Here’s What This Skinny Straight Reporter Learned At Bear Week

Dan Tracer

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Vice’s Thomas Morton likes to go balls deep.

No, really — that’s the name of his Viceland docuseries, wherein he explores American subcultures.

He recently dove headfirst into the bear realm, learning some valuable slang along the way.

Here’s how he prefaces the bears:

“Before they had their own flag’s worth of subtypes, bears were a fringe stripe of the gay subcultural rainbow — to0 hairy for the Chelsea boy queen scene, too hefty for the Tom of Finland-esque Castro clones, bears quietly consorted with one another through early internet usenet groups, and mailing lists, and the back pages of Bear Magazine, before finally bursting into the gay overground with the first International Bear Rendezvous in 1995.”

So about that slang?

Well, you’ve gotta start with the most obvious one:

Bear

At first referring to one specific type of gay man (the big and hairy kind), bear now refers to a whole family of gay men of various body types and hairinesses.

Which brings us to:

Cubs

Young bears; bears in training.

Pocket bears

Not necessarily young, but small bears.

Otters

Skinny and hairy bears.

Polar bears

Older bears with white hair.

Panda bears

Asian bears.

Black bears

Black…bears.

And then the host delves into pups and wolves, which seems to be digressing a bit.

But nonetheless:

Pup

Submissive; chained by their master.

Wolf

Master, or a “lone wolf” — someone who plays the field a lot.

Watch the segment below:

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