The yellow brick road that leads to San Francisco leads the way for so many a gay.
The fact that our city gave birth to the concept of bears is yet another reason to be so proud that we live here, as it illustrates and celebrates the diversity of our standard-setting gay community.
Lazy Bear weekend is a lovely chance to reflect on how the freedom we enjoy here allows us to evolve past a community of mere Castro clones. Here in the land over the rainbow, we have a gay for every taste, and a flag for every fag.
The bears are a grrrr-eat example of how our beautiful little bubble by the bay allows everyone to create their own reality - not only to survive, but to thrive.
Bear identity was born in San Francisco in the 80s, in defiance of the smooth ideal of the stereotypical muscle queen. A welcome aesthetic alternative to the swishy twink, our furry, burly bears stand for acceptance. They have been wildly successful in promoting an alternative identity for gay men who just can’t see themselves in the clichés (the Generibears backlash notwithstanding).
These days the bears are a subculture of their own, with their own code, their own titles, and their own circuit. Even aside from the International Bear Rendezvous and Lazy Bear, their neck of the woods is a year-round party.
As a proud Goldilocks with big love for all my bears, from cute little cubs to otters and wolves, it’s great to know that you can skip the gym, pack a picnic, and take a walk on the wild side anytime. Whether it’s Bearracuda, Movie Bears, Bearapalooza or Bearlesque that makes you go WOOF, our bears bring the realness, to the Russian River and beyond.
July 29-August 3
Lazy Bear Weekend in Guerneville
Thousands of men from around the world gather every summer in the forest town of Guerneville for a week of dancing, drinking beer and just being with men. www.lazybearweekend.com
Saturday, August 1
Bearracuda: Mid-summer underwear party
A party for bears, cubs and other wildlife, with free massages, great tunes, tasty snacks, and friendly guys
9pm at Deco, 510 Larkin @ Turk www.bearracuda.com
Friday, August 7
Nasty: A filthy fun-raiser for the AIDS Emergency Fund
With Suzan Revah as your Nasty Girl host, and Nasty Boys playing “Stick it in!”
10pm-1am at The Powerhouse, 1347 Folsom Street www.powerhouse-sf.com
Friday, August 8
Dancing with the Drag Stars
Who will be crowned champion in the final round? Featuring the Original Fag Hag competing against four of her fiercest drag sisters, with celebrity judges and guest performances.
7pm at Cheryl Burke Dance Grand Ballroom, 1830 17th Street
Wunderland with DJs Hawthorne and Kio Kio
The official Dancing with the Drag Stars afterparty
10pm at Glas Kat 520 4th @ Bryant
Tuesday, August 11
Chaser: The Black Issue, A Tribute to the African-American Drag Diva
Featuring performances by Mercedez Munro, Erykah Daye Munro, Miss Rahni
Carrie BlackShaw, and Honey Mahogany
9pm at The Endup, 401 6th Street @ Harrison