For the past eleven years, I traded my blessings and curses for my own subcultural identity. In all, I love being a bear (or, rather a bear-identified gay man) and found a core group of friends who also identify with the same subculture.
However, there is always hope that we can provide ourselves with media and entertainment opportunities that feed the interest of our subculture. So far, there has been a mixed bag with magazines that tout the upper income levels of Bears and “mainstream” articles trying to explain and who and what we are. As far as we’ve come in the past eleven years, we are still trying to find things that embrace a wider picture of our subculture.
When it comes to films, if I’m looking for just mere entertainment, the latest films that feature our subculture certainly fill the bill. The big film from Spain, Cachorro (Bear Cub), arrived right on time. Some may be appalled by the sexual behavior of Pedro, the bear who has to take care of his nephew Bernardo, but if you follow the Spanish subtitles (or understand the dialogue), you can get really into it.
However, a smaller film recently came out that brings home a lot of things for all of us in the community. In A Bear’s Story, a West Hollywood bear who writes obituaries for a living suddenly finds himself out of his own solitude into the world of bear clubs and a love interest. It is a fast-paced short film, but you get everything in a span of under 20 minutes including a few conflicts.
For those of you who are wondering if they get it on or not, sorry there are no explicit sex scenes. However, they do kiss so well! Isn’t that all that matters?
Actually, there’s more. More in a way that the rest of the world needs to discover these precious gems that creates positive images of our subculture. A Bear’s Story is a positive image that does not have to rely on purely sex to gets its message across.
Maybe those of us in the bear community can take a cue from the people behind A Bear’s Story and create things that talk about everyday life and, perhaps, gear it towards all who identify with our subculture. It’s not that hard, but we’re getting there.