I gotta tell ya, earlier this week I reviewed the book, One Gay American by Dennis Milam Bensie and, while reading the end of it, I dredged a couple scenes from a movie out of my memory banks. I got to laughing just thinking about it!
At the end of the book, a biography, Dennis finds acceptance finally in the gay bear community. His discussion about bears (and specifically bears he met through the online bulletin board Bear411) made me think of the late 2010 comedy BearCity starring a cast of many but including, most notably, Joe Conti (The Runner, Cart Racer) and Gerald McCullouch (who appears often on the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series). The film is directed by Douglas Langway (Raising Heroes).
Now, I know this is not true for all of you but I live in a fairly large metropolitan area. When I first came out, all the gay friendly places friends and loves took me to were typically filled with the young and the beautiful. I was to learn that on the gay side of the equation, the young, athletic, body hair free guys were called “twinks” and that the gay male community tended to be pretty narcissistic about being young and slim and dating like men. Hairy older guys were not considered desirable. I ran into very few. That attitude pretty much mirrors what Milam Bensie discusses in his book as he viewed things from his perspective in the Seattle area.
A couple of years into my experiences in the LGBT community, I made a trip to Kentucky and found myself, quite by accident, in a bear bar one evening (I’ve discussed the details here before but it will get us too off topic to go to deep into that). I found it to be one of the most welcoming places I’d been in up to that point in my life. And, too, I was surprised to meet such a diversity of gay men. The older, wiser and hairier guys had all but been invisible to me before that!
All of this brings me back to the movie BearCity. It’s a comedy to be sure and even a romantic comedy of sorts (though there are lots of references to the stereotypical quick, backroom gay male sex) that’s pretty darn cool. Not being a gay male, I don’t relate to much of the typical “gay culture” but I can totally relate to being middle aged and looking it and wanting to find community, love and acceptance too. In those areas the movie rocked for me!
Even if you are young and beautiful, male or female, give this one a shot. You’ll like it and you might just learn something! After all, you won’t be young forever…