What makes Bear Week in Provincetown so unique? A subculture of the gay community, it is defined by men who embrace body hair. The Bears lie in the sun, commune, forage and go to themed parties, possibly having more fun than most. Their generosity, an essential trait of the clan, is evident when they come to land’s end.
In 1979, writer George Mazzei first used the phrase “Bear” in his article “Who’s Who at the Zoo?” for The Advocate, a national gay magazine. Three and a half decades later, movies like Bear City I and II, shot in Provincetown, affirm this vibrant culture, now estimated at one million strong. Historian and local resident John Burrows founded the Provincetown Bears in 2001.