Book Now

Hanging Out at New York's Sex-Free, Alcohol-Free Bear Den

When you think about bears, you might think of heavy-set gay men in leather, but the bears of the New York Bear Den defy the stereotype. As I entered the Bear Den—a sober meet-up spot in Queens—I expected a casual bacchanalia, but instead, I found an endearing group of friends eating red velvet cake in the shape of a teddy bear.

The New York Bear Den bills itself as a “hate-free, alcohol-free, attitude-free” alternative to the gay bar scene, and most members see body positivity as a core part of bear culture.

“To be a bear is more about being a member of the bear community than it is anything about one’s appearance or style,” Mark, a well-spoken bear who has attended nearly every meeting in the Bear Den’s six-year existence, told me. “For every description you could use of a bear there will be bears that will not fit the rule—other than being big hefty men.”

Share This

Sign up for emails from Fagabond for advice, reviews, and deals to make your vacation as gay as you are.

And let’s be honest, that’s pretty darn gay.
 

Sign up for emails from Fagabond for advice, reviews, and deals to make your vacation as gay as you are.

And let’s be honest, that’s pretty darn gay.