IE Bears

Inland Empire Bears and Their Admirer's

Welcome to the Inland Empire Bears web page.  Please check this site for updated information on what is going on within our organization.  For detailed information on events use the Calendar link.

Members please log in to see news and updates on the members home page.

The Inland Empire Bears is a gay men's social organization in the Inland Empire. We have a regular schedule of events.  To check out our events, please use the CALENDAR link on this website.

A large part of what we do involves giving back to the community. A portion of everything we do benefits our community through support of and contributions to local charities.

Here you will find fun, fraternity, and fur! Join us or visit our events - we're a friendly bunch, and as the saying goes, we don't bite!








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Click to join ie-bears



New to the Bear Culture

New to the bear culture?  Well, then read on for insightful information about Bears and the Bear Community

What is a bear?

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 also describes a physical type.

Bears tend to have hairy bodies and facial hair; some are heavy-set; some project an image of working-class masculinity in their grooming and appearance, 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.

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.

Origins of the Bear Culture

Bear in LGBT communities is a metaphorical reference to the animal of the same name with similar notable features. These features include the animal's hairiness, its solid proportions, and its physical power. The bear is both fat and powerful, and the reconciliation of these two qualities is at the heart of the Bear concept's appeal. Bears are typically very similar in appearance to the ideal of the North American lumberjack. A romantic conflation of the bear and the lumberjack image provides the Bear trope its metaphorical appeal.

Lumberjacks were romanticised and fetishised in gay culture long before the arrival of the Bear concept, and the Bear concept retains strong traces of this older ideal. Lumberjacks appealed to gay men at aesthetic levels but also for reason of their homosociality, the fact that they were working class, and for the fact that their isolation from urban society (and hence from mainstream gay culture) opened up a fantasy of both secrecy and liberation, within an idyllic, rural, North American setting. These metaphors also lends themselves to the idealization of natural physical appearance and preferences over a more glamorized ones despite the convenience many bears may find living in urban settings.

The self-identification of gay men as Bears originated in San Francisco in the 1980s as an outgrowth of gay biker clubs like the Rainbow Motorcycle Club, and then later the leather and "girth and mirth" communities. It was created by men who felt that mainstream gay culture was unwelcoming to men who did not fit a particular "twink" body norm (hairless and young). Also, many gay men in rural America never identified with the stereotypical urban gay lifestyle, and went searching for an alternative which more closely resembled the idealised blue collar American male image.

We Appreciate Your Contributions

If you have any events or information to contribute, send an email to info@ie-glbt.com. 

We are looking for IE Bears to help us out with the bear section of this site.  If you want to help contribute and maintain this section, please send an email to info@ie-glbt.com.

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