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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 Ruben

Robert, 45
Voice-over artist/producer of Urban Bear Weekend

Habitat: Chelsea
Bear 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.com
Date this bear!RobertV@tonypersonals.com

 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie Gussin

Rob, 45
Freelance Avid editor

Habitat: Brooklyn Heights
Bear subspecies: Just bear
Being 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 Gussin

Rich, 28
Partner in a women’s accessories line

Habitat: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Bear subspecies: Cub
Being 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 Gussin

Patrick, 29
Freelance art director, painter, carpenter
Rich, 43
Photographer, print broker

Habitat: Jersey City
Bear 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:rweaver.dphoto.com

 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie Gussin

LaTroy, 31
Human resources consultant
Daniel, 31

Habitat: Jersey City
Bear subspecies:
LaTroy: Cub
Daniel: Muscle bear
Being 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 Gussin

Joey, 25
Online media, fund-raiser

Habitat: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Bear 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.net
Date this bear!JoeyS@tonypersonals.com

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Daniel, 31
Singer, actor

Habitat: Astoria, Queens
Bear 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 Rollison

Shannon, 31
Creative director

Habitat: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Bear subspecies: Cub
Being 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 Rollison

Mike, 40
Actor, model, porn performer, go-go

Habitat: Upper West Side
Bear subspecies: Muscle cub/otter
Being 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 Rollison

Christopher, 43
Real estate broker

Habitat: Hell’s Kitchen
Bear 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 Rollison

Philipp, 37

Habitat: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Bear subspecies: Sporty bear, rugby bear, surf bear
Being 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.com
Date this bear!PhilippM@tonypersonals.com

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Greg, 51
Kenn, 50
Installation artist

Habitat: Gramercy Park
Bear 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 Rollison

Erik, 49

Habitat: Lower East Side
Bear subspecies: Otter
Being 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:http://erik-hanson.blogspot.com/

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Voltaire, 38
Director 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!VoltaireB@tonypersonals.com

 (Photograph: Stephanie Gussin)
Photograph: Stephanie Gussin

Alex, 25
Bar back at Lit, skateboarder

Habitat: Washington Heights
Bear 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 Gussin

Ricardo, 34
Promoter, baker, DJ

Habitat: West Village
Bear 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 Rollison

Matthew (a.k.a. Chauncey D), 33
DJ, author

Habitat: Astoria, Queens
Bear subspecies: Just bear
Being 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:http://thecerebraljester.blogspot.com

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Stephen, 40
Matthew, 38
Online application designer

Habitat: Bergen City, New Jersey
Bear 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.