Kudos to the @HerWinterParty team for putting on an amazing kickoff event on Wednesday. Set at the gorgeous Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, it was a wonderful night of Grey Goose martinis, yummy bites from Chilis (I obviously have been selling them short) and GORGEOUS women. It was definitely the right start for the Her Winter Party festivities next month. I am already getting my outfits together. (Don’t judge me.)
Oh and for full disclosure purposes I am on the Her Winter Party committee… though I had nothing to do with the planning on this event.
ALL PICTURES WERE TAKEN WITH MY TRUSTY IPHONE Except for the ones I “borrowed” from the amazing Steve rothaus
First let me make 100% sure that no one reading this thinks that this is a National-Geographic-Yogi-Bear-esque personal ad. I am not interested in having sexual relations with a bear or a woman in a bear outfit for that matter.
*giving those who need it a moment to click off*
Okay now that we have gotten that out of the way, I am indeed searching for lesbian bears. For those who may or may not know, bears in the gay community are “men that are commonly, but not always, overweight and often having hairy bodies and facial hair. ” (I didn’t define it, blame Wikipedia). And no this is not a term used to throw shade. These men are HAPPY to be bears. There is a Bear Magazine, Bear annual events, hell I’ve watched two different movies about bears on Netflix this weekend alone.
So my question is whyyyyyyyyy aren’t their lesbian bears? I’m not saying that we should all ditch the razors for a more “natural” look. I’m asking why aren’t their organized groups of lesbians that combat the hyper sexualized notion of lesbians. And don’t say that non-skirt wearers are inherently that group. Have you been online recently? I’ve seen more “studs” in bras (and nekkid) on instagram than I have ever seen in my life. Aside from just that, though different from their femme counterparts, studs are held to a rather high standard from their workout regiment to their attire.
I don’t think we would ever see a group of lesbians with their bellies hanging out dancing around the pool. And before you try to say “What about the BBW lesbians?”, I don’t buy it. Most of the BBW lesbians I know hold themselves to extremely high standards when it comes to their personal appearance. Are women too self conscious to “let themselves go”? Is it because there are defined groups of gay men that are attracted to bears, where there wouldn’t be a female equivalent?
Discussion: Are you a bear-ette (and willing to admit it)? Do you know any bear-ettes? Are they even possible in the lesbian community?
Just a little extra, here are some bear terms. Any lezzie equivalents (other than just adding -ette to the end)?
Bear run – a gathering or circuit party for bear/cub types and their admirers.
Baloo – an older bear who befriends and welcomes a younger bear (Cub) into bear culture.
Black bear – a bear of Black/African-American descent.
Brown bear – a bear of Hispanic, Middle Eastern, or South Asian descent.
Chaser – short for chubby chaser, or a man who likes overweight men. Is also used to generalize bear admirers.
Chub – a heavy set gay man. May or may not be a bear (chubby bear is a common term).
Cub – a younger (or younger looking) version of a bear, typically but not always with a smaller frame. The term is sometimes used to imply the passive partner in a relationship. Can be hairy or hairless.
Daddy bear – an older bear, sometimes looking for a daddy/son relationship with a younger man.
Goldilocks – a female, often heterosexual, who is often in the company of bears (a bear’s fag hag).
Grizzly Adams – a man who is hairy and is attracted to bears; but does not self-identify as a bear.
Grizzly bear – a very dominant, heavy, tall, or hairy bear.
Koala Bear – a bear of Australian descent.
Otter – a man who is hairy, but is not large or stocky – typically thinner, swimmer’s build, or with lean muscle or no muscle.
As a child I had always heard comments about the illusive brown paper bag test. For those who don’t know the brown paper bag test was the practice of only allowing people with complexions lighter than a paper bag entrance to certain African-American social groups and events. Even though by “my time” it was more a casual reference than an actual practice, it was always something that stuck with me. Well that and the FACT (per my grandma) that coffee made you black. All I knew was light was right, and that I would never drink coffee (that didn’t last).
As a sociology major at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) I read countless essays, and books about the environment we live in. It was there that I first studied in depth the privilege that one group has over another, be it the color of their skin, their gender or the zeros in their bank account.
I started to think more on the luxury of being “light skinned” since I wasn’t and how easy white people had it, because I wasn’t one of those either. Even as an adult, I can very easily spot the privilege of being in Hispanic in Miami. Why? Because I am not Hispanic. Yet when it came to the femme/butch dichotomy, I was oblivious (with a side of disinterested). Why? Because I am on the winning end. It wasn’t until a recent conversation with two of my readers, AJ and BK on another post regarding black lesbians obsessions with labels, that I decided to tackle this head on.
Much in the same vein that Peggy McIntosh confronted white privilege, I will attempt to identify some daily effects of femme privilege in my life. I too, will attempt to choose conditions solely related to me being a femme, withstanding my race or gender in general. I look forward to hearing from you all on things that I should add or subtract.
In most cases my sexuality won’t be in question on first meeting someone, unless I specifically bring it up.
I won’t have to have a plan for the first time someone asks my child why their Mommy looks like a boy.
I will not be barred participation in any of my social/fraternal organization’s
events because I refuse to wear the required dress/skirt ensemble.
I will never be given an evil eye, or worse confronted, when I enter the women’s public restroom.
I will never be called young man or “sir”.
If I don’t desire to be penetrated sexually, it won’t be regarded as me forgetting I’m a woman.
I will never have to explain how I have children.
I can play contact sports, or dress in athletic clothing, without having people attribute these choices to my attempt to emulate men.
If a traffic cop pulls me over, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my sexuality.
I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children’s magazines featuring women of feminine appearance.
I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.
I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person that dresses as I do would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my gender identity will not work against me.
I can shop for clothes and shoes without having to go into another gender’s section.
I can wear personal garments that make me feel comfortable without having to alter them or create substitutes.
I can travel alone or with another femme without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
I will feel welcomed and “normal” in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
I will not be expected to financially support my mate because of my appearance.
If I am ever physically attacked, my appearance will never be given as an excuse by my attacker.
I will never be rebuked by a lover for being too feminine.
Femme. Stud. Goldstar. Lipstick. Chapstick. Boi. Soft Stud. Pillow Queen. Touch Me Not. Baby Dyke. Sike a Dike. AG. Aggressive. Butch. Domme. Agressive Femme. Tomboi. Ultrafemme.
Am I missing some? I know there are some regional labels that only two blocks and a corner bar of lesbians know. My question is why? And moreso why is it that Black lesbians seem to be so much more obsessed than “other folks”.
I have a couple of thoughts/theories that have come to me that I want to share. Feel free to tell me your thoughts and I will feel free to ignore you if you come at me crazy (I’m just being honest, you know some of y’all don’t know how to talk to people).