My friend Peter has recently embraced his inner bear. Yes, bear as in animal. In the gay community, if you are over 35, hairy and overweight, bears are all the rage.
For years, Peter has tried in vain to fit into the trendy world of gaydom, only to be rejected time and time again because of his girth. In the bear community, he is celebrated for his extra trips to the buffet table and encouraged to say goodbye to Mr. Atkins and his South Beach ways.
I had no idea this bear world existed – and like all worlds, it has it's own rules and regulations. Yes – and I am not kidding – there are even different categories of gay bears. Let me see, there are muscle bears (bodybuilders gone to seed), panda bears (Asians), cubs (younger bears), seals (smooth bears) and otters (skinny guys with a bear fetish).
Dear reader, I swear, I am not making this up.
In a culture of perpetual thinness and whirling disco balls and where an extra inch on the waistline is reason enough for an empty dance card, the bear community offers many gay men a much-needed escape - in other words, fat is where it’s at.