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LGBTQIA+ Wiki

One of the many long-standing gay subcultures, a bear is a large, hairy queer man who self-identifies with the 'bear' label. Being a bear combines gender expression, gender identity, and sexuality; a large, hairy straight man would not be a bear.[1] They are generally masculine-presenting men over the age of 30 whose build may include a big belly, legs, and/or butt. Bears almost always have a full beard or facial hair, and they are often associated with so-called "traditional masculinity"[2] or "rugged masculinity". However, there is a debate within the bear community regarding the acceptability of femininity;[1] they tend to be contrasted with identities such as twinks and femmes. Although bears are implicitly masculine people, being a bear is not about specific mannerisms or identities like "masc",[2] and bear identity does not indicate preferred partners or sexual roles.[1]

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Etymology

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Community

Under-30s aspiring to become bears are sometimes called "cubs".[2]

History

Document the community's most important history, including facts such as key events, breakthroughs in improving the community's wellbeing and rights, or historical figures known to belong to the community.

Flag

The bear flag was created by psychology undergraduate student Craig Byrnes in 1995.[3] The colors of this flag are derived from the animals rather than the people; thus, the varying shades of brown, white, and black are reminiscent of colors found in bear fur.[4]

Distinction

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Controversy

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Perceptions and discrimination

This section focuses more on the specific kinds of discrimination and oppression that these people may face. Examples would be mentioning systematic transphobia and non-binary erasure on the page for agender, mentioning rates of mental health issues in this group, etc.

Media

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Resources

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Holleb, Morgan Lev Edward. The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2019. ISBN 9781784506636.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Polaris, Danny: "What is a bear? The gay tribe for big, hairy, hunky men" (2018-05-18). PinkNews.
  3. Reid-Smith, Tris: "Pride flags: The biggest guide to LGBT+ rainbow flags and what they all mean". Gay Star News.
  4. Glass, Jess: "Pride flags: All of the flags you might see at Pride and what they mean" (2020-06-01). PinkNews.
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