SAN DIEGO -- Bears San Diego is a nonprofit organization that shines a light on bears, cubs, otters and their admirers, rooted in a need for a wider definition of “attractiveness” against the often close-minded, limiting ideals gay men face.
On March 29, the group will present the “Mr. Bear San Diego 2014” contest at The Hole. Amid the festivities, Mr. Bear 2013 Aaron Borovoy will graciously step aside and crown a new bear of the year.
A panel of judges will select this year’s Mr. Bear based on an interview process, appearances in “cruise wear” and “Bear wear,” and one final question. Aaron promises the presence of some of the finest participants this year — “some really hot bears!”
This is an organization that is very dear to Aaron. After the death of his husband of over 28 years, he decided to get involved in Bears San Diego. It was an opportunity to meet new people and click with people who shared similarities, from “den parties” to dinner nights to pool parties and fundraisers. As Aaron recalls, the LGBT community hasn’t always been as welcoming and warm to bears:
"Although the bear culture is much more widely accepted now, when the club started 20 years ago the gay men’s community had a certain 'standard of attractiveness' which many men didn’t measure up to — anyone heavier, hairier, and perhaps a little older were often pushed to the side as unwanted and ugly. Bears San Diego stepped up to help those men feel better about themselves and realize that they are not only attractive, but are attractive to others as well."
But this is not just a social club. Bears San Diego is dedicated to fundraising in the community, as the board and Mr. Bear San Diego determine two organizations for which they will dedicate proceeds for the year. This year, the two organizations are Being Alive San Diego and Special Delivery. Aaron is truly proud to announce that at the Mr. Bear San Diego contest, they will presenting a check of $8,000 to each organization as a result of their fundraising — a record for the club.
The contest for the next Mr. Bear San Diego will take place at 8 pm Saturday, March 29 at The Hole.
To be a contestant, you have to be a member of Bears San Diego. Interested? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.