" [T]he "Bear movement" (if you can call it that) started around 10-15 years ago when masculine and/or husky and/or hairy gay men felt compelled to carve their own niche into society. Many of these gay men (including blue-collar workers, rural folks, & average joes) didn't socialize or identify with other gay men, because they didn't fit the stereotype. They often knew they prefered men, but didn't think they were gay because of predominant gay stereotypes of what gay men are "supposed" to be like. If they tried to socialize with gay men, they were often ostracized because they didn't "look" or "act" gay. Naturally, everyone likes to be part of a group and have friends, so these men started to form their own groups so they could explore common masculine interests (or they preferred the company of masculine gay men). These groups became known as Bear Groups because many of the men were husky, bearded & hairy. You don't have to be a "bear" to be in a Bear Group. Lots of people (including me) are in the Bear Groups simply because they prefer the company of masculine gay men or average joe's (often like themselves)."
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I own and operate Black Bear Camp, a retreat for adult men located in the woods of East Alabama.
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