Letters to the Editor
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Published in: January-February 2011 issue.

An Overly Bullish Report on Bears

To the Editor:

The presence of Jeff Mann’s article, “Bear Culture 101,” in the GLR (Sept.-Oct. 2010) seems reflective of how the bear subculture is ambivalently enmeshed within mainstream gay culture.

At one point, having earlier affirmed that bears make the GLBT community more inclusive, Mann says he doesn’t relate to the world depicted in The Advocate or Out magazine. Yet here he is writing for a comparably gay mainstream, non-bear venue, GLR, albeit as a kind of teaching exercise about bears for the uninitiated. His mention of The Advocate as such, as producing “slick article after slick article,” sits awkwardly alongside his mention of former Advocate book editor Richard Labonté as a bear he admires. Similarly awkward is his reference to Judith Butler, not a name you’d expect to encounter in bear discourse.

Compounding the awkwardness,

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