Friday, May 11, 2007

Blog Fodder - A Moment of Gloating

I have just read in Xtra West where BC Bears Society has decided to "hibernate" for awhile, due to declining membership. If I can be permitted a moment to gloat:

In 1999 I tried to join BC Bears Society. My (then-, now ex-) partner and I had just moved here and my social network took a commensurate hit; I was looking for something to join. Vancouver Pride Society and Out On Screen (the queer film festival) had both rejected me despite my sterling credentials for both.

I went to Pride Day that year and afterwards, at the community fair, I spotted the BC Bears table. When I approached it and asked about joining them the skinny guy working there looked me up and down and in the bitchiest, faggiest way told me to come back when I'd gained a hundred pounds.

Well, I must have been three hundred pounds that day, at least a hundred pounds heavier than this guy. The fact that I'd been met with the same attitude everywhere else (only everywhere else I'd been told to lose a hundred pounds, rather than gain it) was not lost on me.

Since I obviously didn't fit into mainstream gay and I wasn't going to be accepted even at the fringes of the community, I withdrew from all gay community activities at that point. Maybe that wasn't the most sensible course of action, but what else could I do? Why would I continue to fight to be included in something that had already rejected me so many times?

I decided that day to focus on those aspects of humanity that I thought might be more appreciative of my efforts, namely the arts and social justice. Within Pandora's Collective and even COPE I have managed to make my contribution to society in more meaningful ways; even if neither has done anything to enhance my sex life, Pandora's Collective has at least introduced me to many fine friends I wouldn't have met if I'd stayed on Davie Street.

I suspect many other men were rejected by BC Bears in a similarly callous manner, probably by this same volunteer, which is likely what led to the declining numbers at their meetings. I can't say I'm not glad to hear it; editorial policy permits me to freely gloat whenever snobs and bigots and any kind of petty tyrant gets their comeuppance.

For those men whose lifeline this community was, I do feel bad, though. May I suggest leaving your ghetto behind and traveling amongst regular people for awhile?

There. I'm done now.
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3 comments:

Y | O | Y said...

A lot of my new friends here are into the bear "community." Everyone has been very nice except the guy that told me he's "taken dumps" bigger than me. Apparently a point of pride for him. I'd like to think the douche you encountered wasn't indicative of the rest of the group...but why they'd have someone like that staffing the membership table tells a lot about the organization.

Seumas Gagne said...

I think a social club organized around a sexual fetish is about as likely to attract self-actualized persons or produce a healthy life as a 3-day-old room temperature chicken.

There's a big, wonderful world outside the gay ghetto. Society is about 10% gay right? So why don't all of our address books have about 10% queer folks in them?

Oh, wait, mine does. (BTW smugness isn't ever, ever, ever attractive so don't try this at home.)

michael sean morris said...

Jeez, as if gloating isn't bad enough, you just had to go to the next level and be smug, dincha?