The Bear community exists as a subculture in reaction to the larger gay community. It rejects the normative idealized male beauty revered by mainstream gay men. Our studies indicated that Bears were more likely to be hairier, heavier, and shorter than mainstream gay men. They reported wanting partners who were hairier and heavier.
Bear (gay culture)
Bear (gay culture) - Wikipedia
In male gay culture , a bear is often a larger or obese hairier man who projects an image of rugged masculinity. Bears are one of the many LGBT communities with events, codes, and a culture-specific identity. However, in San Francisco during the s, any hairy man of whatever shape was referred to as a 'bear' until the term was appropriated by larger men, and other words had to be used to describe hairy other-shaped men such as otter slim , cub young bear on the way , or wolf hairy, medium build. The term bear was popularized by Richard Bulger, who, along with his then partner Chris Nelson — , founded Bear Magazine in There is some contention surrounding whether Bulger originated the term and the subculture's conventions. The bear concept can function as an identity or an affiliation, and there is ongoing debate in bear communities about what constitutes a bear. Some bears place importance on presenting a clear masculine image and may disdain or shun men who exhibit effeminacy ,  while others consider acceptance and inclusiveness of all behavioural types to be an important value of the community.
Physical, Behavioral, and Psychological Traits of Gay Men Identifying as Bears
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