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Why Are Hairy, Big Gays Called Bears?

Big, hairy fags are called Bears. They have their own flag. They have a unique, wonderful aesthetic. People are scared of them. People love them. But why are they called bears? I think there are better names for them.

The term apparently comes from the eighties, from San Franciscan Richard Bulger who started BEAR magazine as a means to represent masculine, hairy, bearded gay men who are not the norm and who are under represented. I get that! But, as a word, bear is overused now, nearly thirty years after the word’s creation in gay subculture. Straight people use it! The word has crossed over and, while hetero-bears aren’t exactly the same, our word seems to have drifted off to outer cultural spaces.

Let’s rethink the word. It represents the not norm. It represents the manly man. It represents someone a bit furry and, sometimes, a bit bigger. These men are not femme. These men are not dainty or boyish: they are mounds that need many hands to lift—or they can do all the lifting. These are men. They are so manly that they suck cock. That’s a bear.

So what else could we call them? Here are some thoughts to consider in a new bear taxonomy.

• How about Hot Dogs? I like that as a title. Dogs are hairy, dogs are fun, dogs are always down for a dick sucking: Hot Dogs sound good. Bears eat hot dogs and hot dogs look like dicks. I like it! Hot Dogs could be good.
• For the more aesthetically focused, we could try Shags like shag carpets. Or maybe this is too old skewing? Perhaps this could be a term for older bears or bearish men born in the seventies? Think about it.
• Since bear was stolen for us why don’t we steal Furry? These men can be Furries! We don’t need costumes: we are the costumes. Maybe this will help bring about furry acceptance, too. (As in, the people in costumes: maybe this will help them be seen as not-abnormal?)
• This may be better suited for the larger (or slower) big gay dude: Sloth. Whenever I think of sloths I think of slow, crawling creatures matted in fur to the point that shit is growing on them. They are kind and smiley and sweet and may or may not be on something. Their legs are almost always spread too which has always caste the animal as a sexualized creature in my mind. I may be alone in that. Look at their legs! They are always open for business and, perhaps because I love bears, these men should rightfully be sexualized too.
• Felt Board. People like to feel them up. I’d feel them up if we called them Felt Boards.
• B.O.M. for “Beard On Man.” We can call them “Da Bom” if we like. We can collaborate with POM to make Bom drinks. We can even try BOMGs too, meaning “Beard On Man Gay.” That sounds better than BOGM.
• Move over Harry Styles and Prince Harry: what if all these dudes were just Harry? We could steal the name like Dorothy has been stolen for queens. Someone could make a gay magnum opus for the group called Harry & The Harrisons to lay claim to the new name. This is great, you guys.
• If we want to stick with animals, what about Hares? Sure, they are small and hairy and hoppy and are probably better suited for squatter Otters but—hey—Hares speak directly to the subject at hand, although in a homonym manner.
• Since they’re fruity and hairy, what about Peaches? Not Kiwis since people will think they are New Zealanders. Rambutans? That could work as well. Actually, Rambutan is kind of cool. “Welcome to Mr. Rambutan, a pageant seeking to crown the hairiest fruit of all!”: that has a nice ring to it.

What are your thoughts? What would you rename Bears? Do you think they need to be renamed? Don’t you like the ring of Mr. Rambutan? I do. That sounds great. I also like Hot Dogs, too. Or Sloths! I don’t know, Sloths just have them weird “Come fuck me, faggot.” stance to them. That title could fit. What do you think?

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