Bear with us

Urban Bear Weekend is upon us! Check out these local furry wild things. Click the pictures for more on each bear.

 (Photograph: Jolie Ruben)
Photograph: Jolie RubenRobert, 45Voice-over artist/producer of Urban Bear Weekend Habitat: ChelseaBear subspecies: “I like to think I embody all bearness, but if I had to choose, I’m a cross between a leather/biker/muscle bear.”Being a bear is… “It’s about being gay and masculine, comfortable with who I am and those few extra pounds, being part of a very diverse, accepting and fun community.Hunt that bear this weekend! “I’ll be everywhere! On Monday, I go back into hibernation.”For more on this bear: robertvalin.comDate this bear!
 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie GussinRob, 45Freelance Avid editor Habitat: Brooklyn HeightsBear subspecies: Just bearBeing a bear is… “Bears are hirsute and accepting—but that’s not written in stone.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “I’ll be out and about; I’ll be drifting and following my whims and moods.”
 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie GussinRich, 28Partner in a women’s accessories line Habitat: Williamsburg, BrooklynBear subspecies: CubBeing a bear is… “It means acceptance. It’s hard when you’re not a Chelsea boy to feel accepted sometimes. It means being part of a community and family of fellow gay men. I feel completely accepted by the bear family.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “Big Apple Softball League game; Truck Stop; the Delancey; Cruising at HK; BBQing on my rooftop terrace.”
 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie GussinPatrick, 29Freelance art director, painter, carpenterRich, 43 Photographer, print broker Habitat: Jersey CityBear subspecies: Patrick: “Some call me a cub or otter.” Rich: “Maybe daddy, but only because some guys call me that.”Being a bear is… Patrick: “It’s being easygoing, bearded, laid-back, hairy, cuddly.” Rich: “It’s about not conforming to gay stereotypes, not being obsessed with looking and dressing ‘right.’?”Hunt that bear this weekend! “We’ll be at the Eagle, the Hose.For more about Rich:
 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie GussinLaTroy, 31 Human resources consultantDaniel, 31 Education Habitat: Jersey CityBear subspecies: LaTroy: Cub Daniel: Muscle bearBeing a bear is… LaTroy: “It means total acceptance in a group without the stereotypes of being a typical Chelsea or HK gay.” Daniel: “Masculine, beefy, nonjudgmental, nonscene.”Hunt that bear this weekend! LaTroy: “Hopefully I’ll be somewhere heavily intoxicated!” Daniel: “Wherever the party is!”
 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie GussinJoey, 25Online media, fund-raiser Habitat: Prospect Heights, BrooklynBear subspecies: “Celebearty. Is ‘douche bear’ a type?”Being a bear is… “It’s drinking beer, eating, terrible puns.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “I’ll be dancing at the Cruising party at HK Lounge”.For more on this bear: Geekmo.netDate this bear!
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonDaniel, 31Singer, actor Habitat: Astoria, QueensBear subspecies: Cub (“ish.”)Being a bear is… “It means community, friendship, breaking away from the typical ‘gay’ scene.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “I bartend for Rob Valins’s Daddy party at HK Lounge. The Sunday beer busts at the Dugout and the Eagle are always a good time. And let’s not forget Truck Stop at the Park. Go get on it, boys!”
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonShannon, 31Creative director Habitat: Clinton Hill, BrooklynBear subspecies: CubBeing a bear is… “It’s about being comfy in my own skin—I come as I am.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “Gym Bar, the Eagle, the Dugout or at my place.”
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonMike, 40Actor, model, porn performer, go-go Habitat: Upper West SideBear subspecies: Muscle cub/otterBeing a bear is... "To me, it means community and acceptance, love of who you are no matter what! There's a very special sexiness that comes with being a bear."Hunt that bear this weekend! "My fans can find me dancing at the Furball at the Center, Rocket at the Hose and the Baa Pool party."
