other words, if you consider yourself a bear, you are. This is a huge crock of shite, and no one in their right mind would buy it. Why? Mention the word “bear” to almost any gay man, and everyone will automatically get a clear prototype in their head. Dark hair (or graying or balding if older). Furry chest and belly. Thick and stocky. Dense beard. Very masculine. (Of course, one of the biggest jokes is that some bears often seem masculine until they open their mouths to speak, whereupon yards of taffeta come flowing out.) Everyone knows that being a true bear means adherence to this sometimes-impossible standard, and deviations from it are increasingly not accepted the further you go. And it’s this sort of exclusion that sickens me. It’s a culture I would not want to be part of, even if bears wanted me to be included.

So as much as other bears may hate Bearfugly, I’m happy to see this feed, and look forward to more of this guy’s posts. Every one of them is like a hug from baby Jesus.


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