Bear (gay slang)

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Bear is LGBT slang for those in the bear communities, a subculture in the gay/bisexual male communities and an emerging subset of LGBT communities with events, codes and culture-specific identity. It can also be used more generically to describe a physical type.

Bears tend to have hairy bodies and facial hair; some are heavy-set or muscular; some project an image of working-class masculinity in their grooming and appearance (with an emphasis on the use of suspenders), though none of these are requirements or unique indicators. Some bears place importance on presenting a hypermasculine image and may shun interaction with, and even disdain, men who exhibit effeminacy.[1] The bear concept can function as an identity, an affiliation, and an ideal to live up to, and there is ongoing debate in bear communities about what constitutes a bear, however a consensus exists that inclusion is an important part of the Bear Community.[2][3]

Bears are almost always gay or bisexual men, although increasingly transgender men (transmen) and those who shun labels for gender and sexuality are also included within bear communities.

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