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonChristopher, 43Real estate broker Habitat: Hell’s KitchenBear subspecies: Muscle bear (“just barely”)Being a bear is… “Bear is an all-inclusive term that says it’s who you are and it’s okay—thin, fat, muscles, etc.”Hunt that bear this weekend! Truck Stop, Bears in the Park, Gym Bar.
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonPhilipp, 37Architect Habitat: Williamsburg, BrooklynBear subspecies: Sporty bear, rugby bear, surf bearBeing a bear is… “I feel very comfortable in my skin (fur). I don’t judge others.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “On Saturday during the day I’m always at a rugby tournament. Evening at a restaurant with friends. Later possibly at one of the bear events. Friday maybe at Snaxx.”For more on this bear: www.PhilippMohr.comDate this bear!
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonGreg, 51 PhotographerKenn, 50 Installation artist Habitat: Gramercy ParkBear subspecies: Greg: Muscle bear (“Somehow I reached the ‘daddy’ stage without realizing it.”) Kenn: Muscle bear, young daddy.Being a bear is… Greg: “It’s about fuzziness, friendliness, fondling. Oh, and no shaving.” Kenn: “Being part of a masculine community, no manscaping, natural body growth, furry and friendly.”Hunt these bears this weekend! Greg: “Aside from a handful of Urban Bear events, I’ll be go-go manning my sixth Furball, with Hex Hector as DJ, at the Gay Center”. Kenn: “Tracking all bear sightings, bear crawls, avoiding all bear traps! Time to leave the cave. Sweating it up at the Furball!”
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonErik, 49Artist Habitat: Lower East SideBear subspecies: OtterBeing a bear is… “I was first attracted to the bear scene because it was more inclusive of all different types of guys. I guess it’s about being a regular guy of any shape and size.”For more on this bear:
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonVoltaire, 38Director of rehabilitation/physical therapy Habitat: South Orange, New Jersey,Bear subspecies: Asian cub (“One you can take home to mama”)Being a bear is… “It means being comfortable with myself; not being caught up with perceived notions of how and what an Asian man should be.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “I’ll be laughing and giggling and feeling like a fool at the Urban Bear events.”Date this bear!
 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie GussinAlex, 25Bar back at Lit, skateboarder Habitat: Washington HeightsBear subspecies: “I guess most consider me an alterna-cub, simply for my sense of style, my skateboarding and my taste in music. I’m really a nonconformist.”Being a bear is… “To me means being a gay, furry, bearded rascal.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “I’ll be wherever the party is!”
 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie GussinRicardo, 34Promoter, baker, DJ Habitat: West VillageBear subspecies: “I would say that I am a coyote who hangs out with lots of types—including bears.”Being a bear is… “Being friendly and living life a little more.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “I host Jack at Aspen every Thursday night at 10pm.”
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonMatthew (a.k.a. Chauncey D), 33DJ, author Habitat: Astoria, QueensBear subspecies: Just bearBeing a bear is… “It took me a little time to embrace the term bear because I thought it was just an excuse to be out of shape (ha ha!). But it’s about being comfortable with yourself whether the hair on your chest is trendy or not. Hopefully, it becomes less about your outer shell and more about your mind. Most bears I know tend to be more intellectual; have better taste in music, art, and film; and tend to be creative in general.”Hunt that bear this weekend! “I’ll possibly be deejaying one of the Urban Bear events, working the door at the Truck Stop party and attending as many events as I can with or without my boyfriend.”For more on this bear:
 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia RollisonStephen, 40 ConsultantMatthew, 38 Online application designer Habitat: Bergen City, New JerseyBear subspecies: Muscle bears.Being a bear is… Stephen: “It’s being a part of a community of big, hairy men who like other big, hairy men—outward signs of our masculinity. The bear community accepts you for who you are—a gay man’s man who wants to be with other gay, masculine men.” Matthew: “It means being comfortable in your own skin and not feeling like you need to look or act a certain way just because you’re gay. The bear community is so laid-back and accepting.”Hunt these bears this weekend! Both: At Ty’s Bar and various Urban Bear events.